Treading on a Foreign Land: A Multiple Case Study of Chinese International Students’ Academic Acculturation Experiences
This article reports a multiple case study to explore the lived academic acculturation experiences of four Chinese international students with limited oral English capacity and how they describe the relationship between low oral English proficiency and academic acculturation. Self-Determination Theory was utilized as the theoretical framework to inform data collection and analysis. Findings indicated all four Chinese students experienced significant psychological stress during their academic acculturation as a direct result of their limited spoken English capacity, which negatively impacted their sense of competence, autonomy and particularly relatedness. Emotional pain, involuntary isolation, helplessness, and regret emerged as the salient themes from the cross-case analysis. Implications for various stakeholders are discussed.