Date Dissertation Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education


Education Studies

Dissertation Advisor

Daniel Kirk

Dissertation Committee Members

Ditlev Larsen, Matthew Guy




Globalization and internationalization of higher education have perpetuated the dominance of English as the language of production and reproduction in doctoral education. English dominance considers the status of English as a lingua franca in academia. Multilingual students for whom English is not the first language must engage in complex language and writing practices to meet university and publication standards, globally. As writing is identity work, students must negotiate thought and writing in two or more languages to achieve meaningful self-expression and to represent authentic, authoritative voices in English. Data representing students from 17 different countries and speaking 14 different languages provides insight to understanding multilingual language practices, students’ perceptions of using English to write, and how language and perception influence identity negotiation. Further, the study considers why students write dissertations in English. Findings suggest that multilingual students have little choice in the language of production in doctoral education and engage in complex, often culturally-situated writing practices to construct meaningful writing in English while navigating and negotiating between native and target languages and identities. Rich survey and interview data highlighted diverse experiences to support an international comparative study.



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