A1 Journal article (refereed)
“Come join us, and lose your accent!” : Accent Modification Courses as Hierarchization of International Student (2021)

Ennser-Kananen, J., Halonen, M., & Saarinen, T. (2021). “Come join us, and lose your accent!” : Accent Modification Courses as Hierarchization of International Student. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 322-340. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1640

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsEnnser-Kananen, Johanna; Halonen, Mia; Saarinen, Taina

Journal or seriesJournal of International Students



Publication year2021


Issue number2

Pages range322-340

PublisherNepalese Student Association at Arkansas State University

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77138


In this article, we examine the hierarchization of international students by bringing together perspectives of linguistic legitimacy and language ideologies. Our data stems from 26 accent reduction (AR) or accent modification (AM) course descriptions and websites from US universities. Based on their analysis, we discuss the socio-political implications of the phenomenon of these courses for international students and the ways in which language-based, particularly accent-based, arguments are used to create or reinforce different categories of students. We argue that while international students are presented as having different kinds of “comprehensibility problems” that AM/AR courses are claimed to remedy, the seemingly linguistic arguments that are used for marketing do not hold. Rather, what is presented as an accent issue actually seems to be an ideological one, drawing on the students’ ethnic or geographical origins, and thereby racializing the question of language proficiency.

Keywordsstudentsforeign studentslanguage skillsaccent (linguistics)language teachinglanguage coursesideologieshierarchyracialisationsociolinguistics

Free keywordsinternational student; language ideology; student hierarchization

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Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 21:41