Each year multitudes of international students come to Vancouver, Canada from what Kachru (1984) calls the Expanding Circle: countries where English is considered a foreign language. Kobayashi (2006) notes that while English study makes up the majority of study abroad activity, it receives little scholarly attention. Researchers assume language acquisition to be the goal of short-term English programs, and fail to situate observations in a larger context. This macro-sociolinguistic exploration uses Bourdieu's (1977a) social practice framework to navigate the relationship between English, status, and power in short-term English language learning. It provides a thorough description of the socio-historical context, stakeholders and discourse themes involved in the local private English Language Teaching (ELT) sector. In doing so, it addresses a considerable deficiency in the research literature, and offers a foundation for further scholarship on private ELT in Canada. With it I seek to address the misguided avoidance of sociolinguistic factors in language acquisition research and teacher training.
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Thesis advisor: Hilgendorf, Suzanne
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