Academic Discourse Socialization

  • Masaki Kobayashi
  • Sandra Zappa-Hollman
  • Patricia A. Duff
Living reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education book series (ELE)


Research on academic discourse socialization (ADS), a form of language socialization, examines the social, cognitive, and cultural processes, ideologies, and practices involved in higher education in particular. ADS is concerned with the means by which newcomers and those they interact with learn to participate in various kinds of academic discourse in their communities and other social networks.

In this chapter, we discuss recent developments in scholarship on ADS, following on earlier such reviews (e.g., Duff 2010; Morita and Kobayashi 2008). We describe the challenges faced by some students (and sometimes their mentors) in relation to intertextuality, unfamiliar or evolving academic genres, and social stratification and marginalization, which may be exacerbated by students’ proficiency in the language of education. We review research examining the linguistic and rhetorical demands of academic texts in diverse disciplines, noting the complexities, contingencies, and hybridity of ADS. We also discuss problems with research that assumes a prescriptive, deterministic view of ADS instead of an innovative, transformative, and sometimes contested process. We conclude by identifying areas for future studies in ADS, emphasizing fertile research possibilities associated with technology-mediated socialization (e.g., i-clickers, Skype, Google Docs, and course-related discussion platforms), new forms of assessment (e.g., portfolios), the inclusion of a wider range of oral, written, and multimodal learning activities, and a more diverse range of contexts, both disciplinary and geographical. Finally, we suggest that longitudinal studies of ADS across learners’ academic programs (i.e., within and across courses) over an extended period are needed.


Academic discourse socialization Language socialization Learning communities Social networks Intertextuality Stance Online discussion forums Humor English for academic purposes Identity Agency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaki Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Sandra Zappa-Hollman
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Duff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EnglishKanda University of International StudiesChibaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Language and Literacy EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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