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河北工业大学
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Students' Orientations to Communication across Linguistic Difference with International Teaching Assistants at an Internationalizing University in the United States

Title: Students' Orientations to Communication across Linguistic Difference with International Teaching Assistants at an Internationalizing University in the United States
Author(s): Subtirelu, Nicholas Close
Source: Multilingua: Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, v36 n3 p247-280 May 2017. 34 pp.
Peer Reviewed: Yes
ISSN: 0167-8507
Descriptors: Teaching Assistants, Foreign Students, Higher Education, Applied Linguistics, International Education, Multilingualism, International Cooperation, College Faculty, Politics, Student Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Pronunciation, Discourse Analysis, Educational Policy, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Student Attitudes, Intercultural Communication, Sociolinguistics, Language Attitudes, Focus Groups, College Students, Workshops, Communication Problems, Skill Development, Pragmatics, Higher Education, Postsecondary Education
Abstract: Institutions of higher education (HEIs) in English-speaking countries have been engaged in internationalization for decades. Among the many factors driving their internationalization are commitments to increasing and celebrating diversity as well as a desire to foster cross-cultural cooperation. Nonetheless, the linguistic diversity of their multi-national student body and faculty poses challenges for HEIs, including the decades-old controversy surrounding international teaching assistants (ITAs) in the United States. Despite their commitments to respecting diversity, HEIs have generally adopted a deficit approach to ITAs' language, framing it as "flawed" and attributing communication problems to those "flaws". I argue that, despite its more nuanced understanding of the issue, applied linguistics has adopted an implicit politics complicit with this dominant framing which leads researchers to ignore the student's role in ITA-student communication. In response, I propose an alternative approach grounded in critical sociolinguistics. Working from this perspective, I examine students' discourse about their international instructors, arguing that their statements suggest contrasting orientations to communication across linguistic difference. Some students seek to cooperate with their international instructors, while others prefer to avoid them. I examine their justifications for these orientations in detail and discuss implications for higher education policy.
Abstractor: As Provided
Number of References: 48
Number of Pages: 34
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Availability: De Gruyter Mouton. Available from: Walter de Gruyter, Inc. 121 High Street, Third Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 857-284-7073; Fax: 857-284-7358; e-mail: service@degruyter.com; Web site: http://www.degruyter.com
URL: URL
Journal Code: JUN2017
Entry Date: 2017
PageCount: 247-281
volume: 36
issue: 3
issn: 01678507
pubdate: 2017