Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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The 21st century has seen an emphasis in US media and policy documents on increasing the numbers of US students studying abroad and also the amount of US students studying ‘critical’ languages. This paper examines the intersection of these discourses, or the experiences of critical language learners abroad. We analyze this intersection by using critical discourse analysis to examine US media and policy documents and data from students studying Arabic in Egypt and Mandarin in China. This analysis reveals considerable discrepancies between rhetoric and experience in terms of language and intercultural learning. We argue that a critical examination of current discourses of study abroad (SA) reveals that they in fact recreate the colonial map, mask global inequalities, and create a new global elite. We conclude that language and intercultural learning abroad will remain a source of tension until SA students and programs critically engage with these discourses.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Arabic; China; critical languages; Egypt; Mandarin; study abroad
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