The management of academic discourse acquisition

Marriott, Helen

Monash University, Australia


The Management of Academic Discourse Acquisition

Helen Marriott, Monash University, Australia

Learning how to participate appropriately in a new academic discourse community is all the more challenging for non-native speakers of that language and sociocultural background. Drawing upon the Language Management Theory (Neustupny and Nekvapil 2003; Neustupny 2004) in conjunction with the notion of communities of practice (Lave and Wenger 1991; Wenger 1998), this paper will consider how, at the micro level, students engage in simple management to draft and edit their written academic texts. The role played by organised management at the institutional level, and the ways in which the design of adjustment programs matches the needs of students is also discussed.

While differences in power, status and expertise characterise different participants (e.g., students, teachers, language advisors, university academic and administrative planners) in the academic community, also present are various ideological stances that impact on the ways in which student participants engage in oral and written practices. Amongst these are notions of plagiarism, collusion, and individual learning which at times seem to impinge on the ways in which novice participants acquire appropriate norms of interaction.

The paper draws on a previous study of Japanese students enrolled at an Australian university (Marriott 2000, 2003, 2004) and will be expanded to consider some of the larger macro societal issues which intersect with micro-level language management.

Lave, J. and E. Wenger 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marriott, H.E. 2000. ‘Japanese students’ management processes and their acquisiton of English academic competence during study abroad’. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 10,2, 279-296.

Marriott, H.E. 2003. ‘Peer editing in academic contact situations’. In S. Miyazaki & H.E. Marriott, Sesshoku bamen to Nihongo kyooiku (Studies in Contact Situations and Japanese Language Education), Tokyo, Meiji Shoin, 113-141.

Marriott, H.E. 2004. ‘A programmatic exploration of issues in the academic interaction of Japanese students overseas’. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 14, 1, 33-54.

Neustupny, J.V. 2004. ‘A theory of contact situations and the study of academic interaction’. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 14, 1, 3-31.

Neustupny, J.V. & J. Nekvapil. 2003. ‘Language management in the Czech Republic’. Current Issues in Language Planning 4, 3&4, 181-366.

Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Session: Paper session
Discourse 3
Friday, April 4, 2008, 13:45-15:15
room: 11