Agency as discursive practice: From 'nobody' to 'somebody’'as an international student in Australia
Kettle, Margaret A. (2005) Agency as discursive practice: From 'nobody' to 'somebody’'as an international student in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 25(1), pp. 45-60.
As more and more students pursue an international education, there is a need to investigate how these students deal with the demands of their study programs in the new academic context. This paper introduces one such student, a Thai English teacher named Woody, and looks at the ways that he engaged with a Master of Education program in Australia. I analyse the transcripts of two interviews that I conducted with Woody in his first semester using Fairclough's model of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The analysis is interested in the social and institutional demands that Woody identified as impacting on the course, and the strategic action that he took in response to them. I argue that by undertaking this action, Woody was 'working' as an agent of his own change. The analysis highlights a proactive and strategic engagement on Woody's part, a point that has been missed in much of the literature on the international student experience in Australia.
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