Lived Experiences of Foreign Students towards the Development of a Language Adjustment Assessment Tool

John Kit S. Masigan, PhDRL


As part of internationalization of higher education, student mobility has expanded over the past decade. Particularly, at St. Paul University Philippines, internationalization is established by hosting foreign students from Basic Education Unit to the Graduate School. Reviewed literature shows that foreign students across countries face a range of unique acculturation difficulties brought by language difference. However, none of these focused solely on language adjustment of foreign students. The researcher considered this particular space in sociolinguistics as a potential niche to occupy, with the aim of explicating the lived experiences of foreign students to develop a language adjustment assessment tool. This study used hermeneutical phenomenology in understanding the lived experiences of foreign students on language adjustment. Considering data saturation in the qualitative phase, the researcher involved 18 college foreign students using semi-structured one-on-one interview. The data were subjected to thematic structural analysis to find emerging themes. Based on such themes, the researcher developed a language adjustment assessment tool in the quantitative phase, which was pilot-tested to 76 medical foreign students and finally administered to 51 college foreign students using purposive-convenient sampling. Cohens Kappa was used to assess the instrument’s validity while Cronbach’s Alpha for reliability. Based on the findings of the study, more enablers affecting language adjustment of foreign students were identified than constraints. Moreover, four major themes emerged including Language-related General Living Adjustments, Language-related Academic Adjustments, Language-related Socio-Cultural Adjustments, and Language-related Psychological Adjustments. The developed language adjustment assessment tool was also evaluated to be fairly valid and reliable.

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