Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education and Human Development

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Phillip Wilder

Committee Member

Dr. Mikel W. Cole

Committee Member

Dr. Jacquelynn Malloy

Committee Member

Dr. Yanhua Zhang


As the graduate student body in American universities becomes more and more diverse in this globalized era, it has become critical to understand how newcomers from different linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds acquire dominant language and academic practices, and how local academic communities themselves may or may not be transformed as a result of such diversity (Morita, 2004).

This dissertation conducted a qualitative descriptive study to investigate the socialization process primarily through classroom oral activities participation, for a group of international Chinese Ph.D. students to achieve their goals and thrive during their academic programs. As pressure increases on Ph.D. students to produce quality academic scholarship during the course of graduate study, the precise and complex nature of academic learning processes at the doctoral level remained under-researched (Anderson, 2016). This qualitative descriptive study attempted to add to this under-researched area by examining how international L2 graduate students participate in and are socialized through classroom oral activities within graduate courses. To be more specific, I explored the various challenges, struggles and successes students encountered during the acquisition, negotiation and production of oral academic discourse, their attempts to achieve personal and programmatic goals, and integration into their targeted academic discourse communities and practices viewed through language socialization theory and critical discourse theory (Duff, 2007, 2008, 2009; Ochs, 1986; Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984, 2012; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986).

Available for download on Sunday, December 31, 2023