Book The Self-Other Positioning of International Students in the Japanese University English Language Classroom

2015-07-01Palgrave Macmillan
Invited book chapter in A.H. Fabricius and B. Preisler (Eds.), Transcultural Interaction and Linguistic Diversity in Higher Education: The Student Experience (pp. 188-214). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Transcultural Interaction and Linguistic Diversity in Higher Education: The Student Experience
Owing to the intricate complexity of the resultant discourses and 
debates, numerous points of departure have been made available, 
prompting a diverse volume of research inquiry. This chapter identifies 
two specific starting points. The first point of departure concerns what 
might be termed ‘macro-sociological treatments of internationalization’ and resonates around the particular historical, political, cultural, 
economic and social apparatuses structuring a specified context: in this 
instance Japan. In contrast, the second point of departure addresses 
‘micro-sociological experiences of internationalization’ and concerns ‘the 
study of the person as orientated to the external, especially the social 
world; processes of personal interaction; and the study of small groups 
that typically but not always involve face-to-face interaction’ (Smelser, 
1997, p. 5). In short, the second point of departure examines how 
the individual exercises agency during social interactions within an 
overarching narrative of university internationalization. 
Foregrounded by a discussion of the literature concerning the two 
 points of departure detailed above, this chapter presents a narrative 
account of the experiences of seven international students situated 
within the compulsory English language classroom at a top-ranking 
Japanese university. Drawing conceptual parameters of analysis from 
positioning theory (Davies & Harré, 1990), the aim of the study is to 
explore how the seven international students reflectively conceptualize, 
understand, describe and manage their social interactions and self-other 

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