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Home Journal Index 2019-1

Birds of a Feather Flock Together?---A Case Study on Socialization Experiences of Chinese International Student in an American University

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Yu-Shan Fan

Taipei Medical University, Taiwan

 

Veronika Maliborska

Northeastern University, United States   

 

Abstract

This article reveals the socialization and interaction patterns of a Chinese international student in an American university. The findings show how an attempt to integrate into a community is complicated by levels of one’s language proficiency and familiarity with the target culture. Contrary to most language learners’ expectations, the availability of access to a wider community does not always guarantee successful integration. The sense of marginalization, attributed to one’s lack of cultural and sociolinguistic capital, can significantly decrease international student’s willingness to invest in the target language and socialization into the local community. We conclude that international students would benefit from linguistic, cultural, and social support facilitation of their socialization. Institutions need to identify means for them to gain access to institutional resources and opportunities.

Keywords: Chinese international students; language socialization; language investment; language community; identity