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The perceptions of female Japanese students on homestays and learning English in Greater Vancouver Fryer, Chad Gregory Hutson


Homestay living has long been considered a mainstay of successful English language programs for international students in North America based on the crosscultural experiential learning theory. However, there is a significant knowledge gap of information on the applicability of this theory in the context of nonwestern students living in North America. This study investigated the perceptions of young adult Japanese women who chose to live in homestays while studying English in Greater Vancouver. Eight students were selected primarily based on the number of international students living with their host family. The participants were divided into four categories: one student, two student, three student, and four student homestays. It was found that many of the participants felt that homestays were useful especially in regards to cultural learning and the acquiring of basic life skills needed for life in Greater Vancouver. However, the participants overwhelming felt that students need to have more input on the host family selection process, and that the agencies or schools responsible for organizing homestays must take a greater responsibility in ensuring families offer an acceptable level of homestay care. Finally, only two of the eight participants felt that they would recommend studying English in Greater Vancouver without reservation because of the high number of Japanese students in such programs, there was a feeling amongst the participants that a large contingent of other Japanese students makes it too easy to speak Japanese which reduced their opportunities to befriend Canadians and other international students.

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