Negotiating Participation in Second Language (L2) Academic Community: Asian Female Students’ (Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese) Identities and Investments

This study reports on a qualitative multiple case study that explored academic discourse socialisation of female Asian L2 learners in a British university. Grounded in the stereotype of "the shy Asian girls” (Bremer et al., 1996; Day, 2002; Lippi Green, 1997; Miller, 2003; Norton, 2000, 2001; Pon et al., 2003) that the Asian female students tend to be quiet, passive, timid, or indirect, the study examined how the female Asian L2 students negotiated their participation which related to their identity and investment construction in a new L2 academic communities, particularly in open-ended class discussions. The participants included 3 female graduate students from Asian countries (Indonesia, Japan, and Chinese) who have different language learning experiences and backgrounds. Interviews and classroom observations were collected over the entire 1st semester (3 months) to provide an in-depth analysis of the students' perspectives about their class participation in three different course and instructors. Three case studies illustrate that the students faced major challenges in negotiating language competence, identities development, and investment achievement. It was also implied that the stereotype of ‘the shy Asian girl’ is not a culture-based generalisation but was rather caused by situation specific. Feeling marginalised, inferior, less competent and the issue of racism was the situation which disadvantaged the Asian students to develop identity and achieve the investment in L2 classroom. This study has implications for pedagogy on how to stimulate international students’ participation in L2 and how to develop equal opportunity in the classroom.



Author Information
Anna Desiyanti Rahmanhadi, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2017
Stream: Individual differences

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