Culture shock of international students in Canada

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Pelling, Andrew C
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2000
Although the immigrant's orientation to the Canadian way oflife forms a part of ESL classes, we still tend to think and speak separately of learning a second language and learning a new culture. Moreover, while acquisition ofESL is addressed by linguists and psychologists, very little research has occurred to date on the process of immigrant's acquisition of a new culture. And yet, it is held by many ESL teachers that the difficulties of 'learning the culture' upstage even the difficulties of learning English as a Second Language. (Disman, 1982, p. 71) As the number of international students increases in Canada and the number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students continues to grow in both private and public institutions, a demand for culture shock understanding is necessary by both teachers and educational institutions that deal with international students. "If language shock and cultural shock are not overcome and if the learner does not have sufficient and appropriate motivation and ego-permeability, then he will not fully acculturate and hence will not acquire the second language fully" (Schumann, 1981,p. 34). This study examines international students' experiences in one Canadian university. The foci of the study are to determine what factors contribute to culture shock and to explain the ways in which students deal with culture shock. The study also identifies international students' perceptions of how they feel teachers and educational institutions can improve in order to better facilitate the international students' induction into the new cultural milieu. The participants for this study were chosen through a screening survey from an "advanced" group of students at a university in Western Canada. From a group of 24 students, six were chosen to participate in a focus group interview. Each of the participants selected has been identified as having experienced some degree of culture shock.
vii, 85, 3 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Students, Foreign -- Canada , Students, Foreign -- Canada -- Psychology , Culture shock , Immigrants -- Canada , Culture shock -- Canada