ERIC Number: ED396565
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar-22
Reference Count: N/A
Aboriginal Student Enclaves as Discourse Communities.
Malcolm, Ian G.
A study investigated the role of the Aboriginal Student Enclave, one of five campuses of Edith Cowan University (Australia) as a discourse community. The relatively small but cohesive university subcommunity is designed to provide additional support for Aboriginal students enrolled in standard programs and an environment in which the students are not a racial minority. Data were drawn from observation of 10 full-time students in an orientation course. Three groups were identified, based on communicative behaviors and dependence on the larger group. One group formed the enclave's core, who needed the group most. Their message forms were phatic exchanges, joking, and teasing, and they read aloud to each other as they read individually. Communication was face-to-face, supported by extensive non-verbal communication, including laughter and physical contact. They used a standard English code with a casual style. Topics of conversation centered on personal behavior and attributes, social activities, family life, and shared experience, but excluded coursework. Communication provided solidarity, reinforced group values, and set the higher education experience within an agreed group perspective. Implications are drawn for education of Aborigine and other minority group students. Contains 13 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Case Studies, College Environment, College Students, Discourse Analysis, Discourse Communities, Foreign Countries, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Indigenous Populations, Language Patterns, Language Role, Language Usage, Literacy, Minority Groups, Multicampus Colleges, Nonverbal Communication, Oral Language, School Orientation, Student Subcultures
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aboriginal Schools (Australia); Australia; Edith Cowan University (Australia)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (18th, Chicago, IL, March 23-26, 1996).