Hit the ground running? An exploratory study of the positionings teachers and international students take or ascribe to others on academic language

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    The International Student Program (ISP) in Australian secondary schools has in recent times drawn public attention. Despite this attention, there is a paucity of research about the challenges faced by schools in developing and sustaining these programs. The study reported in this paper explores the ISP in an independent metropolitan secondary school in Victoria with a high enrolment of international students. Using positioning theory, the study analysed the self- and other-positionings of an EAL teacher, a STEM teacher and two international students on a range of issues germane to the ISP and academic language. Findings confirmed past research that content teachers feel a lack of confidence in addressing these students’ language needs. In adding to the literature, the study found that content teachers feel a responsibility for these students and that the international students positioned themselves as successful language learners as well as students with gaps in their academic language.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-382
    Number of pages20
    JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


    • Academic language
    • Content area teaching
    • English as an Additional Language
    • International students
    • STEM

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