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Academic Paper

Title: Language Socialization into Academic Discourse Communities
Author: Patricia A. Duff
Institution: University of British Columbia
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Although much has been written about academic discourse from diverse theoretical perspectives over the past two decades, and especially about English academic discourse, research on socialization into academic discourse or literacies in one's first or subsequently learned languages or into new discourse communities has received far less attention. Academic discourse socialization is a dynamic, socially situated process that in contemporary contexts is often multimodal, multilingual, and highly intertextual as well. The process is characterized by variable amounts of modeling, feedback, and uptake; different levels of investment and agency on the part of learners; by the negotiation of power and identities; and, often, important personal transformations for at least some participants. However, the consequences and outcomes of academic discourse socialization are also quite unpredictable, both in the shorter term and longer term. In this review I provide a brief historical overview of research on language socialization into academic communities and describe, in turn, developments in research on socialization into oral, written, and online discourse and the social practices associated with each mode. I highlight issues of conformity or reproduction to local norms and practices versus resistance and contestation of these. Next, studies of socialization into academic publication and into particular textual identities are reviewed. I conclude with a short discussion of race, culture, gender, and academic discourse socialization, pointing out how social positioning by oneself and others can affect participants’ engagement and performance in their various learning communities.


This article appears IN Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 30, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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