Mental Hygiene as a Second Language

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Communication Theory. Modern Language Journal. Journal of Communication. Journal of Second Language Writing. Language Teaching Research. Studies in Second Language Acquisition.

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International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Despite all they have heard about a liberal arts education, they are often surprised by the rigor needed to succeed. As a result, the determination and perseverance that have made Chinese students winners at home can deepen their sense of frustration abroad, when a paper outline does not easily emerge from heaps of painstakingly compiled notecards, or when a history exam asks questions about hypothetical scenarios rather than the chronology they have committed to heart.

The feeling is not eased by a frequently cited difficulty in building productive relationships with academic advisers. In a study that interviewed 19 Chinese graduate students at a university in the American Southwest about their sources of stress, many described having trouble establishing trust with their advisers. Some feared that the language barrier might lead advisers to doubt their intelligence.

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Others confessed to being kept awake at night thinking about communication blunders such as a bungled conversation or a misphrased email to an adviser. Those challenges may seem common enough; many, indeed, are not unfamiliar to American students.

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But for the Chinese students, who grew up imbibing messages that all but equated their life prospects and self-worth with academic achievements, the setbacks can be profoundly unnerving. The bright promise of intellectual freedom often ends up producing an insecurity so consuming that it leaves them unable to consider failing. The price of failure is more than imaginary for a majority of those students.

Chinese international students overwhelmingly pay full tuition. Although parents have not hesitated to make those sacrifices when it comes to the future of their treasured only child, to the conscientious American-college freshman from Shenzhen or Changsha struggling to keep up with academic requirements, that weight can feel like an avalanche bearing down. A Chinese student in Chicago using a pseudonym voiced a popular sentiment when she told The Paper, a popular Chinese online news outlet, of her constant wondering whether her school performance justified the money her working-class parents spent on her education.

mental hygiene as a second language Manual

People like that student are unlikely to find consolation in recent statistics: according to a September report from the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think tank, and Zhilian Zhaopin, a Chinese recruitment agency, These shared difficulties have led Chinese students to turn to one another in moments of distress. The stigma in Chinese culture associated with mental illnesses is just beginning to lift, as several Chinese celebrities have opened up about their personal battles.

But because of the heavy shortage of well-trained therapists in China, therapy remains a hazy concept even for the most worldly students. Some of those who have tried the services are often left underwhelmed. In addition to the long wait and limited session time that are common to the increasingly crowded university mental health counseling centers, there are thornier problems. How can Chinese students convey the texture of their thoughts and moods in a foreign language when the language barrier is a cause of their stress and inhibition in the first place?

How do they communicate their nostalgia for mouthwatering homemade Chinese dishes when the sympathetic therapist may not have ventured beyond Panda Express?

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A few institutions, such as Purdue University and Ohio State University, have set up counseling services tailored to Chinese students.

Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language
Mental Hygiene as a Second Language Mental Hygiene as a Second Language

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