Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2022 Issue »

    Multilingual International Students’ Communicative Practices in US University Classrooms

    Rethinking Appropriate Englishes Through English as a Lingua Franca Perspectives

    Yumi Matsumoto
    In this critical essay, Yumi Matsumoto uses the concept of English as a lingua franca to understand multilinguals’ communicative practices and to support an alternative understanding of English language use among international students in US university classrooms. The essay draws on two examples of university classroom interactions involving non-native international students’ English use and considers them through both more traditional perspectives on second language acquisition and an English as lingua franca approach, which analyzes communicative practices without making assumptions about students’ status as either native or non-native English speakers. These cases suggest that multilingual international student English use is transforming the notion of “Englishes,” specifically multiple English language norms and communicative practices in US university classrooms. By understanding international students’ communicative practices and valuing how they communicate and achieve understanding through different Englishes, Matsumoto asserts, we can provide better educational support for multilingual international students and empower them.  

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    Yumi Matsumoto (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6440-6400) is an assistant professor in the Educational Linguistics division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include English as a lingua franca, multilingual classroom discourse, multimodal conversation analysis, laughter and humor construction, and gesture and second language learning/development. In particular, she examines how multilingual international students at US universities coordinate diverse multimodal interactional resources for effectively communicating with instructors and other students, specifically illustrating the process during which students negotiate and transform English norms for communication in the classroom. Matsumoto’s work has appeared in several journals, including TESOL Quarterly, Modern Language Journal, Language Learning, and Journal of English as a Lingua Franca
  2. Winter 2022 Issue


    White Ignorance in Global Education
    Francine Menashy and Zeena Zakharia

    Book Notes

    Thinking Like an Economist
    Elizabeth Popp Berman

    Race at the Top
    Natasha Warikoo

    You Are Your Best Thing
    Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown

    Challenges to Academic Freedom
    Edited by Joseph C. Hermanowicz