Applying a critical and holistic framework, International Students in Higher Education: Language, Identity, and Experience from a Holistic Perspective explores the lived experiences of four multilingual international students at a Canadian University. Vander Tavares investigates how the students experience life in the host community, construct their multiple identities, and develop their proficiency in the English language. Additionally, Tavares examines the ways in which the institutional context impacts the students’ experiences by foregrounding the voices of domestic students, faculty and support staff, and their experiences and perspectives on international students, multiculturalism, and multilingualism. Drawing from theories of cultural and social psychology, post-structuralism, multilingualism, and a sociocognitive approach to second language acquisition, this project presents rich ethnographic portraits of the students’ experiences. This contextualised and humanised portrayal of the students’ individual journeys challenges the prevailing discourse of deficit that has traditionally been used to characterise the multilingual international student experience. Overall, this book demonstrates that an ethical understanding of multilingual international students’ experiences requires critical attention to the sociocultural and sociolinguistic contexts of their academic communities and a holistic approach that considers the multiple domains of lived experience that the students navigate.
Vander Tavares is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Education at Høgskolen i Innlandet (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences).
Chapter 1: A Book on Multilingual International Students in Higher Education
Chapter 2: Setting the Context
Chapter 3: Language, Identity and Second Language Learning
Chapter 4: Surveying the Community
Chapter 5: Claire: “It’s very Lonely Here”
Chapter 6: Seth: “I Wanna Go Back”
Chapter 7: Pablo: “English is my Real Life”
Chapter 8: Sabrina: “The World is Yours”
Chapter 9: A Final Collage of Portraits
"International students worldwide have often been misinterpreted as lacking in some way rather than celebrated for their ability to speak multiple languages in host countries. Giving voice to international students in Canada, Vander Tavares weaves in the sensitivities of identity formation and growth as part of the rich and challenging tapestry of being transient multilingual individuals in a place foreign to their own."
"This astute and illuminating volume advances the way we perceive multilingual international students in higher education, beyond linguistic labels and lifeless numbers. The four histories of challenge, resilience, resistance and success are compellingly reconstructed and narrated by Vander Tavares, illustrating the multilayered nature of what it means to be an 'international student' and challenging established conceptions of academic integration and success. An unforgettable call for academic social justice and for a holistic consideration of students’ lived experiences, inside and outside institutions."
"There are many books about international students, but this book invites you inside their inner worlds to see cross-border mobility from their perspectives. The inwardness of these rich narratives reveals insights too important to miss. They illuminate our time, our place, and the necessity of our own involvement in creating a more inclusive and humane world through international education and exchange."