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ERIC Number: EJ1003823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1443-1475
Beyond a Discourse of Deficit: The Meaning of Silence in the International Classroom
Yates, Lynda; Nguyen, Thi Quynh Trang
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v11 n1 p22-34 2012
English language proficiency and entry standards have dominated discussion of why many international students from Asia appear to be reluctant contributors in Australian university classrooms, a reticence that is usually understood to result from difficulty in forming and expressing their ideas in English. This paper draws on a qualitative investigation into the perspectives of ten Vietnamese postgraduate coursework students. The findings suggest that, while language factors are important, an orientation to Vietnamese communicative cultures favouring discretion over conjecture for novices plays a significant role. Differences between the cultures of learning in Vietnam and Australia and the philosophies that underpin them are also crucial. We argue that measures to counteract apparent passivity in class should therefore be tackled at the level of teaching philosophy and involve explicit discussion of the patterns of interaction that are valued in the classroom and why. The implications for both staff and student training are discussed. (Contains 1 table.)
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society. ANZCIES Secretariat, Curtin University, Box U1987, Perth, WA Australia. Tel: +61-8-9266-7106; Fax: +61-8-9266-3222; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; Australia; Vietnam