Edited by M. Rafael Salaberry, Kate White and Alfred Rue Burch
[Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education 4:1] 2019
► pp. 70–95
“Seriously, I came here to study English”
A narrative case study of a Japanese exchange student in Thailand
While English plays a prominent role in universities across the globe, study abroad research has rarely consideredEnglish learning in non-Anglophone countries. This article presents a narrative case study of the experience of a Japaneseexchange student in Thailand whose primary purpose for study abroad was to improve his English. Grounded in the notion ofIndividual Networks of Practice (Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015), the qualitativeanalysis will focus on the participant's evolving social networks and reported communication practices as mediated throughavailable subject positions and varying degrees of investment. Particularly, findings reveal the dissonance between his investmentin native speaker English and the reality of using English as a lingua franca, which decidedly influenced the student's(non-)participation in certain social groups and practices. Casting fresh light on globalization and language learning, the studyoffers a unique contribution to the study abroad literature and suggests avenues for further research and education.