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The impact of an accent: the experiences of international college students from India in the greater Toronto area

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posted on 2021-05-23, 15:04 authored by Micheline Chevrier
India is one of the world’s largest sources of international students with 553,440 studying abroad globally, its Ministry of External Affairs estimated in late 2017 (Vanderklippe, 2019). Canada has become an increasingly attractive destination for this cohort of international students. With English as the dominant global language for commerce and politics, and the fact that more people now use English as a second language than a first language (Crystal, 2003), these speakers become uniquely positioned in an English-dominated environment such as Canada, due to their accents. This exploratory study investigates the experiences of Indian international students studying at colleges in the Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”) in relation to speaking with a foreign accent. The primary data was collected through five interviews. This study is enlightened by Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of capital, specifically linguistic capital, which is employed in order to make sense of and understand the participants’ experiences across varying social fields. Keywords: international students; Indian international students; college; Toronto; Canada; foreign accent; perceptions; experiences, cultural capital





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type