Enculturating NNES novice engineering scholars in Taiwan: Challenges and strategies
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The purpose of this case study was to investigate how four Taiwanese Non-native English Speaking (NNES) doctoral engineering students became enculturated through various disciplinary practices of their discipline. In particular, it focused on the linguistic and non-linguistic challenges they had encountered and the strategies they had used to facilitate their overall process of disciplinary enculturation. Grounded in sociocultural theories, this study was conducted for one semester over the academic year of 2014 and 2015 at a university in Taiwan. During this time, multiple sources of data such as transcripts of student interviews, observations, and written samples of those students were collected and analyzed. The findings indicated that: 1) the ability for these NNES doctoral engineering students in Taiwan to construct effective social networks, especially an ideal advisor-advisee relationship, and the access to various forms of capital both inside and outside their target disciplinary community might be of paramount importance in their process of disciplinary enculturation 2) to what extent these NNES doctoral engineering students in Taiwan could overcome these linguistic and non-linguistic challenges during their process of disciplinary enculturation was highly relevant to the various forms of capital at their disposal and 3) the ability to write for scholarly publication in English seemed to be the rite-of-passage for the novice NNES doctoral engineering scholars, which could be greatly facilitated by genre-based courses and effective apprenticeship with their disciplinary advisors. Some implications for research and practices will be offered in the end.