International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 2834-7919   |  e-ISSN: 1554-5210

Original article | International Journal of Progressive Education 2007, Vol. 3(1) 6-28

Strangers in Stranger Lands: Language, Learning, Culture

Hong Li, Roy F. Fox & Dario J. Almarza

pp. 6 - 28   |  Manu. Number: ijpe.2007.013

Published online: February 15, 2007  |   Number of Views: 61  |  Number of Download: 349


This study investigates international students’ perceptions of the issues they face using English as a second language while attending American higher education institutions. In order to fully understand those challenges involved in learning English as a Second Language, it is necessary to know the extent to which international students have mastered the English language before they start their study in America. Most international students experience an overload of English language input upon arrival in the United States. Cultural differences influence international students’ learning of English in other ways, including international students’ isolation within their communities and America’s lack of teaching listening skills to its own students.  Other factors also affect international students’ learning of English, such as the  many forms of informal English spoken in the USA, as well as a variety of dialects. Moreover, since most international students have learned English in an environment that precluded much contact with spoken English, they often speak English with an accent that reveals their own language. This study offers informed insight into the complicated process of simultaneously learning the language and culture of another country.


Readers will find three main voices in addition to the international students who “speak” (in quotation marks) throughout this article. Hong Li, a Chinese doctoral student in English Education at the  University of Missouri-Columbia, authored the “regular” text. Second, Roy F. Fox’s voice appears in italics. Fox is Professor of English Education and Chair of the Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Third, Dario J. Almarza’s voice appears in boldface. Almarza, a native of Venezuela, is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at the same institution.

Keywords: English Language; United States Culture; Language Learning; International students; English as a Second Language; Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills; Academic Language Proficiency

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Li, H., Fox, R.F. & Almarza, D.J. (2007). Strangers in Stranger Lands: Language, Learning, Culture . International Journal of Progressive Education, 3(1), 6-28.

Li, H., Fox, R. and Almarza, D. (2007). Strangers in Stranger Lands: Language, Learning, Culture . International Journal of Progressive Education, 3(1), pp. 6-28.

Chicago 16th edition
Li, Hong, Roy F. Fox and Dario J. Almarza (2007). "Strangers in Stranger Lands: Language, Learning, Culture ". International Journal of Progressive Education 3 (1):6-28.

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