Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on New Approaches in Education
Chinese Students in UK Higher Education: Exploratory Research into Chinese Postgraduate Students’ Participation in English Dialogic Classroom Activities
Due in no small measure to its rapid economic advance, China has recently found itself enmeshed in a plethora of relationships involving diverse cultures, languages and ethnicities. Consequently, education at one of the higher echelon world-renown universities has become the goal of countless Chinese students. Since existing research suggests that as much as one-fifth of the planet’s population have English as their first language, it is entirely predictable that numerous Chinese students would opt to complete their education in the United Kingdom. Hence the startling elevation in the numbers of Chinese nationals attending UK universities over the past decade.The objective of this study is to focus on the academic experiences of Chinese overseas students at a British university, with specific reference to their intra-classroom dialogic participation. In pursuit of the research goals, concepts of community of practice and dialogic teaching and learning are harnessed for the conceptual structure. The investigation outlined herein is qualitative and as such employs data collection methodology which includes preliminary observation, non-participant observation and semi-structured interview techniques. Data is analyzed thematically, as the coding of fieldwork notes. It is intended that the research will contribute to a revisiting and reassessment of dialogic learning and teaching. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the results will assist those international students for whom English is a second language seeking to complete their higher education at a British university. Whilst the emphasis of the current study is on student participation from a dialogic perspective, it is hoped that future work might be conducted into alternative aspects of student participation, such as critical thinking and reading abilities.
Keywords: Community of Practice, Dialogic Learning, Classroom interaction and participation, and Chinese students studying abroad.