The Discriminations That International Students Face
Without any question, international students can provide many benefits to the United States of America. They add new perspective to classroom conversations, and increase Americans’ awareness (Harrison 2) and appreciation for other countries and cultures (Bevis 13). Studying in the United States and becoming international students are a new concepts to lots of students nowadays. In order to get the top education, students make their decisions to leave their countries and to study in the United States of America. It can be really a tough task for them to studies in America; be away from home and to start their new lives in a new country. In their academic life, language seems to be a big issue to new arrivals; they are easy to get confused and to be discriminated due to their language weakness. Discrimination also appears in international students’ social lives. In other words, international students not only need to face language and cultural barriers, but also social discrimination. When discrimination occurs, they shouldn’t stay in silence; they need to speak out and fight back for the equality. With difficulty in English, international students become a special group in school, and sometime they are treated differently in some ways. As a new coming international student, they need help in many ways. The biggest problem to them is the language issue. In order words, to understand English is a big challenge for international students when they try to get into the American’s life style. “Their English level competency or discomfort about speaking English may impede their interaction with the new community to fulfill their initial needs” (Poyrazli and Grahame 29). This means, with poor English skill, it is a drawback for international students to get in the new community. It is easy to say, but it takes time to reach the goal. Lots of international students struggle with their language problem; According to my research, there are three types of common language discrimination appeared in American’s higher education that international students faced. First of all, misunderstand in English can cause lots of problem for International students, and when they give the wrong answer to the question, American students may make fun of them. A Japanese student reported she was joked by American students when she misunderstands the question and she was so sad “because she could not speak English well”. As she recalled, she didn’t hear clearly when the teacher was asking about the “worst troubling experiences”, and she understood it as “what is troubling experience?” What embarrassed her was that the people around her started laughing at her when they heard her answer (Bonanza and Wong 634). The unfriendly laugh eventually made that girl speak less and less and hardly participate in the class (Bonanza and Wong 634). Misunderstandings of the tasks and assignments can greatly affect international student’s grade. “They liked aspects of the American system and had difficulty understanding in professor” (Poyrazli and Grahame 36). Some professors have some accents that are difficult to understand, and sometimes they speak really fast which makes international students hard to catch. Lots of international students have the “disability” of understanding English. Even though it seems that everybody in the class is on the same page, but actually international students are left behind (Poyrazli and Grahame 37). Secondly, with international students’ limited English skills, lots of them are isolated in class, especially shown in the discussion. People can always see international students sitting by themselves or people come from their country and seldom communicating with the native students (Hecht, Wadsworth and Jung 67). This situation is really common in the United States’ colleges and universities. “Lindemann (2005) found that American students oftentimes hold a negative bias towards...
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