Visa Crunch

Experts Advise International Students To Canada To Mind Their Language

Dr. Ratna Ghosh frequently hears her Indian foreign students say that they “passed out in college this year” when referring to their graduation dates. Further Indian-origin English contortions in Ghosh’s collection include “too much good” for “very good,” “a lot many” for “plenty,” and “I am a topper” for “top of the class.”

“On the other hand, common expressions here like ‘I’m doing good’ leads Indian students to try and figure out what good you are doing,” said Ghosh, professor of education at Montreal’s McGill University.

Whereas these colloquialisms are generally dismissed as amusing, they are a symptom of a more severe problem that leads to communication and understanding gaps, which has a negative impact on international students in Canada, according to her.

“Canada is a popular destination for Indian students, but the difference between Canadian English and English is spoken by Indians is more complex than you might think,” Ghosh said during a recent conference in India on ‘Interpersonal Communication Challenges for Indian Immigrants in Canada.’

It is first difficult to grasp the local accents and match the tempo, and the tone of the language is also tough. Even though Canada receives a record number of Indian students each year, many students struggle to grasp the Canadian accent. This may result in poor academic achievement for pupils who otherwise received high scores on the TOEFL and IELTS (English Language Proficiency) tests.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the majority of international students in Canada are from India (217,410 as of December 31, 2021), accounting for over 30% of all international enrollments in Canada. China (105,265), France (26,630), Iran (16,900), and Vietnam (16, 285) are among the top international education supply countries for Canada, followed by South Korea (15,805), the Philippines (15,545), the United States (14,325), Nigeria (13,745), and Mexico (11,550).

As per a Higher Education Strategy Associates analysis, international student income increased from $1.5 billion in 2007 to $6.9 billion in 2018. According to Ghosh, passing English proficiency examinations does not always transfer into good inter-personal and communication skills, which affects overseas students’ prospects of success. Ghosh believes that Canada, provinces, and organisations such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada should require international students to participate in a pre-departure programme that includes day-to-day communication skills, and financial management in Canada to overcome challenges related to the cost of living, and interpersonal relationships.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser recently addressed the annual conference of Languages Canada that welcoming international students and developing their language abilities are critical for Canada to accomplish its economic goals. According to The PIE News, international education is a $23 billion sector in Canada, employing thousands of Canadians in teaching, administration, and recruitment.

Patrick Dang, a seasoned Vancouver-based international education specialist and advisor to the Indo-Canada Education Council (ICEC), told New Canadian Media that an important component of success for overseas students studying in Canada is their English language abilities and competencies.

“Too often students are not prepared for success due to a study plan that fails to recognize, train and prepare them for their ability to comprehend, context, communicate and understand in English,” said Dang, who is the president of the Seymour Education and Learning Colleges (SELC).

As part of the SELC foundational programmes in India, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and South Korea, Dang has instituted mandatory courses to familiarise students with a number of Canadian concerns. He stated that these classes are intended to prepare students for life in Canada by ensuring that they thoroughly absorb the daily teachings and improve their interpersonal skills.

“We see students, who go through these courses, do very well as they are 10 times better equipped to succeed compared to students who enter directly into universities and colleges directly without this important step,” he said.

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Abhishek Shah

Abhishek Shah

I'm a final-year management student at NMIMS, Mumbai.

The power of words and their ability to affect others captivates me that's where my love for writing comes from. Content writing welcomes me with my own mind and gives wings to my thoughts. I'll today and forever love gaining insight by reading and writing and that's the reason I am called the father of scriptwriting in my circle.

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