How is language proficiency associated with adjustment?

Perceived English proficiency mediated the association between acculturation level and depression (Dao, Lee, & Chang, 2007). In addition, social self-efficacy in the English setting was related to English proficiency (Lin & Betz, 2009). Language proficiency and selected learning and study strategies were found to correlate with students’ academic performance (Stoynoff, 1997). English language skills were found to be associated with interpersonal relationships and self-esteem (Barratt & Huba, 1994).

Which indicator of language proficiency is a better predictor of adjustment?

Language factors that may influence adjustment?

A mix-methods study with Taiwanese international students revealed adjustment themes related to language barriers, confidence about speaking English, social contact with Taiwanese and Americans, and cultural differences. The study also found that communication apprehension and social contact predicted adaptation, whereas actual English ability did not (Swagler & Ellis, 2003).

Do language proficiency change, improve?

Language proficiency does change and improve over time. Upon first arrival, IS were highly aware of their ESL status. This self-consciousness gradually decreased because of the increasing academic English literacy and competencies (Hung & Hyun, 2010). Additionally, students on campuses with fewer peers from their home country tend to form more friendships with Americans and developed greater English competence by the second semester (Ying & Han, 2008).

Difference across groups?

Compared to IS from Europe, Asian students experienced more overall adjustment strain, more specific strains related to education and English, and lower levels of English proficiency than European students (Fritz, Chin, & DeMarinis, 2008; Kwon, 2009; Poyrazli & Kavanaugh, 2006).

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