Academic Language and Learning in an Australian Context

  • Anne Swan
Part of the International Perspectives on English Language Teaching book series (INPELT)


Chapter  11, by Anne Swan, explores current attitudes regarding critical pedagogies developed for English language programs for international students in Australian universities. The discomfort with their learning situations expressed by two international students is the springboard for an analysis of the current Australian situation with regard to how students from diverse learning cultures are understood when they reach Australia. Local ignorance of these cultures, sometimes giving rise to deficit discourses, is seen to contribute to frustrations among both educators and learners. However, awareness of the issues involved is growing, as interviews conducted with local Academic Language and Learning (ALL) educators reveal. A major concern of both students and educators includes institutional attitudes to academic writing and how these can negatively influence cultural understanding and acceptance.


  1. Alford, J. (2014). “Well, hang on, they’re actually much better than that!”: Disrupting dominant discourses of deficit about English language learners in senior high school English. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 13(3), 71–88.Google Scholar
  2. Benzie, H. J. (2013). Preparing for learning: Incorporating academic literacies in a pathway programme. In C. Nygaard, J. Branch, & C. Holtham (Eds.), Learning in higher education: Contemporary standpoints. Faringdon, UK: Libri Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Canagarajah, S. (Ed.). (2005). Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice. London: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  5. DET (Department of Education and Training, Australia). (2015). Retrieved from
  6. Dyson, B. (2014). Are onshore students prepared for effective university participation? A case study of an international graduate cohort. Journal of Academic Language & Learning, 8(2), A28–A42.Google Scholar
  7. Fenton-Smith, B. (2014). The place of Benesch’s critical English for academic purposes in the current practice of academic language and learning. Journal of Academic Language & Learning, 8(3), A23–A33.Google Scholar
  8. Fenton-Smith, B., & Humphreys, P. (2015). Language specialists’ views on academic language and learning support mechanisms for EAL postgraduate coursework students: The case for adjunct tutorials. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 20, 40–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heugh, K. (2014). Turbulence and dilemma: Implications of diversity and multilingualism in Australian education. International Journal of Multilingualism, 11(3), 347–363. Scholar
  10. Johnson, S. (2014). Deleuze’s philosophy of difference and its implications for ALL practice. Journal of Academic Language & Learning, 8(1), A62–A69.Google Scholar
  11. Norton, B., & Toohey, K. (Eds.). (2004). Critical pedagogies and language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Pan, J., Wong, D. F. K., Chan, C. L. W., & Joubert, L. (2008). Meaning of life as a protective factor of positive affect in acculturation: A resilience framework and a cross-cultural comparison. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 505–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Singh, M. (2010). Connecting intellectual projects in China and Australia: Bradley’s international student-migrants, Bourdieu and productive ignorance. Australian Journal of Education, 54(1), 31–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Stirling, J., & McGloin, C. (2015). Critical pedagogy and social inclusion policy in Australian higher education: Identifying the disjunctions. Radical Pedagogy, 12(2), 2.Google Scholar
  15. Sughrua, W. (2015). Perceptions of alternative research writing: Conjuring up ‘nostalgic modernism’ to combat the ‘Native English Speaker’ and ‘Non-native English Speaker’ differentiation amongst TESOL academics. In A. Swan, P. Aboshiha, & A. Holliday (Eds.), (En)countering native-speakerism: Global perspectives. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Swan, A. (2012). Learning from multilingual teachers of English. Unpublished PhD thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK.Google Scholar
  17. Terraschke, A., & Wahid, R. (2011). The impact of EAP study on the academic experiences of international postgraduate students in Australia. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10, 173–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Swan
    • 1
  1. 1.Canterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK

Personalised recommendations