Creating a third space in Doctoral writing pedagogy



Publication Details

Chatterjee, M. (2011). Creating a third space in Doctoral writing pedagogy. Symposium on Second Language Writing, Writing for scholarly publication, Beyond 'Publish or Perish' .


In the present context of globalisation where multilingual writers choose to write in English for personal , professional , ideological and academic reasons, the invitation to respond to the conference theme is irresistible. The paper proposed here draws on my doctoral study which examined the experiences of international students writing a doctoral thesis in English as an Additional Language in an Australian university. The study explored the projection of identity and textual engagement in excerpts of theses offered by the participants in the study through textual analysis. It also uncovered the struggles of international students in accomplishing the complex task of presenting their original contribution, demonstrating their scholarship and displaying their disciplinary expertise through in-depth interviews. It became evident that gaining familiarity with the cultural and linguistic expectations of Anglophone universities was fraught with difficulties for them. However, a pedagogy based solely on language would not sufficiently prepare doctoral writers to successfully negotiate their identity in the contact zone in English. In a postmodern world, a number of seemingly dichotomous positions need to be reconciled to create 'hybrid' spaces. Some answers, in a general sense, are offered in Canagarajah and Jerskey ( 2009) among others. The paper discusses and raises further questions about how multilingual, doctoral writers can be prepared to negotiate increasingly complex disciplinary communities. The paper proposes to discuss ways in which pedagogy for doctoral writing for multilingual writers writing in English as an Additional Language can be enhanced. It envisages a 'third space' that enables complex negotiation of academic practices so that multilingual doctoral writers can participate with confidence in their disciplinary communities. Canagarajah, A. Suresh and Jerskey, M. 2009, Meeting the Needs of Advanced Multilingual Writers, in Beard, R. Myhill, D., and Nystrand, M., The Sage Handbook of Writing Development, SAGE Publications, London, California, New Delhi, Singapore.

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