Positioning Students in the International Intercultural Classroom: An Exploration of English Teachers’ Discourse An Exploration of English Teachers' Discourse

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Daron Benjamin Loo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9203-3608 Wannapa Trakulkasemsuk Pattamawan Jimarkon Zilli

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The development of students’ intercultural communicative competence is perceived as an integral communicative skill crucial for global interactions. To reflect this need, local and regional educational policies had included intercultural skills as a goal to be met in the English language classroom. Studies have highlighted how teachers were positioned in light of these prescriptive forces, but none have directly addressed the position of students, especially in the context of international education, which is a growing educational enterprise in Thailand. Hence, this study examines the discursive positioning of students within an international setting, as a means to explore how intercultural education is integrated. Discursive positioning of students was gleaned through interview data collected from 17 non-local English teachers working in international schools and English programs in Bangkok. In their interviews, we used the positioning framework to examine the use of pronominal markers and contextual cues as a means of understanding how students are positioned. There were four main positionings derived from our examination in which there were apparent conflicts of how students were positioned. Broadly speaking, students were positioned either as integral or restricted to the learning process. These positionings depended on various factors, such as institutional parameters, teachers’ view of culture, and even students’ own English language proficiency. From our findings, we recommend ways in which intercultural communicative competence may be integrated in the context of this study. For future research, it may be of value to examine other social entities relevant to a study site.

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