Non-native English Students’ Linguistic and Cultural Challenges in Australia


  • Noparat Tananuraksakul South-East Asia University, Thailand



international students, academic and social context, dignity, non-native english speaker


This paper looks into the effect of use of international English on non-native students’ dignity in Australian academic and social contexts. The study was undertaken through in-depth interviews with 28 participants from 13 countries. The results partly revealed that there was neither speech convergence nor culture convergence between non-native and native speakers. When native speakers linguistically converged towards non-native speakers, it appeared to backfire as mocking behavior. There was an expectation that host tutors, lecturers and classmates would adjust their speech to a level accommodating non-native speakers, but they did not. Failure to effectively converge linguistically and culturally led to failure in intergroup communication. The failure concomitantly affected participants’ self-worth, motivation and identity in a way that diminished their dignity and motivation, impinging on their identity.

Author Biography

Noparat Tananuraksakul, South-East Asia University, Thailand

Noparat Tananuraksakul received a master’s degree in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (California), postgraduate degree in International Communication and a doctoral degree in Linguistics from Macquarie University in Australia. Her research interests include social psychology of language use, intercultural communication and teaching English as a Foreign Language.




How to Cite

Tananuraksakul, N. (2012). Non-native English Students’ Linguistic and Cultural Challenges in Australia. Journal of International Students, 2(1), 107–115.



Research Articles


Similar Articles

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.