Language and What Else? Academic Integration of International Students in a Thai University

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Jariya Sairattanain
Jeffrey Dawala Wilang


Studies have indicated that language plays a central role in international students’ academic integration. With an interest in Thailand, this study aimed to explore factors that affected international students’ academic integration. Initial data were collected from a discussion group attended by Thai and international students. Preliminary analysis of data using Antconc, a concordancing program, revealed the top words used were Thai, students, language, English, international, good, benefit, help, and study. Thereafter, insights from the concordance lines were used to develop guided questions for individual semi-structured interviews. Three international graduate students volunteered for the interview. Thematic analysis revealed that three topics, consisting of internal, external and institutional factors, had a bearing on academic integration. The findings indicated that while language, or other pertinent sociocultural factors, were pivotal for international students’ academic integration, there are also other factors worth considering.

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