The Student Experience as Transculturation: Examples from One-to-One Tutorials

  • Joan Turner


International higher education is a contemporary social space or ‘contact zone’ (Pratt, 1991, 1992) in which students and staff from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds interact, and in which assumptions and expectations accrued from differing pedagogical cultures and practices play out. The sociolinguistic and pedagogic consequences of this interaction in multifarious sites globally are therefore often characterized by unpredictability. This creates a dynamic of the ‘always unexpected’, of contingency and improvization, rather than regularity in pedagogic interaction. The landscape is fluid rather than neatly bounded and the flow of interaction often choppy, disrupting interlocutor expectations. As a result, it makes sense to align the analysis and interpretation of such practices theoretically with explorations of contemporary cultural and social processes more broadly. In analyses and argumentation around broad topics such as globalization or late modernity, it is notable that conceptual metaphors of fluidity and flux dominate such theorizing. Examples include Bauman’s (2007) notion of ‘liquid life’, Clifford’s (1997) use of ‘travel’ as a theoretical metaphor and Appadurai’s widely influential uses of ‘mobility’, ‘flows’, and ‘scapes’ (Appadurai, 1996).


International Student Student Experience Academic Writing Japanese Student Intercultural Communication 
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Copyright information

© Joan Turner 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joan Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.GoldsmithsUniversity of LondonUK

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