The Self-Other Positioning of International Students in the Japanese University English Language ClassroomThe Self-Other Positioning of International Students in the Japanese University English Language Classroom
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 positioning.