International Students in Higher Education

International Students in Higher Education

Language, Identity, and Experience from a Holistic Perspective

Vander Tavares


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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:

Vander Tavares is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Education at Høgskolen i Innlandet (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences).