Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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While English plays a prominent role in universities across the globe, study abroad research has rarely considered English learning in non-Anglophone countries. This article presents a narrative case study of the experience of a Japanese exchange student in Thailand whose primary purpose for study abroad was to improve his English. Grounded in the notion of Individual Networks of Practice (Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015), the qualitative analysis will focus on the participant’s evolving social networks and reported communication practices as mediated through available subject positions and varying degrees of investment. Particularly, findings reveal the dissonance between his investment in 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 study offers a unique contribution to the study abroad literature and suggests avenues for further research and education.


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