Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice


Curriculum and Instruction

Content Description

1 online resource (xiv, 484 pages) : PDF file, illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Istvan Kecskes

Committee Members

Jane M. Agee, Anne Barron


Conceptual Fluency, Conceptual Socialization, Formulaic Language, International Students, Language socialization, Social Identity, Education, Second language acquisition, Socialization, Turks, Students, Foreign, Language and culture, Sociolinguistics

Subject Categories

Language and Literacy Education


This longitudinal, mixed-method study relied on the assumption that international students as newcomers to the American culture experience conceptual socialization which enables them to gain competency in the target language through exposure to the target language culture. By collecting qualitative and quantitative data three times over a year, the present study examined the linguistic and social development of Turkish international students as a result of their conceptual socialization in the U.S. The stories of participating Turkish students provided evidence for the multi-faceted nature of identity (re)construction which required a closer look at not only the participants' investment, audibility and symbolic capital but also the role of external resources such as social networks, empowering relationships and the socio-physical structure of the new country. On the other hand, the quantitative findings suggested that the acquisition of formulaic language follows a non-linear, U-shaped process that relies on trial-and-error and is objected to L1 transfer and overgeneralization. Overall, this study's conclusions centered around four main issues: a) Language learning is as much a process of socialization as it is of acquisition, b) This process should be re-defined as conceptual socialization rather than L2 socialization, c) Study abroad sojourners should be informed about the language myth, and d) L2 learners' conceptual socialization rely on their investment rather than extended social networks. The findings of this study provided suggestions for future research as well as theoretical, practical, and teaching implications regarding, a) the role higher education institutions in the United States to address the needs of international students, b) current theories concerning international students, c) teaching practices that would facilitate the development of L2 pragmatic competence as well as foster "hybrid identities" for global language learners.