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ERIC Number: EJ1086718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1443-1475
Third Space Strategists: International Students Negotiating the Transition from Pathway Program to Postgraduate Coursework Degree
Benzie, Helen
International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, v14 n3 p17-31 2015
Pathway programs exist to prepare students for progression into university degrees but the transition experience for many students may not be as smooth as is suggested by the notion of the pathway. While attending a pathway program and at the beginning of their university degree, students may be in a third space, a liminal space where they engage in a complex process of becoming. They are required to negotiate a world shaped by different, and often conflicting discourses. In this productive space, identities can be explored and interrogated providing the potential for cultural adaptation and exchange. Using the "third space" to understand the student experience of transition, this paper examines interview responses from a group of postgraduate coursework international students as they complete a pathway program and begin to study in a degree program. Participants are found to be third space strategists as they translate their previous ways of learning, collaborate with other students, and reflect on their English language development. In some ways, these students demonstrate a better understanding of the cultural process of adjustment than the institution in which they study. These insights from students can inform curriculum design both in pathway and disciplinary contexts leading to the development of more relevant orientation and teaching programs.
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: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A