Who are L2 Students?
Second Language (L2) is a ‘catch all’ descriptor that refers to any language acquired or learned after the native or home language. Non-native English Speakers (NNES) at the University may in fact be speaking English as their third or fourth language. For this reason, you will sometimes here people say English as an Additional Language (EAL) in lieu of English as a Second Language (ESL).
NNES populations at the University comprise a variety of individuals from numerous backgrounds. They may be immigrants, people with refugee experience, children of immigrant populations (see Generation 1.5 Students), and international students. Within these subgroups of NNESs, there are various distinctions. For example, not all international students enter the University through the same program. The entrance requirements of each program is distinct, so be aware that they are not all coming in with the same academic background or English language proficiency – even if they come from the same country. That would seem to go without saying, but this is how stereotypes and misinformed expectations of students come to be. Continue reading