A Critical Review of International Students’ Adjustment Research from a Deleuzian Perspective


  • Gene Vasilopoulos University of Ottawa




International students, language learning, adjustment, literature review, Deleuze


The author in this paper critically reviews recent literature on international student language and adjustment to Western Anglophone universities. Two streams of research are discussed: the problem-solving approach guided largely by positivist epistemologies and quantitative methodologies contrasted to the post-structuralist language and identity framework employing qualitative methods. Limitations to both perspectives include the reliance on fixed constructs of language and adjustment, the isolation of interrelated variables, the attempt to establish linear correlational/causative relationships, the essentialization of identity, and the inability to explain change and variance. Deleuzian ontology of ‘becoming’ and assemblage is put forward as a framework to better understand the complexity, unpredictability, and ever-changing process that international students face when co-adapting to the their new academic community.

Author Biography

Gene Vasilopoulos, University of Ottawa

GENE VASILOPOULOS is a doctoral candidate in education with a focus on second language development. Her research interests include language learning and identity, international students’ adjustment to higher education, and language learning/use in dynamic social contexts. 




How to Cite

Vasilopoulos, G. (2016). A Critical Review of International Students’ Adjustment Research from a Deleuzian Perspective. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 283–307. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i1.570



Research Articles (English)