Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Vol.6. No.4 December 2015                                            Pp.61-67     

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 Second Language Competence and Student Acculturation: The Case of International Students  

Hamza Alshenqeeti
Department of Languages and Translation
School of Arts and Humanities
Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia



This paper presents a thorough literature review of the effects of second language competence on student acculturation and adjustment in an international setting. The study stems from a view of globalization as a key factor in today’s higher education considering, for instance, the rapid increase of overseas students over the years. A fundamental aspect of studying in a new country is the stipulation of interacting in a different language. With the spread of English as a lingua franca, a large part of the programs taught overseas is undertaken in English. Shedding light on this, the current paper provides a review of recent research efforts aimed at exploring the effects of second language competence on international students’ acculturation and academic success. A series of terms and concepts will first be defined, before the findings of various studies are discussed. The paper will then conclude with the author’s reflection.
Keywords: Acculturation, adjustment, academic success, second language competence, sociocultural knowledge.


Hamza Alshenqeeti is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Taibah University in Saudi Arabia.
He holds a PhD in Linguistics from Newcastle University and an MA in Applied Linguistics
from Essex University, England. His research interests revolve around classroom discourse,
sociolinguistics, CALL, and language teacher training.