International students’ participation in intercultural classrooms at a UK university

Wang, Sihui (2020) International students’ participation in intercultural classrooms at a UK university. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Recent research has reported a common tendency for international students to be silent or verbally inactive in classroom activities, identifying language competence and cultural differences as the main barriers to their participation. However, insights into international students’ actual experiences and feelings within different classroom contexts remain rather limited. This study explores these issues through an ethnographically-informed case study of 10 postgraduate international students in conjunction with perspectives from 12 of their instructors and 12 peers in different classroom communities at a UK university.
Grounded in Lave and Wenger’s concept of ‘community of practice’, this research perceives international students’ participation as a socially situated and interactive process and thus investigates the contextual influences to re-examine the concept of ‘classroom participation’ in university classrooms. The research findings suggest different categories of influencing factors and various classroom participation patterns and they reveal tensions in some classroom communities resulting from different perceptions and attitudes towards classroom participation. Acknowledging the complexity of culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms, this study suggests the importance of contextual impacts and ‘sense of community’ in the negotiating process of classroom participation. Comparative analyses of interactions in different classroom communities provided conceptual and practical implications for all the members involved to co-construct democratic and dialogic classroom communities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from the China Scholarship Council.
Keywords: Classroom participation, internationalisation of higher education, intercultural education, silence, international students.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Funder's Name: China Scholarship Council
Supervisor's Name: Moskal, Dr. Marta and Schweisfurth, Professor Michele
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Sihui Wang
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-79012
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 16:36
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 14:38
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.79012

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