The second language student experience of group work at university is not often transparent in survey evaluations, although the multicultural nature of the student population in Australasia would suggest that culture and language should be on the research agenda. Culture and language, notwithstanding, is used in the higher education literature to position the Asian learner as 'different' and problematic, although such cultural models and stereotypes have been the subject of some criticism in recent years. Through semi-structured qualitative interviewing in focus group interviews with nineteen South East Asian students, I explore the ways students account for their experiences of group work in their representation of teaching and learning reality through language and the discourses they take up. I find that student perceptions regarding the benefits and challenges of group work appear to be similar to their native speaking counterparts but that language/culture also appears to play a diverse and sometime unexpected role in their experience.
The Qualitative Report,
Vol. 9, no. 2 (Jun 2004), pp. 216-240