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ERIC Number: ED480496
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Power Relations within Online Discussion Context: Based on Adult International Students' Perspective and Their Participation in the Learning Context.
Jun, JuSung; Park, Joo Ho
In order to examine and understand power relations between international students who speak English as a second language and American students in online discussions in adult and higher education settings, 1002 postings related to discussion topics in two doctoral-level adult education online classes with 45 students 6 of whom were international students were analyzed using critical discourse analysis, and 5 of the international students were subsequently interviewed. The researchers sought to learn in what ways power and privilege are expressed in online discussions and how adult international students interpret the nature of power relations within the context of online discussion. International students' postings indicate that they initiate discussions far less frequently than American students, primarily posting to reply to someone's opinions with sympathetic language that supplements rather than contradicts, and they frequently use powerless language such as disclaimers, hedges, and tag questions. In addition, international students often do not post in online discussions because of the language barrier, including their failure in catching discussion context. The analysis suggests that power inequality is mostly caused by linguistic and cultural context misunderstandings. It is recommended that facilitators of online courses pay more attention to international adult students in order to ensure that their participation is acknowledged, therefore reducing their marginality. (Contains 16 references.) (MO)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A