The views and reflections of Turkish graduate students on a pre-departure cross-cultural orientation module as a guide for their prospective social and academic experiences in the USA


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Foreign Language Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Student: MERVE KİBAR

Supervisor: BETİL ERÖZ TUĞA

Abstract:

This thesis explores the acculturation of three Turkish graduate students in the USA, who embarked on their study-abroad journey upon taking part in a nine-week Pre-Departure Cross-Cultural Orientation Module (henceforth, Pre-CCOM) in their home country. Adopting a narrative-case study design, the study gathered its data from multiple data collection tools such as initial semi-structured interviews, weekly reflective journals, reports, final interviews before their departure for the USA, and lastly e-mail exchanges and follow-up impromptu Skype interviews during the first three months upon their arrival in the USA. Based on Berry’s acculturation model (1990) and Duff’s academic discourse socialization (2010) as its theoretical frameworks, this study revealed attending the Pre-CCOM benefitted Ali, Nisa and Elif’s acculturation by aiding it to be easier and smoother. In this regard, it was clarified by each participant that they decreased perceived and experienced acculturative stressors and increased their coping strategies thanks to the Pre-CCOM. Shedding light on their experienced acculturative stressors and coping strategies, their narratives also drew attention to the need for such a Pre-CCOM as a legitimate and indispensable part of the language curriculum.