Languaging Myths and Realities: Journeys of Chinese International Students

Author: Qianqian Zhang-Wu

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Multilingual Matters
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Higher education institutions in Anglophone countries often rely on standardized English language proficiency exams to assess the linguistic capabilities of their multilingual international students. However, there is often a mismatch between these scores and the initial experiences of international students in both academic and social contexts. Drawing on a digital ethnography of Chinese international students' first semester languaging practices, this book examines their challenges, needs and successes on their initial languaging journeys in higher education. It analyzes how they use their rich multilingual and multi-modal communicative repertories to facilitate languaging across contexts, in order to suggest how university support systems might better serve the needs of multilingual international students.

Employing various ethnographic methods as well as conducting high-quality discourse analysis, Zhang-Wu offers important and indispensable ways to really engage and teach Chinese students from their own perspectives. For those of us interested in diverse languaging practices, educational equity for international students and progressive pedagogies for English language users from various linguistic backgrounds, this book is very necessary.

Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Waterloo, Canada

Qianqian Zhang-Wu is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of Multilingual Writing, Northeastern University, USA. Her research interests include multilingual writing and TESOL.



Part I

Chapter 1: Who, Why, and What about Chinese International Students

Chapter 2: Languaging Across the Borders: Linguistic Demands, Challenges, and an Integrated Framework

Chapter 3: A Four-Month In-depth Investigation: An Overview of Study Design

Part II

Chapter 4: Chinese International Students are not Chinese International Students

Chapter 5: First Semester Languaging Journeys of Three Regular High Students

Chapter 6: First Semester Languaging Journeys of Two American High Students

Chapter 7: Revisiting Within-group Variabilities among Chinese International Students

Part III

Chapter 8: An Overview of Myths and Realities

Chapter 9: Myth 1: TOEFL Results Accurately Predict International Students' Ability to Function Linguistically upon College Entry 

Chapter 10: Myth 2: An English-Only Policy is Necessary in College Classrooms to Help International Students Improve Their Linguistic Functioning in English

Chapter 11: Myth 3: First-Year Writing Guarantees International Students' Successful Writing Performances in Content Subject Courses

Chapter 12: Myth 4: English is Responsible for All the Challenges Facing Chinese International Students

Chapter 13: Myth 5: Chinese International Students are Well Supported in American Higher Education Linguistically and Academically

Chapter 14: Revisiting Myths and Realities

Appendix A

Appendix B

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