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How supervisors provide and students react to EAL thesis supervision: Voices from Sweden and Indonesia
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Culture, Languages and Media (KSM).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7182-7628
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Culture, Languages and Media (KSM). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2565-8875
2023 (English)In: Frontiers in Education, E-ISSN 2504-284X, Vol. 8, no 1118436, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Thesis supervision is a critical part of students’ academic literacy development. Previous research has shown different dimensions of this development with limited attention to cross-cultural aspects. In particular, there has been little research on how students and supervisors negotiate supervision practices in non-anglophone contexts. This study aimed to explore students’ and supervisors’ reported priorities and experiences regarding the provision and reception of feedback in English as an Additional Language thesis supervision. 

Method: We conducted a qualitative case study to illuminate supervisor’s and students’ experiences of supervision in Sweden and Indonesia. It involved 39 participants (14 supervisors and 25 students) from one Swedish and three Indonesian universities. One-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed thematically using Biesta’s functions of education, Habermas’ communicative action theory, and perspectives on academic literacy. 

Findings: Firstly, we found that Swedish and Indonesian supervisors had different feedback provision priorities. Swedish supervisors described prioritizing content-focused feedback to facilitate students’ socialization into academic writing. Conversely, most Indonesian supervisors expressed balancing content- and form-focused feedback with a greater emphasis on qualifying as English teachers. Despite these differences, supervisors in both contexts tended to isolate academic language use from discipline-specific values and practices. Secondly, students in both contexts largely expressed an instrumental orientation to achieving their goals and were frustrated by supervisors phrasing feedback as questions. Many students expressed unfamiliarity with necessary methodologies and theoretical frameworks, which made supervisors’ feedback difficult to decode. 

Discussion: Since only a few of the students viewed the feedback as a support for their process of learning, this study calls for a clear communication about the academic socialization intention through supervision. However, academic socialization cannot solely be the responsibility of supervisors but must be embedded in the curriculum courses 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2023. Vol. 8, no 1118436, p. 1-15
Keywords [en]
English as an additional language, thesis supervision, academic socialization, disciplinary literacy, feedback, interviews
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-58640DOI: 10.3389/feduc.2023.1118436ISI: 000966637500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-58640DiVA, id: diva2:1743095
Available from: 2023-03-14 Created: 2023-03-14 Last updated: 2023-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Nangimah, MusrifatunWalldén, Robert

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