Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages


Modern Languages

First Advisor

Esim Erdim

Second Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Third Advisor

Larisa Warhol

Relational Format



From the mid-1950s, international education in the United States has witnessed stupendous growth. China boasts the largest number of English language learners in the world, and contributes to an increasingly large share of the global international student market. Being informed by a community of practice perspective and poststructuralist conceptualization of identity, the present study aims to explore the academic socialization experience of three female Chinese graduate students in the United States. The ethnographic case study collected data from various sources such as classroom observations, open-ended questionnaires, interviews with participants and with their course instructors, and written documents. The findings revealed different degrees of similarities and variations in relation to the construction and negotiation of their linguistic, cultural and gendered identities across disciplines. Participants' immediate and imagined communities significantly influenced their learning investment. Instead of being marginalized, all three female Chinese learners were able to participate legitimately, competently, and strategically in their academic disciplines.


Emphasis: Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Included in

Education Commons



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