Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Allison Burkette

Second Advisor

Christopher Sapp

Third Advisor

Donald Dyer

Relational Format



Each year a great number of students leaves their home countries to study abroad. As a result, international students constitute a considerable portion of student body in us universities and around the world. For many students, study abroad is a holistic and a life-changing experience. Life in a foreign country and everyday exposure to new social and academic cultures make international students undergo an uneasy academic socialization process and re-imagine themselves through the use of second language (l2). This process is simultaneously coupled with academic and language socialization practices that construct novices as certain kinds of situationally organized persons, with certain emotions, moral understandings, and beliefs, who engage in certain kinds of social and cognitive activities (duff, 2010). The present study analyzes the academic socialization experiences of four Russian graduate students at us-based ma tesl programs. While some research has described the processes of academic socialization of Asian students (park, 2006; Morita, 2004; Samimy, Kim, Lee, & Kasai 2011), Saudi students (Barnawi, 2009), and Mexican students (Johnson, 2001), there is a clear gap in the body of knowledge involving language learners and users from the Russian federation. This qualitative study draws on the theory of academic and discourse socialization as well as identity theory to examine struggles and challenges Russian students encountered while attending American ma tesl programs. More specifically, the study examines the linguistic choices of the students that helped them construct various identities in different academic settings. The data for the study stem from in-depth interviews and reflective journals. The results of the study allow the researcher to gain more insights into the complex process of discursive identity construction and transformation and to trace the changes in the academic socialization process of international graduate students.


Emphasis: Applied Linguistics and TESOL



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.