September 2006
Volume 10, Number 2

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Negotiating Academic Practices, Identities, and Relationships in a Doctoral Program: A Case from an Overseas Institution in Japan

Andrea Simon-Maeda
Nagoya Keizai University, Japan

Eton Churchill
Kanagawa University, Japan

Steve Cornwell
Osaka Jogakuin College, Japan


This narrative report is part of a larger ethnographic case study of a doctoral cohort at an overseas U.S. institution in Japan. The oral and written data collected over a seven-year period bring to the fore the constraints and opportunities that graduate students encountered in educational and research contexts located on the periphery of inner circle countries. While the English language in all of its myriad socio-educational manifestations holds a prestigious spot worldwide, local EFL scholars and practitioners still face obstacles in their attempts to establish themselves in Western-based publishing and conferencing circles. Similarly, foreign academics in Japan may also find themselves at a disadvantage in trying to establish or maintain connections to a larger international academic network. Nevertheless, the cohort members in this study managed to create various networking opportunities that fostered their apprenticeship to professional academic discourses and ultimately helped them secure viable positions in local and international forums in the fields of TESOL and SLA.

Keywords: EFL, ESL, overseas doctoral programs, language education doctoral programs, qualitative research, research communities, international academe

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