052ms The Effects of English Language Proficiency on Adjustment to University Life

Maureen Snow Andrade

Abstract


Higher education institutions in the United States recognize the economic and educational benefits of international students. Although nonnative speakers of English (NNES) submit evidence of English language proficiency for admission purposes, many struggle with the demands of English. This study draws on qualitative and quantitative data to provide insights into the international student experience from the perspectives of students and faculty. It examines how English language proficiency affects academic and social adjustment, identifies useful types of support, and considers the effects of English proficiency on intercultural learning. Students are generally satisfied with their proficiency, appreciate ESL courses, and feel their English is improved through course work and social interaction. Professors feel students skills are adequate but could be improved, and report adjusting their teaching approaches to accommodate NNES. Intercultural interaction aids English development and intercultural growth but students may tend to remain within their own linguistic groups.

Key Words: international students, English proficiency, intercultural learning
Word Count: 9,693