An exploration of the linguistic, professional and intercultural experiences of “international” academics from different disciplines at a UK university
Kani, Zeynep Gülşah
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The internationalisation of higher education in the past decade has brought about dramatic changes in the profiles of staff and students in UK universities. The number of international students are estimated to rise to 7 million by 2020 by the OECD (2011) at all levels of education in many parts of the world and particularly in English speaking countries (Davies, 2003; Jackson, 2010). Also, one in four academics had a non-UK nationality in 2010-11 according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE, 2012: 4) apart from the linguistically and culturally diverse, latecomer UK-domiciled academics. In such an atmosphere, there is an increasing trend in research on international students and teachers who are speakers of English as an additional language (EAL) especially in TESOL. Nevertheless, there are few studies into the experiences of the academic staff as speakers of EAL who are working at a UK university. Therefore, this research examined the linguistic, professional and intercultural experiences of ‘international’ academics from different disciplines in the internationalising contexts of higher education in the UK. Fifteen academics who are speakers of EAL at an intercultural UK university were interviewed with a semi-structured format. The participants shared their stories and experiences of the phenomenon “being an ‘international’ academic/lecturer”, which contributed to the development of a deeper understanding of the experiences and challenges they underwent in terms of language, academia and interculturality. The participants shared their language-related experiences and attitudes towards the “(non)native-like” language use as bi-/multi-lingual speakers, the challenges of teaching and researching at an internationalising university and their accounts of experience of interculturality and approaches to (non-)essentialist cultural descriptions as “international” academics.
The Council of Higher Education in Turkey.
EdD in TESOL