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 editors: Ennser-Kananen, Johanna; Halonen, Mia; Saarinen, Taina

Journal or series: Journal of International Students

ISSN: 2162-3104

eISSN: 2166-3750

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 322-340

Publisher: Nepalese Student Association at Arkansas State University

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1640

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open 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.

Keywords: students; foreign students; language skills; accent (linguistics); language teaching; language courses; ideologies; hierarchy; racialisation; sociolinguistics

Free keywords: international student; language ideology; student hierarchization

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 12:26