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  • 2019bankierphd

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Second language academic literacy socialisation through individual networks of practice: An ethnographic account of learning to write in an academic English programme in Japan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • John Bankier
Publication date24/10/2019
Number of pages286
Awarding Institution
Award date23/10/2019
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


While theories of second language socialisation and academic literacies recognize that important socialising interactions occur in social networks, classrooms continue to be the locus for much related research (Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015). In this thesis, I decentre the classroom and examine the language socialization of Japanese university students into English language academic writing practices through the lens of individual networks of practice (INoP). I studied the academic literacy socialisation accounts of English for Academic Purposes students over one Japanese academic year, investigating their individual networks, literacy practices and identities. The research is aligned with transdisciplinary SLA in which language learning/socialisation is seen as a constant interaction of micro, meso and macro levels (Douglas Fir Group [DFG], 2016) I took an ethnographic/longitudinal approach. Of seven focal participants, three were interviewed 6-9 times over one academic year and four were interviewed four times over a half academic year. Focal-participant interviews were triangulated with written assignments, interview with key people in networks and other data. Transcripts were coded using combined inductive analysis (Duff, 2008) and accounts of social interactions were represented as individual networks of practice (Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015). Analysis is complemented with a membership categorisation analysis (Sacks, 1992; Stokoe, 2012) of interview accounts showing categorisations produced in interviews to represent “common-sense” assumptions about culture and society. Analysis shows that different responses to similar constraints influenced variable socialisation trajectories. Construction and identification in individual networks of practice (1) shaped and was shaped by socialisation opportunities at the micro level; (2) resulted in variable socialisation outcomes and transformation of these same networks at the meso; and (3) illustrated the pervasiveness of macro-level social and cultural structures at all levels. The research argues that attention to networks can bridge levels to demonstrate the multiple macro constraints, meso agency/identities and micro interactions that shape socialisation.