International undergraduates and discourses of internationalization: exploring conceptualizations and experiences of the internationalization of higher education and representations of international undergraduates at a u.s. university

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Linguistics
Author Hiller, Kristin Elisabeth
Title International undergraduates and discourses of internationalization: exploring conceptualizations and experiences of the internationalization of higher education and representations of international undergraduates at a u.s. university
Date 2015
Description International undergraduate students comprise a recently growing population in U.S. higher education institutions that has been relatively underrepresented in research on the internationalization of higher education (IHE). The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of individual international undergraduates, faculty, administrators, and staff at a U.S. university; their conceptualizations of IHE; and the discourses that constitute and are constituted by their perspectives. This exploratory qualitative study was carried out at the University of Utah (UU), an institution chosen for its stated commitment to internationalization and global engagement and whose international student population grew approximately 75% between 2006 and 2014. It employed interview, observation, and document analysis data construction strategies. Ten students and ten university faculty, administrators, and staff participated in the interviews. A bricolage of multiple forms of analysis was employed to make sense of the participants' experiences, identify discourses, and question assumptions and categories. The analysis identified (1) variation in views of what and who are involved in campus internationalization and the extent of participation expected; (2) dilemmas that UU community members experience when IHE is viewed in the framework of diverse cultures of learning and cultural synergy; (3) opportunities for and orientations to intercultural learning and language use at UU; and (4) competing discourses and labels constituting international students and legitimating language use at UU. The main discursive strategies identified were negative representations of international students as burdens within discourses of deficit; representations of international students as resources, which often served to commodify the students; the construction of the Other as the one who bears responsibility to change, absolving the university and host country national faculty, staff, and students of responsibility; and discourses of legitimacy and illegitimacy that constitute and normalize the "good student" and regulate language use. The findings serve as reminders of the constituting power of language and discourse. The research also identified several strengths as well as areas for improvement in internationalization at UU, specifically, in the development of intercultural competence, in opportunities for language learning and use, and the development of culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogies.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject critical applied linguistics; cultural synergy; discourse analysis; genealogy; internationalization of higher education; translanguaging
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management ©Kristin Elisabeth Hiller
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 27,698 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/4060
ARK ark:/87278/s6hh9tcm
ID 197610
setname ir_etd
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=197610
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