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About the Project

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          Canadian universities have strategies and commitment to internationalization and global engagement, including those to increase international student enrolment. Most of these students are bi/multilingual learners with a language other than English as their strongest one. Canadian universities have a proven record of supporting these students and addressing their needs for academic socialization, language and literacy education, and transition to a new cultural context.

          However, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in restrictions to global travel and interferes with international student mobility. International students, especially those from marginalized social backgrounds and/or global contexts, are at great risk of being left out and behind in the current pivot to online/remote teaching. Engaging with these circumstances, the project’s goal is to examine bi/multilingual students’ experiences in Canadian universities, programmatic responses, and host institutions’ recent adaptations. This research has a critical impact as Canadian universities continue to respond to changing global conditions to meet strategic targets for internationalization and continue to widen access to a broader, more diverse student population. 

          Using a multi-site case study methodology, we will examine curricular models and instructional approaches to support the academic socialization of students in three English for academic purposes (EAP) programs at three Canadian universities with successful EAP programming: Concordia University, the University of British Columbia, and York University. Four questions will guide the project:

  1. What are the characteristics and approaches of three credit-bearing EAP university programs to support the first-year experience of bi/multilingual students?

  2. Whether and how do  these programs address systemic barriers to and challenges of university study for bi/multilingual students, including the COVID-19 pandemic?

  3. How do these students experience the process of academic socialization and integration within the dynamic teaching and learning contexts in which these programs are situated?

  4. What insights can be derived from a comparative analysis of academic outcomes cross the programs in terms of academic achievement and persistence to graduation measures?