Noting and evaluating contact between Japanese and Australian academic cultures
This paper reports on a case study of Japanese exchange students that investigated the ways such students note and evaluate various types of contact between native and host academic cultures while participating in new communities of practice at an Australian university. In this study, language management theory (Jernudd & Neustupný, 1987; Neustupný, 1985, 1994, 2004) was employed in conjunction with Lave and Wenger’s (1991) concept of legitimate peripheral participation in order to investigate the sociocultural influence on cognitive processes of language management. The findings illustrate that not only norm deviations but also the phenomena relating to norm universality and compatibility generated processes of noting and evaluation. This study also provides an insight into mechanisms of self- and other-noting, as well as negative evaluations of norm deviations, and sheds light on positive evaluations of common disciplinary knowledge and cross-cultural situational similarities. Based on the findings, this paper indicates that noting and evaluation in language management processes should be considered in relation to students’ social positionings, their power relations with other community members, their perceptions of self, and the context where the management occurs.