Identity negotiation and intercultural learning of Chinese STEM sojourners in study abroad
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings

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AbstractRecent study abroad research underscores the diverse internal and external factors that appear to influence the identity negotiation and intercultural engagement of student sojourners (Jackson, 2015; Kinginger, 2013). It calls for more investigations on the intercultural learning experiences of Chinese sojourners in second language contexts (Jackson, 2016). This presentation reports on the first phase of a mixed-method, longitudinal study with case studies design that is investigating the language identities and intercultural learning of Mainland Chinese STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) students from a Hong Kong university who are joining a semester-long international exchange program in an English-speaking country.

Drawing on the post-structuralist notions of identity (Block, 2007), language socialization construct (Duff, 2007) and second language identity development model (Benson et al., 2013), the study tracks the participants’ developmental trajectories in second language identities and socialization over one year and two months. Research instruments include questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interview protocols, monthly email prompts, sojourn diaries, multimodal entries (e.g., photographs), etc. An Nvivo 11 database is set up to organize and analyze data collected from pre-sojourn, sojourn, immediate post-sojourn, and six-month post-sojourn phases. Data of multiple sources are coded and triangulated to gain an in-depth understanding of the participants’ language and intercultural learning experiences at home and abroad.

This presentation focuses on the findings from the pre-sojourn phase, highlighting the multiple individual factors (e.g., sociopragmatic awareness, self-efficacy) as well as environmental factors (e.g., host receptivity, power relations) that appear to influence sojourn learning and the degree of academic and social (non)integration. The findings have implications for the sojourn preparation and meaningful intercultural engagement of Chinese STEM sojourners as well as other student population from this region and beyond.
Acceptance Date31/05/2017
All Author(s) ListSun T.
Name of ConferenceThe 5th Combined Conference for the Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand (ALANZ), Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA) and Association of Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ)
Start Date of Conference27/11/2017
End Date of Conference29/11/2017
Place of ConferenceAuckland
Country/Region of ConferenceNew Zealand
LanguagesEnglish-United States
Keywordslanguage and identity, study abroad, intercultural learning, Chinese STEM students

Last updated on 2018-20-06 at 15:05