sharing my reflections and looking forward to having your insights on writing for dissertation!


Hi everybody!
I am in the dissertation stage in my doctoral program! I will reflect on my experiences in writing for dissertation and I look forward to having your comments and feedback. Please share your accomplishments as well as struggles and challenges in your journey! Let’s inspire each other!! 


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feedback on a literature review and Introduction of a research study

Hello everyone,

I have just given feedback to one of my colleagues’ introduction and literature review for a research study. Please read my comments for her draft and give your feedback to me! What do you think? Is there anything that you want to share here related with the topic? Looking forward to hearing from you!


Thank you for sharing your draft with me! I enjoyed reading it. Your topic is exciting! During my first year in the doctoral program, I chose the same topic: I wanted to examine the role of grammar teaching in context in the classroom. But, my difficulty was to find a classroom in which I could conduct a research. If you are a teacher and have students, then your are lucky.

I understand that your aim is to examine the role of a mixed approach to grammar (both grammar in context and isolated grammar). In order words, you want to combine the two approaches to grammar in your teaching. I agree with you: I support the same idea. I believe that there is a space for isolated grammar teaching in the classroom to a certain extent. The level of grammar in isolation from context can be determined depending on the students’ level in writing, or their expectations from the class etc. At the college level, yes, they need some grammar help in the traditional sense; but I believe the teaching of grammar should be more based on contextual approach.


You want to implement a mixed approach to grammar teaching in your classroom. Is it right? Then, I think you should specify or determine some certain methodology in combining these two approaches. In your introduction, I understand that you support a combined methodology, but I don’t see that you propose any particular or specific method to combine these two approaches (grammar in context and grammar out of context). For example, are you interested in combining both approaches by incorporating technology into curriculum? Or will you incorporate some strategies from multimodal literacies into your teaching? How do you want to combine these two approaches to grammar? Or, I like the idea for example, that the students discuss the sentence structures in a reading passage that they read, and try to find the rules of the sentence structure by themselves. In other words, they try to formulate the sentence structure by analyzing the sentences and by looking other examples in class. An alternative research purpose may be to examine the role of online discussions of grammar rules on literacy development. You may incorporate the use of blog in grammar discussions, for example.



(I will make my suggestions to you, assuming that you are preparing a manuscript or doing a research):


In the introduction, you provided the problem statement: There is still a debate whether grammar should be taught in isolation or not. Then, you presented the both sides’ arguments. The next step you should take is to indicate the research gap in the introduction. What is missing in the literature? Within these scholars who approached grammar teaching by using both approaches, which areas did they not address? What is missing in these mixed approaches? Then, you should mention your purpose statement clearly, by saying “Therefore, the purpose of this study is to….”.  


After the introduction, you presented literature review. Here, you are presenting both sides of the argument. Some scholars supported that there should be grammar teaching out of context to some extent, but the others were the stronger advocates of teaching grammar in context.

Here, if your study aims to examine the role of a combined approach to grammar, then, in your literature review, I think you should focus more on these types of studies. It seems to me that you provided a lot of studies that are in either side of the argument, but the missing part is: which studies combined these two approaches, and what is missing in their argument?


 Also, instead of providing a detailed explanation from each study, try to organize your literature review by summarizing, analyzing and synthetizing the studies that you mention. I have difficulties in this regard as well! It is easier for me (and I see the same in your paper) to explain the studies one by one, and providing a summary of each. But we should put together all the studies that have the same or similar argument in one place and make an analysis of them. For example, the sentence may start like this: “A growing number of scholars argues that grammar should be taught in context (e.g., X and X and X and X …..).” Then, you will further discuss the ones that are more relevant to your research.


I see that you summarize each article, but I don’t hear your voice. With the literature reviews, especially, I tend to ignore expressing my voice as well J It is difficult to join the ongoing conversation in the literature review sections. But we should show whether we agree with the scholar’s argument or not. And, we should relate the importance of the study to our purpose in our research. How is the study that you mentioned in your literature relevant to your research? And why is it to important to mention that particular research in your literature review? This will bring you to your research gap. What do you have to offer to literature?


In regard to your title, I would like to suggest that you reframe it because currently it seems to me that it fits a quantitative study rather than a qualitative one. By looking at your title, it seems that you are comparing the two approaches to teaching grammar. If your aim is to compare them, you should go with a quantitative study.


Finally, I would like to make suggestions for further reading that may help with your literature review and the methodology of your study. Please check out the books below. They have really good strategies for grammar teaching in context:


Anderson, Jeff. Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer’s Workshop. Portland: Stenhouse Publishers, 2005.

Weaver, Constance. Teaching Grammar in Context. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1996.




Perspectives on grammar in a traditional sense as “a stable system of rules” (Kress, 2010) are changing, depending on the linguistic innovation or changes in language and literacy. Depending on the changing perspectives on literacy, grammar learning and teaching have gained a broader, sociocultural, understanding (Halliday, 1994; Ochs, Schegloff, and Thompson, 1996; Duff & Talmy, 2011). In this framework, grammar becomes a part of a broader variety of resources, which “underlie the organization of social life” (Ochs, Schegloff, and Thompson, 1996).  Accordingly, Mills (2009) invokes educators: “To continue to teach to a narrow band of print-based genres, grammars and skills is to ignore the reality of textual practices outside of schools” (p.108). These social and cultural concerns about grammar learning and teaching process have accelerated in contemporary education.


Below is the references:


Duff, P. A. &  Talmy, S. (2011). Language socialization approaches to second language acquisition: Social, cultural, and linguistic development in additional languages. In A. Dwight. Alternative approaches to second language acquisition. (pp. 95-116). NewYork: Routledge

Halliday, M. (1994). An introduction to functional grammar (2nd ed.). London: Edward Arnold.

Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

Mills, K. A. (2009). Multiliteracies: Interrogating competing discourses. Language and Education. (23)2, 103–116 .

Ochs, E., Schegloff, E., & Thompson, S. (Eds.) (1996). Interaction and grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 




Hopefully, my comments will be helpful. Please do not hesitate to ask me if you have questions in regard to my comments or in any other issue.


Best regards,

Tuba Angay-Crowder

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writing a literature review – Read my experience and please share yours :)

Currently, I am struggling to improve on my skill at writing a literature review. I remember Dr. Yi asked me to prepare a literature review on multiliteracies. I was honored that she gave me this difficult task, which was my first experience in that particular genre. As I continued preparing the literature review, I became overwhelmed by the huge amount of data that I found in the library. I spent too much time reading all the articles in detail; I did not have enough time to synthesize them well in a certain given time. I still have the same feeling of being overwhelmed whenever I have to write a literature review (even for an empirical study). I think it is because I am still not quiet sure which is the best strategy to organize all the articles, analyze and synthesize them in the most effective way. When it comes to literature review, I want to know, find out, and read all of the relevant data before starting to organizing and synthesizing them. This may be the problem. I listened to a Youtube video of a professor from the University of Texas yesterday: She said that you cannot really read all of the literature in your topic, so, at some point you need to starting writing. I noted down all NVivo workshops at GSU this semester. I think NVivo will be good tool for my literature reviews and other data analysis.


I worked at Board of Regence of USG last summer as a research assistant, and my task was to create a literature review for a grant project. I feel lucky that I had an opportunity at working at an important institution here in Georgia. I met a lot of people from academia. They were very friendly, and wanted me to keep contact with them during and after the program. I feel like I have come one more step closer to the core of the academia by knowing these people and earning their respect. They said that they would like to work with me again in the future. They like my work etiquette and professionalism. My supervisor said: “Tuba, I really appreciate your professional attitude here. If you see other Graduate Research Assistance here, they still act like they are in school, but you are professional in your dressing as well as with your manners.” I think the reason for this is maybe I have had a lot of work experience in my own country; I had to look professional in the workplaces, and I got used to it. For the new graduates, it may take some time to understand the discourses of the institutions in which they work.

I have a chance of starting work as a researcher there after my graduation. I can see myself as a researcher in the future. I like this idea, and I am excited about it. That’s why; I wanted to improve my research skills as much as possible. Between the time when Dr. Yi asked me to do a literature review and today, I have taken some strides in writing a literature review, but still I am not fully satisfied with the level I have come to. 

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Jan. 18, 2014 – Reflections on the COMPs

Today, I had a Skype conversation with my advisor. Once again, I had a chance of reflecting on my writing experience for publication purposes.


I think one of the most important factors at improving academic writing is doing a lot of practice in writing. I remember one of the pictures posted on my advisor’s wall in her office at GSU: It was a type-writer with a note above it: WRITE. I thought her aim was to increase the number of her publications, but for me, the picture tells me that I need to write a lot to improve my academic skills. The picture is glued in my memory and whenever I think about how I can improve my writing, the picture comes to my mind.


Another important factor in writing is to feel ready to write. Writing is dependent on how we feel about writing! When my advisor asked me, for the first time, to write for publication, I did not feel ready because I could not visualize how I would design the research study and organize my thoughts on paper. I was frozen as I was told that I was to write.


However, with the study that I am currently working on, I can picture myself how I will be going through the steps. I can see the finished product even before starting to write. How can see foretaste the final version of my work? I think it is because I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and writing about it. These initial preparations will help me to structure the paper in my mind and write it.


My experience on the COMPs exam and the oral defense:


I was lucky to have enough time to get prepared for the exam. Anticipating the questions to be asked, I did research, took notes on possible topics, organized folders in my computer and finally felt that I was ready.


I received good feedback from my committee. Dr. Tinker Sachs wrote “excellent” on my paper. This boosted my confidence. She also told me that I am a strong student. Other members also congratulated me and praised that I am a good student. They see the potential that I will be producing good work in the future.


If I criticize myself in relation to my answers to the COMPs, I should say that I could not make my voice heard in the paper as much as I wanted to do. I think the primary reason was that I was primarily concerned about how I should convey that I am knowledgeable in the area. I felt that in many cases I was more informative than reflective or critical. There were times that I wrote with my own voice, but those parts were not as much extent as I wished it to be.




Today, my advisor and I talked about my dissertation topic. I remembered that she did not like the fact that I was not going to do research with K-12 population. She is right that I missed the opportunity of focusing on K-12 in my dissertation, but I am still happy if I will be associated with L1 literacies primarily. I am still shaping my academic identity in terms of my research focus. As long as I produce a good quality of research, I will be happy with my emerging identity that may be different from my original intent which was to focus only on L2 literacies. As I learned about different topics in the doctoral program, my research interest has changed over the years. It was not a drastic change. I am still interested in digital and academic literacies. I have just brought a genre perspective into my work as I was looking for a gap in my research area.


I remember the beginning of my doctoral program at GSU. I was asked which area of literacy (either writing or reading) I would want to focus in the program. I have chosen writing instead of reading. I am still trying to figure out why I have preferred writing. At That time, I considered my reader and writing skills at the same level: not highly professional. Coming from an oral society in Turkey, I thought that I did not read and write as much as European and American people do when compared with the Turkish population. I had a fear of writing then. I wonder if I have chosen writing because I wanted to overcome my fear about writing, or is it because I like writing more? Now, I consider writing a kind of fun activity. It is challenging, which is why I like it. If there is no challenge, I cannot improve myself as a professional in the academia. That’s how, writing is associated with my academic identity. Now, I can see the capacity in myself as a writer who communicates well with the audience, as I have understood what it means to have a voice in writing.



As I mentioned earlier, feelings and discourses about writing are as important as the actual process of writing. I prepared myself for the oral defense as well. First, I wanted to look professional. Judgments of others about dress, manners, and attitudes may have an influence on their perception about the quality of our writing as well. For example, I felt like it made a huge difference as I took Dr. Yi’s advice on how I should get dressed for the AAAL conference. I was confident about how I looked, which contributed to my success at the conference. Last week I watched Nicole in one of the classes that I take this semester. It seemed to me that she has changed over the years; now, she pays particular attention to her professional look with her dressing and manners in class. This is one way of imagining yourself in academic circles, I believe.



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Jan. 27, 2014 – Reflections on the COMPs exam


I feel some sense of accomplishment with completing Comps because it was an important milestone in my academic journey. I was confident and knew that I was going to be successful because I got prepared well for the exam. Yesterday, Dr. Albers made a comment that she realized how a good writer I am when she read my answers to the COMPs. I felt very happy.

As I mentioned earlier, one criticism that I make for myself is that I haven’t made my voice heard to a great extent in some part of the answers. One of the aims of the exam is to test the depth of my knowledge about the foundation and history of research, but still there is a lot of room for discussion and argument in COMPS exams. Now, I think I should have added more of my voice against the historical claims in the field.

The biggest reason for my success was to be prepared well. Before the exam, I held a meeting with each of the professor in my committee, and asked them if they have any suggestions for me. I think this process is very similar to writing for a publication. You should understand the requirements or the submission guidelines of the journal to which you will submit your work, and follow them strictly. You may even contact the editor and ask for some negotiation about their rules to align their goal with yours. By talking to my committee, at least, I understood which topics they wanted me to focus on or not. They helped me to have idea about what to expect and what not to expect within the questions. Successful writing is not only about putting words in a good order in a paper. If one does not understand the expectations of the audience, she may fail at accomplishing the ultimate aim of writing, which is to be acknowledged.


I was confident about my knowledge of the theories, methods, paradigms, and other basic topics that I should know as a doctoral student, and I organized my thoughts well in the paper. I am glad that there was no page limit for answering the questions because the difficulty of having with a page limit would be to be precise and compact in my writing. I would have difficulty at shortening my explanations or argument and still having enough substance in the paper. This is a skill that I need to learn. I started thinking about the management of this skill in my writing for a manuscript that I am working on this semester. I need to use my words wisely.

After finishing Comps, first, I felt lonely in my future direction in dissertation: During the oral defense, I expected to receive some answers to my question about how to proceed with my topic. When I brought up my alternative directions to the committee, they said that both of my research directions looked good, and they wanted me to decide on how to proceed with them. At that time, I did not think that I could make a good decision about my choices. But, later, I thought that they wanted me to be totally active about my agency in writing. One criticism by the committee was that I did not explain my methodology in depth. I defended that I was planning to have their ideas first, and then choose a focus and go in depth.  Now, I understand that I should make my own decisions. If there is anything wrong with my choices, then, they will make suggestions for better directions.

After finishing my oral defense, Dr. Tinker Sachs gave me a printed copy of my answers with her comments / feedback on it. I appreciated her effort. I have been reading and rereading her comments on the paper. Writing is a matter of communication. That’s how I keep the communication alive. It is the conversation in my mind about my writing. Her feedback has helped me to reflect on my writing.

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Join us at Global Conversation in Doctoral Preparation!

Join us at Global Conversation in Doctoral Preparation!

Ryan Boylan-Getting Published

Getting Published  

Presented by

Ryan N. Boylan
Doctoral Student, GSU

8:00 p.m. (USA/New York Time Zone)

Please click on or paste into your URL this link within 30 minutes of the start of the presentation:

Ryan Boylan

There are two facets to the academic world: practice and publish. All educators desire to Practice what they know, that is teach in the classroom. However, in academia emphasis seems to be placed on publishing, sometimes more than the former, especially when it comes to career advancement. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we learn how to do research, write academically and eventually publish our research in academic journals. So, how do we do this? It seems daunting and a little off-putting at first glance, but this session will give you invaluable tips and secrets, from an insider’s perspective, which will put you more at ease with the process by giving you the knowledge and tools you need to succeed in this publish or perish world of academia (as well as prepare you for your dissertation work).

Ryan Boylan is a doctoral student in Language and Literacy at George State University and his research interest include Foreign Language Education, specifically how the teaching of language in a cultural context influences language proficiency among students.

After the presentation,  Ryan’s PowerPoint presentation will be made available.

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sharing my experiences in crafting an academic identity & inviting you to join me (Please feel free to give feedback, share your ideas and insights, and contribute to my writing!

Hello everybody,

I am excited that I have decided to share my reflections on my writing development and crafting an academic identity  over the years in my doctoral program! I hope this experience will be beneficial to you as much it will be to me! I invite you to share ideas, provide your insights, give comments on my writing and experiences please! I look forward to hearing from you!

First, I would like to start sharing some parts of my earlier writings about how I am crafting multiple cultural and academic identities:

Developing a positive identity as a professional scholar is an essential task for a doctoral student (Austin & McDaniels, 2006). Students who experience two different cultures especially with minority status, may feel caught between the dynamics of these cultures, and have a conflicting self identity, values, attitudes, beliefs, or loyalty to a particular cultural group, which may be problematic (Lee, 2006).  Doctoral students, especially international students, need to be adequately prepared to navigate the full range of roles and identities that comprise academic discourses. Situated in a social and cultural perspective, the theory of multi-literacies suggests that people participate and interact through many modes of communication (e.g., email, blogs, twitter), and engage in specific academic and professional discourses. Moje and Luke (2009) argue that academic identity is shaped by certain kinds of discourses and literacy practices; in the same manner, the ways in which we communicate, and are engaged in discourses can have an impact on how we are recognized as human beings, and how we craft our identities especially for people who experience life as minorities on the basis of racial, ethnic, religious, or other social categories (Pufall-Jones & Mistry, 2010). This paper addresses my own continual journey towards crafting an academic identity through the lenses of biliteracy and multiliteracies. Nancy Hornberger defines biliteracy as a continuum: ‘any and all instances in which communication occurs in two (or more) languages in or around writing’ (Hornberger, 1990: 213); and the notion of continuum is intended to convey that although one can identify (and name) points on the continuum, those points are not finite, static, or discrete. In this paper, I discuss the significance of biliteracy, how living in constant state of transition and overlapping cultural representations between Turkey and US significantly shapes my self-awareness between two cultures. In turn, this self-awareness shapes how I participate in academic and professional activities and discourses, that contribute to my bicultural and biliterate academic identities. 


Changing the perceptions about literacy and me as a literate person:

the purpose for this presentation:

I studied in an English medium university, in other words, a university that supported biliteracy.  Biliteracy, as theoretically framed by Hornberger (1989),  is  viewed as a result of overlapping interactions between its contexts (i.e., micro-macro level, oral-literate, and the monolingual-bilingual levels).  Although dimensions of bilingualism and literacy are expressed in polar opposites such as Ll versus L2, monolingual versus bilingual, oral versus literate, when biliteracy is considered, these continua are interrelated dimensions of a highly complex whole.

Starting my doctoral degree in the USA, I had to function as a biliterate person in an academic environment—I was from Turkey, but now living in the US. This made me question all my previous notions and definitions about literacy and biliteracy. In Turkey, in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts—literacy technically means “reading” and “writing”. However, as a biliterate international student, I realized that communicating in another language was not only about reading and writing for academic purposes, but also involved social and cultural matters. Being biliterate meant that I had to learn about the US culture which shapes my expression, and thinking, and seeing the world. As a doctoral student, I reflected on how I function and perform in specific discourses (as   opposed to the contexts in which I use my native language), and constantly compared my literacy practices in these two cultures, the value people attached to these practices, and the ideologies that surround them.


How am I Redefining literacy?

When I was asked to define “literacy” in a doctoral course, at first I could not understand why the term needed to be redefined I understood it from a cognitive perspective as I had learned it in Turkey—reading and writing–and separated it from its social context. However, I realized from different class readings and discussions with participants from varied multi-cultural environments that different cultures value different literacy skills and that literacy cannot be divorced from the culture in which it is embedded. In Gee’s (1996) words, “people do not read and write to engage in abstract processes; rather they read and write particular texts of particular types, in particular ways because they hold particular values”.  The way certain societies use a range of texts, including multimodal, can differ across cultures and their related contexts. My identity as an junior scholar began to emerge as I read and interacted with others about what literacy is, my own biliterate assumptions about language, and the possibilities of crafting an academic identity that was social, cultural, and multimodal.

Why do I embrace multiliteracies / multimodality as a research interest?

Brian Street (1984)  argued that literacy practices depend on the context, and they are already embedded in an ideology and cannot be isolated or treated as neutral. Therefore, it made more sense to me to embrace “multimodality” and “multiliteracies” to frame my own research interests.

Multimodality refers to many modes that comprise the way people communicate, and multiliteracies refers to “the many and varied ways that people read and write in their lives” (Purcell-Gates, 2002, p. 376).  A theory of multiliteracies considers agendas that advocate social change.  Because my aim is to provide equal and democratic education for all, a theory of multiliteracies has a potential of cultivating biliterate identities by tapping in people’s cultural capital or “funds of knowledge” (Molls et al., 1992), while multimodality allows me to express meaning across modes (not just reading and writing). Thus, I can empower biliterate identities for myself as well as others.


Crafting my identity through conferences

When thinking about crafting my identity as a scholar, I have noted several understandings about theory and practice that have shaped my journey. Sociolinguists like Street and Gee suggest that literacies are more than a means for sharing information; they are intimately connected with identity, or what Gee calls Discourse. Discourses are identity kits that include not only spoken and written language and other means of symbolic expression, but also aspects of identity like dress, body language, and actions that signal underlying beliefs and values of a community. As such, I understand the multiplicity of cultural identities that are expressed through literacies, and my attendance at professional conferences. I have participated in local, national, and international conferences; each has its own discourse communities. Besides conveying the content of my presentation, I learn how scholars interact with participants through spoken language, when I should respond to speakers, and what types of questions participants ask.  I also notice other communication such as dressing, gestures, and manners. I learn how people from diverse cultures negotiate different discourses and respect each other, thereby portray confident profiles in these intercultural and academic spaces.


A second way my academic identity is shaped is through my participation in scholarly organizations including Alpha Upsilon Alpha Honor Society (AUA), International Reading Association, Georgia TESOL, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Inc. (TESOL), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and Middle East Institute. For me, scholarship is fundamentally social. At GSU, AUA, which is a leadership organization, allows me to participate in a community of learners who provide me with a truly socialized environment for my scholarship.  My active engagement with these professional communities reinforces my professional identity. For example, I review conference proposals, [YY2] and develop what Bonny Norton calls an “imagined identity” as a future editor of a well-known journal[YY3] . Also, my developing relationships with my academic advisor and faculty, friends, family, and academic networking sites online provide me the support for navigating through different cultures and forming a scholarly identity.


Shaping an academic writerly identity for publications:

Membership in organizations and taking opportunities that my advisor and other professors offer is a third way that help me shape an academic identity as a writer. For example, annually, we as members of AUA host an writing retreat to  develop identities as scholarly writers. We are writing a manuscript that focuses on how AUA is cohesively aligned to doctoral requirements and serves as a vital support to students in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service. I also work with my advisor and other professors on research and write towards publication. For example, I am the Media Facilitator for Global Conversation in Literacy Research (GCLR) research team[YY4] . In this role I edit and moderate seminars and write biographies for the website. In April 2014, I will moderate Brian Street’s seminar. This is a huge honor and contributes to shaping my academic and professional identity. Moreover, I write my own blog where I communicate with other professionals and receive feedback.  I agree with Kirkup (2010) that “blogging [YY5] could play a useful role in professional development ” (p. 76). I reach an immediate audience from all around the world. I also participate in several ESL communities online where I share my resources. I realize that professional identities can be reinforced not only with real people in immediate, local educational settings, but also with virtual people in global platforms such as ELT and literacy communities online. In brief, I rely on multiple individuals for support beyond my academic advisors or peers. Participation in these discourse communities as a writer enriches my life, knowledge, and personal capacity but also that of those who are involved in the exchanges as well.

Improving my identity as a global and local worker through academic and personal connections:

Advisor support was associated with a stronger sense of belonging and academic self-concept (Cutin et al., 2013). My advisors often dispensed professional and socializing advice, and even emotional support for me. My constructive relationships with them have been key aspects of satisfaction in the doctoral program, and the development of my professional identity. They treated me as a junior colleague, not as a student. I was fortunate to work with two academic advisors who come from different cultural backgrounds, Korea and Bahamas, as they contributed to my local and global perspectives as a candidate teacher educator. For example, one of the advices that I received was to define myself and other non-native speakers as multilingual people rather than learners or teachers of English as a Second Language. I understood what my advisor meant when I read about the deficit perspectives associated with the term English as a Second Language. I realized that accepting English as my second language did not help gain more competent view of myself as a candidate teacher educator who would teach in English in a context different than my home culture. I questioned the dichotomies of non-native versus native speaker (Canagarajah, 2007). I decided that acquiring a multilingual identity was crucial for my success in America, which was part of the global community (Yi, 2013).

My second advisor taught me how I should recognize the power of language in both local and global contexts such as home and school if my goal was to contribute to democratic education (Tinker Sachs, upcoming). I understood that being successful cannot be achieved only by developing local identities but also by being shaped as a global worker. For example, one inspiring conversation with her took place when she described how she visited local communities such as immigrant parents, listened to their problems, identified what was powerful about them by being a good observer, and brought their stories to classroom, leaving the deficit lenses behind.  I also learned that appreciation of differences in the local context does not mean that I needed to ignore global-mindedness in the world. I have a global identity as well because I recognized some similarities in various local communities. For example, I support culturally responsive pedagogies and curriculum like my two advisors and many other professors in the world. This recognition help improve my sense of belonging in academic communities. I have the ability to participate in a local conversation at one urban school in the US because I know, read and learn more about their culture. At the same time, I can take part in an international community, or a group with international perspectives, and share my ideas for the goal of social justice as I did in one of my classes this semester.

Apart from academic connections, my personal relationships reinforced my academic and cultural identity. I am married with an American, which helped better understanding of the target culture because I had a chance of discussing my confusions, tensions, or conflicts between Turkish and American culture with my husband. In addition, my personal connection with friends supports my journey. For example, I belong to a Facebook group whose members are all Ph.D students at the same program that I am enrolled at my university. In this “Critical friends group” (Franzak, 2002), we share our resources, ask each other questions, and give advice on how to progress with our schedule or the academic program. The theoretical foundation for Critical Friends Groups is that teachers belonging to a group learn to collaborate by participating in professional development activities such as examining student and teacher work (Franzak, 2002). Although we don’t review our academic work in this group, we still support each other by communicating about the issues of coursework, schedules, assignments, and any other subject related with social and academic life. In other words, through this critical group, I found a safe place where my voice joined with others to work through my own academic and social identity crisis.

Being an integrated scholar through academic and personal connections:

When I started my doctoral degree, education was only one part of my life; but now I understand that becoming a real scholar is living  the scholarship in every aspect of life: personal, social, and academic. Accordingly, I have begun to see myself as an integrated scholar, which means that I maintain professionalism in every aspect of my life, and dedicate myself to a course of life-long learning, and advance the role of institutions that I work for in educating, serving, and inspiring the others.



In conclusion, I will continue trying on multiple professional selves to see how well they fit me. I acknowledge that becoming an educator and a role model for future scholars in my field is an evolving process. Identity formation is evolving and fluid as well. My aim is to be responsible, imaginative, insightful, rigorous, and committed in my social and academic roles. In light of research in how universities define the professions and multiple identities (Brint, 1994), hopefully, this paper will support and extend scholarship in the area of international students’ bicultural self-efficacy.


Austin, A. E., & McDaniels, M. (2006). Using doctoral education to prepare faculty to work within Boyer’s four domains of scholarship. In J. M. Braxton (Ed.), Analyzing faculty work and rewards: Using Boyer’s four domains of scholarship. New Directions for Institutional Research, No. 129. (pp. 51-65). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Brint, S. (1994). In an age of experts: The changing role of professionals in politics and public life. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Canagarajah, A. S. (2007). Lingua Frannca English, multilingual communities, and language acquisition. Modern Language Journal, 91: 923-939.

Franzak, J. K. (2002). Developing a teacher identity: The impact of critical friends practice on the student teacher. English Education, 34(4), 258-280.

Gee, J. P. (1996). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in Discourses. (2nd Ed.). London: Taylor & Francis.

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upcoming free web seminars at GCLR!

Ryuko Kubota, University of British Columbia, Canada

Ryuko Kubota, University of British Columbia, Canada

FEBRUARY 23, 2014: DR. RYOKO KUBOTA, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA—Dr. Ryuko Kubota is a Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education. Her primary research area is critical applied linguistics with a focus on culture, multiculturalism, written discourse, race, and critical pedagogy. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Canadian Modern Language Review, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, Foreign Language Annals, Journal of Second Language Writing, Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, Written Communication, andWorld Englishes. She is an editor of Race, culture, and identities in second language: Exploring critically engaged practice (2009, Routledge). Dr. Kubota’s website:


Catherine Beavis, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Catherine Beavis, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia


Dr. Catherine Beavis is a Professor of Education in the School of Education and Professional Studies.  Her research interests focus on  the changing nature of text and the implications for literacy, education and schooling of young people’s engagement with digital culture and the online world. Dr. Beavis conducts research in the areas of English curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; digital culture and computer games; digital literacy and new literacies and games-based learning. She has numerous publications including Literacy Learning from Computer Games (in press) and Literacy in 3D: A Multi-dimensional Framework for Rethinking Literacy Education (in press). She has undertaken numerous research projects focused on english education, and on literacy, digital culture, young people and computer games.  Dr. Beavis’s website:


Brian Street, King's College, UK

Brian Street, King’s College, UK

APRIL  27, 2014DR. BRIAN STREET, KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON, UK–Dr. Street is Professor Emeritus of language in education at King’s, and visiting professor of education in the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. He undertook anthropological fieldwork on literacy in Iran during the 1970s, and taught social and cultural anthropology for over twenty years at the University of Sussex before taking up the chair of language in education at King’s. He has written and lectured extensively on literacy practices from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. He has published over 20 books and over 100 articles. He has a longstanding commitment to linking ethnographic-style research on the cultural dimension of language and literacy, with contemporary practice in education and in development. Dr. Street’s website:

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Crafting Multiple Academic and Cultural identities Through Participation in Academic and Professional Discourses and Multiliteracies by Tuba Angay-Crowder

Presented (simultaneously) at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia,

At Ryukoku university in Kyoto, Japan,

And at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver


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