International Students and Education
This page lists selected resources that explore the intersection of language, race, and nationality, with a focus on how this intersection impacts the experiences of international students. A number of the resources also have relevance for the experience of racialized minorities in educational and other institutions.
Why a Theme on International Students and Education?
Higher education is one of the “commodities” in our contemporary world that transcends national borders. Many students at the university level choose to pursue their undergraduate or (post)graduate degrees in an overseas institution whose language of instruction and campus life is not their first. While the accomplishments of these international students are considerable – they are, after all, functioning at a high-level in a second (third, fourth…) language and in many cases a different writing system – the special circumstances and potential of these students often seem to pass under the administrative and instructional radar of their institutions. Ironically, these same international students constitute a critical source of income for their host universities, sometimes making it possible for colleges and universities to support domestic students who would otherwise be unable to afford increasingly high tuition fees.
The situation of international students is particularly difficult in Anglophone institutions of higher education, given the often unquestioned monolingual ideology that operates more generally in countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Language, Culture and Justice Hub is currently exploring how international students fare in predominantly Anglophone institutions through its project Multilingual Life on a Monolingual Campus: the linguistic experiences of international students in English language-medium universities. Brandeis University is partnering with Macquarie University in Australia and the University of Birmingham in the UK to investigate this important topic on three continents.
Click on the type of resource below to explore scholarly publications, reports, blogposts, commentaries and more.
To learn about conceptual and methodological approaches to research about international students, visit a website dedicated to this area of inquiry, led primarily by researchers at the University of Manchester in the UK: https://researchintlstudents.com
Ball, Arnetha, Sinfree Makoni, Geneva Smitherman, and Arthur K. Spears, eds. 2003. Black Linguistics: Language, Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas. Routledge.
Baugh, John. 2003 “Linguistic Profiling.” In Black Linguistics: Language, Society, and Politics in Africa and the Americas, eds. Arnetha Ball, Sinfree Makoni, Geneva Smitherman, and Arthur K. Spears. Routledge.
- Blum, Susan D. 2019. “Speak Softly… or at Least Speak English.” Inside Higher Ed. (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2019/01/30/academe-should-not-police-international-students-speech-opinion).
- Bodis, Agnes. 2021a. “‘Double Deficit’ and Exclusion: Mediated Language Ideologies and International Students’ Multilingualism.” Multilingua 40(3):367–91.
- Bodis, Agnes. 2021b. “The Discursive (Mis)Representation of English Language Proficiency: International Students in the Australian Media.” Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 44(1):37–64.
- Bodis, Agnes. 2017. “International students and Language: Opportunity or Threat?” Language on the Move. 31 May 2017.
- Chang, Grace Chu-Lin. 2016. “Language Learning Challenges of Overseas Students.” Language on the Move. Retrieved December 7, 2021 (https://www.languageonthemove.com/language-learning-challenges-of-overseas-students/).
- Chen, Xin. 2017. “Translingual Practices in the First-Year International Students’ English Academic Writing.” INTESOL Journal 14(1).
- Chowdhury, R., & Phan, L. H. (2014). Desiring TESOL and international education: market abuse and exploitation. Multilingual Matters.
- Dobinson, Toni, and Paul Mercieca. 2020. “Seeing Things as They Are, Not Just as We Are: Investigating Linguistic Racism on an Australian University Campus.” International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 23(7):789–803.
- Dovchin, Sender. 2020. “The psychological damages of linguistic racism and international students in Australia.” International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 23:2.
- Fish, Eric. 2020. “End of an Era? A History of Chinese Students in America.” SupChina. (https://supchina.com/2020/05/12/end-of-an-era-a-history-of-chinese-students-in-america/).
- Flores, Nelson, and Jonathan Rosa. 2015. “Undoing Appropriateness: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and Language Diversity in Education.” Harvard Educational Review 85(2):149–71.
- Hatoss, A. 2019. “Unpacking Monolingual Ideologies: Voices of Young Sydneysiders.” Pp. 66–88 in Multilingual Sydney, edited by P. Benson, R. Moloney, and A. Chik. Routledge.
Heanue, Oscar. 2022. “The Sound of Discrimination: How Employment Law Handles Linguistic Profiling.” OnLabor. (https://onlabor.org/the-sound-of-discrimination-how-employment-law-handles-linguistic-profiling/).
- Kettle, M. 2017. International student engagement in higher education: transforming practices, pedagogies and participation. Multilingual Matters.
- Ladegaard, Hans J. 2017. “The Disquieting Tension of ‘the Other’: International Students’ Experience of Sojourn in Hong Kong.” Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 38(3):268–82.
- Lee, Andrew. 2021. “Build Language Justice.” Anti-Racism Daily. (https://the-ard.com/2021/07/15/build-language-justice-anti-racism-daily/).
- Li, Jia. 2020. “Transnational Migrant Students between Inclusive Discourses and Exclusionary Practices.” Multilingua 39(2):193–212.
- Li, Jia, Ping Xie, Bin Ai, and Lisheng Li. 2020. “Multilingual Communication Experiences of International Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Multilingua 39(5):529–39.
- Lippi-Green, Rosina. 1994. “Accent, Standard Language Ideology, and Discriminatory Pretext in the Courts.” Language in Society 23(2):163–98.
- Lukes, Marguerite. 2011. “‘I Understand English But Can’t Write It’: The Power of Native Language Instruction for Adult English Learners.” International Multilingual Research Journal 5(1):19–38.
- Lukes, Marguerite. 2015. Latino Immigrant Youth and Interrupted Schooling: Dropouts, Dreamers and Alternative Pathways to College. Multilingual Matters.
- Piller, Ingrid. 2013. “Exclusion on campus.” Language on the Move (https://www.languageonthemove.com/exclusion-on-campus/).
Piller, Ingrid, Ana Sofia Bruzon, and Hanna Torsh. 2021. “Monolingual School Websites as Barriers to Parent Engagement.” Language and Education 0(0):1–18. doi: 10.1080/09500782.2021.2010744.
- Ramjattan, Vijay A. 2019. “Racializing the Problem of and Solution to Foreign Accent in Business.” Applied Linguistics Review.
- Redden, Elizabeth. 2019. “Not an Isolated Incident: Recent controversy over email from Duke professor about Chinese students speaking Chinese in lounges reflects larger tensions in academe, experts say.” Inside Higher Ed. (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/02/05/weighing-duke-case-experts-discuss-discrimination-against-international-students-and).
Rice, Patricia. 2006. “Linguistic Profiling: The Sound of Your Voice May Determine If You Get That Apartment or Not.” The Source. (https://source.wustl.edu/2006/02/linguistic-profiling-the-sound-of-your-voice-may-determine-if-you-get-that-apartment-or-not/).
Rickford, John R., and Sharese King. 2016. “Language and Linguistics on Trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and Other Vernacular Speakers) in the Courtroom and Beyond.” Language 92(4):948–88.
- Rubin, Donald L., and Kim A. Smith. 1990. “Effects of Accent, Ethnicity, and Lecture Topic on Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Nonnative English-Speaking Teaching Assistants.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 14(3):337–53.
- Salomone, Rosemary. 2021. The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language. Oxford University Press.
- Sarkozi-Farfinski, Jason, and Catherine Rhodes. 2019. “Speak English or Else You’ll Be Put on Dish Duty!” Anthropology News. (https://www.anthropology-news.org/articles/speak-english-or-else-youll-be-put-on-dish-duty/).
- Savini, Catherine. 2021. “10 Ways to Tackle Linguistic Bias in Our Classrooms.” Inside Higher Ed. (https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2021/01/27/how-professors-can-and-should-combat-linguistic-prejudice-their-classes-opinion).
- Schreiber, Brooke R., Eunjeong Lee, Jennifer T. Johnson, and Norah Fahim, eds. 2022. Linguistic Justice on Campus: Pedagogy and Advocacy for Multilingual Students. Multilingual Matters.
Shapiro, Shawna. 2014. “‘Words That You Said Got Bigger’: English Language Learners’ Lived Experiences of Deficit Discourse.” Research in the Teaching of English 48:386–406.
- Shapiro, Shawna. 2022. Cultivating Critical Language Awareness in the Writing Classroom. Routledge.
Shapiro, Shawna, Raichle Farrelly, and Mary Jane Curry, eds. 2018. Educating Refugee Background Students: Critical Issues and Dynamic Contexts. Multilingual Matters.
Sidhu, Ravinder Kaur. 2006. Universities and Globalization: To Market, To Market. Routledge.
- Shepard, Louisa. 2021. “Centering Black Students in Language Education.” Penn Today. (https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/centering-black-students-language-education-Nelson-Flores).
- Simpson, J., and A. Whiteside. 2014. “Adult Language Education and Migration: Challenging Agendas in Policy and Practice.” In Proceedings of LESLLA conference, 28-30 August 2014, edited by I. van de Craats. Nijmegen NL.
Slavkov, Nikolay, Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer, and Nadja Kerschhofer-Puhalo, eds. 2022. The Changing Face of the “Native Speaker”: Perspectives from Multilingualism and Globalization. De Gruyter Mouton.
- Slinkard, Jennifer, and Jeroen Gevers. 2020. “Confronting Internalized Language Ideologies.” CF44. (https://compositionforum.com/issue/44/language-ideologies.php).
- Solórzano, Tara J. Yosso; William A. Smith; Miguel Ceja; Daniel G. 2009. “Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates.” Harvard Educational Review 79(4).
- Stroud, C., and Caroline Kerfoot. 2021. “Decolonizing Higher Education. Multilingualism, Linguistic Citizenship and Epistemic Justice.” In Language and Decoloniality in Higher Education: Reclaiming Voices from the South, edited by C. Stroud and Z. Bock. Bloomsbury.
van der Walt, Christa. 2013. Multilingual Higher Education: Beyond English Medium Orientations. Multilingual Matters.
Wang, Lily Maya. 1 October 2019. “The Legal Paradox of Linguistic Profiling • Law and the Senses.” Law and the Senses. (http://lawandthesenses.org/probes/the-legal-paradox-of-linguistic-profiling/).
- Yin, Yijun, Alice Chik, and Garry Falloon. 2021. “Understanding the Translingual Practices among International Students in Multilingual Cities.” Australian Review of Applied Linguistics. doi: 10.1075/aral.20070.yin.
- Yu, Jing. 2021. “Lost in Lockdown: The Impact of COVID-19 on Chinese Internatonal Student Mobility in the US.” Journal of International Students 11(S2).
- Zhang-Wu, Qianqian. 2021. Languaging Myths and Realities: Journeys of Chinese International Students. Multilingual Matters.
- Baugh, John
“The significance of linguistic profiling” TEDxEmory. February 2019
This 18-minute TED talk by an eminent sociolinguist explores the phenomenon whereby a certain pattern of pronunciation (“accent”) triggers negative responses or evaluations.
- Bodis, Agnes“International students at Australian universities: the simplification of English language proficiency and the invisibility of multilingualism” Language, Culture and Multilingualism in a Globalised World. Workshop at the University of Birmingham. July 2021. This 16-minute Zoom recording is from the July 2021 workshop organized by the MLMC University of Birmingham research partner Karen McAuliffe. She emphasizes that Australian institutions are characterized by a “monolingual mindset,” one of the results being that multilingualism tends to be seen as a deficit instead of an asset.
- City of Melbourne. 2018. "Act of Translation: the Documentary." This YouTube video shows the behind-the-scenes lives of international students in Melbourne, Australia. The documentary was a collaboration between the City of Melbourne, Study Melbourne, RMIT University, the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS), the Immigration Museum and independent artistic director, Catherine Simmonds.
- Jones, Elspeth. "International Educator Conversations." This YouTube channel provides a series of filmed conversations between Jones and various guests on topics relevant to international education.
- Rosa, Jonathan Master class: “Unsettling Race and Language: Toward a Raciolinguistic Perspective.” 30 October 2020. In the space of this 40-minute video, Rosa introduces viewers to the basic principles of the theory that he developed along with Nelson Flores: “raciolinguistics”.
- Rough Translation podcast series, National Public Radio (US). “How to Speak Bad English”, with English teacher Heather Hansen, 21 April 2021. This lively and thought-provoking 36-minute podcast questions the assumption that L1 or “native” speakers of English should have the right to set the standards for the pronunciation and use of their language. It is noted that those who speak English as a learned or second (third, fourth, etc.) language far outnumber those who have it as a first language.
- Salomone, Rosemary: 24-minute podcast with this lawyer/linguist on her book The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language (Oxford University Press 2021). The book “offers a commanding view of the unprecedented spread of English and the far-reaching effects on global and local politics, economics, media, education, and business. From the inner workings of the European Union to linguistic battles over influence in Africa, Salomone draws on a wealth of research to tell the complex story of English—and to argue for English not as a force for domination but as a core component of multilingualism and the transcendence of linguistic and cultural borders.”
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