Investigating academic discourse socialization of undergraduate English language and literature students through literature circles
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This study aimed to examine the academic discourse socialization of undergraduate English language and literature (ELIT) students through literature circles. In this respect, the researcher explored the expectations of ELIT faculty members and experiences of first-year undergraduate ELIT students who were studying at a foundation university in Turkey. The data were collected through interviews with ELIT faculty members and students, and students’ literature circle discussions, role sheets and reflective journals. All the qualitative data were analyzed using Boyatzis’ (1998) thematic analysis. The findings of the study pointed out that in order to socialize into ELIT academic discourse, faculty members expect undergraduate students to develop a culture of reading and strategies to study literary texts better. However, the students faced challenges in meeting these expectations due to their educational background, low level of English language proficiency, lack of familiarity with the historical and cultural references, and heavy course loading. In that sense, using literature circles facilitated students’ socialization into the ELIT academic discourse community to a certain extent. This study is in line with the existing literature in reaching the following conclusions: undergraduate ELIT students not only need to improve their English language skills to make sense of the language used in literary texts but also gain an understanding of the values and practices of the ELIT academic discourse community. During this process, texts, peers and ELIT faculty members played key roles as socializing agents.
KeywordsAcademic discourse socialization
English language and literature