'The English is not the same': challenges in thesis writing for second language speakers of English

Strauss, P
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Journal Article
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Taylor and Francis

In this article I describe my interaction as an English for academic purposes (EAP) practitioner with a supervisor and her two postgraduate international students, both of whom were second language speakers of English (L2). Because of linguistic and relationship issues the supervisory experience for the parties was challenging and frustrating. I discuss the implications of this research and suggest that while linguistic difficulties impact negatively on the supervisory relationship this is exacerbated by the differing assumptions and expectations of the stakeholders. I argue, however, that what is regarded as ‘acceptable’ English at our institutions has not been sufficiently interrogated and the belief that English as a native language (ENL) is the only acceptable variety of English needs further investigation. Such an investigation needs to take place in a forum where the less powerful voices of the EAP practitioners and the students will not be marginalised.

Academic English , Language standards , L2 students , Thesis supervision , Language support
Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 17(3), pp.283-293.
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