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Yung (2016) CETL: Local-non-local hybrid

CAES International Conference 2015

Kevin Yung

on 29 August 2016

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Transcript of Yung (2016) CETL: Local-non-local hybrid

Exploring the challenges of internationalisation: An ethnographic narrative inquiry of a local-non-local "hybrid" in a residential hall
- Kevin Yung
Constructing a local identity

Conclusion and implications
Internationalisation in higher education
Increasing number of non-local students
English as a lingua franca (ELF)
English as the medium of instruction (EMI)
Problematize the use of ELF in a multicultural and multilingual English-medium university
Student living environment - not necessarily providing enough opportunities for students to use English
EMI / ELF: space for cultural integration or segregation?
"True" internationalization? Students' priority?
"Institutions need to
act on the full spectrum of internationalization
, not simply focusing on one or two dimensions, for example on promoting mobility by sending students abroad and recruiting massively for their classrooms" (Egron-Polak, 2012, p. 69)
The Study
Identity formation of a local-non-local "
(Dual identities)
Martin - a HK born undergraduate coming back from Australia
lived in a residential hall as a local resident with an Australian background
Wenger's (1998) social theory of identity formation
The context
The university (HKU)
Student population: 27,000
Non-local student population: 9,300
from over 70 countries; 2/3 from Mainland China
The residential hall
significant amount of time of interaction (Yang & Chau, 2011)
Student population: 300 (Dominated by Cantonese)
Non-local student population: 100
2/3 from Mainland China, 1/3 from other regions
Hall culture - hall education = whole-person development
Theoretical framework:
Wenger's (1998) Social ecology of identity
"the process through which modes of belonging become constitutive of our identities by creating bonds or distinctions in which we become invested" (Wenger, 1998, p. 191)
"the ability, facility, and legitimacy to contribute to, take responsibility for, and shape the meanings that matter within a social configuration" (Wenger, 1998, p. 197)
Martin's narrative inquiry
I couldn’t read the Chinese initially. The floor cheers were in Chinese. I got yelled at when I couldn’t say it properly. That was a really big problem that I faced, given that atmosphere because they yelled at you. […]
I felt frustrated
, asked my room-mate to put pinyin on top so I became, like, just put pinyin that I could memorise.
Sometimes when you speak English, you sound like you are cocky.
I get that. I understand that, so I really do try my best to speak Cantonese. I don’t want to be like I can speak English well. I naturally don’t have the [Chinese] vocab. So, naturally, I code-mix with some English words.
Apparently to a certain extent it is like boasting, like showing off. So I try not to.
born and raised in HK until primary 1
immigrated to Australia with his parents for 12 yrs
Mother from HK, Father from Mainland China
Home language: Cantonese + English
School: English
Came back to HK for higher education
Identity conflict
: Chinese vs Aussie
Coming back to Hong Kong, I get cold by saying "oh you are so white-washed! You are so not Asian. You are so non-local!" So personally for me
I am like in the middle of nowhere
, but I would say I'm from Australia, but, I don't know, like, I would call myself... well, I'm Chinese, but, it makes me realise how "un-Chinese" I am.
It's hard to fit in both sides
The local’s English proficiency is not that high. I’m not being arrogant but it is a fact. They are not so proficient, and due to that, obviously, you will feel reluctant to speak out. So I think definitely it plays a very large part. It’s like me not being very fluent in Cantonese sometimes I feel worried to speak out. It’s the same thing. So I think language plays a role.
Martin indicated that
his friends did not feel that they fitted in or belonged to the team
because of the
dominant use of Cantonese
, despite occasional switching to English for a topic or two at the dinner after team practice. As Martin was bilingual and regarded himself as a “bridge” between the local and non-local team-mates, while mingling with the local team-mates, he could feel that
his non-local friends were not respected enough in the team

because of the use of a language that some did not speak
instead of a common language that everyone in the team could understand.
Martin concluded that hall was not a good environment to use English because, in order to blend into the hall culture, which was dominated by local residents, he had to consciously make an effort to speak Cantonese. The use of English was not encouraged because the
local students would find it more comfortable to speak Cantonese
, and
this sacrificed the opportunity to integrate local and non-local students
Constructing a non-local identity

A local-non-local hybrid

The Study
language barriers = one of the greatest obstacles to internationalisation in the Asia-pacific region (Egron-Polak, Hudson, & International Association of Universities, 2010)
EMI / ELF -> internationalisation & cultural integration?
students' lived experiences?

: live in the context for 3 years as an undergraduate + 5 years as a resident tutor - "immersed in the day-to-day lives of the people" (Creswell, 2013, p. 90) & "sympathetic understanding" (Kelly, 2010, p.49)
Narrative inquiry
(Clandinin & Connelly, 2000): "best for capturing the detailed stories of life experiences of a single individual" (Creswell, 2013, p. 74)
Purposive sampling (a single case study) [identified as "a 'marginal person' who lives in conflicting cultures" (Creswell, 2013, p. 147)
3 intensive face-to-face formal interviews
Participant observations, Field notes,
informal talks
, participant's
posts and photographs - 2 Years
lack of negotiability -> strict alignment or no alignment
Constructing a local identity: Starting with the local o-camp
Constructing a local identity: Hall life
Avoiding the use of English - Aligning with the majority (power)
Engagement in o-camp: relate himself to others - get a sense of belonging vs non-alignment
We became very good friends and we are still friends now. So in the second semester I got to get in touch with non-local students. That’s why
I started to realise, I could reach out non-locals
. In semester two, I met my friend’s friends and I
started having my non-local circle
. I found it a lot more comfortable. I feel like home when I speak to them. We share a similar background, have similar high school stories.
Reaching out - forming a non-local identity
Disengagement -> Engagement: liberating himself from oppression
I have different groups of friends, but
my friends usually go with friends who are non-local
. I mean from that perspective, yeah, I am a non-local person, but I want to, I’m from Hong Kong, I’m like… I was born in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is my hometown. And I would like to be identified with a place of being in Hong Kong.
It’s kind of sad to feel outcast by your own people
. It’s something hard to deal with.
Reaching out - forming a non-local identity
Disengagement -> Engagement
Negotiating in conflicting selves
Me and my friend really wanted to integrate local and non-local. I would say it was my first agenda, but we ran into problems. … [The Hall Student Association] won’t prioritise integration between local and non-local. They want the local and local to be more integrated first before they want to integrate with the non-local. By the time it happens, the non-local already feel segregated.
Being a hybrid: trying to bridge local and non-local
Negotiation - feeling powerless
Acknowledging language issue
Full transcript