Mass Media and Chinese ESL Students Abroad: Adopting Host Communication and Culture investigates Chinese ESL students’ use of host mass media and how such use enables them to acquire host communication competence and acculturation from their perspective. This qualitative study is grounded in Kim’s theory of communication and cross-cultural adaptation and the uses and gratifications theory and employs a phenomenography approach. Nine participants at a university in Ontario were involved in this study. Data obtained from media use logs, think-aloud protocols, and follow-up interviews provide a far-reaching and detailed description of the uses, reasoning, and effects of using host mass media for the participants.
This book illustrates that these students used a variety of media as sources of information, language acquisition, culture learning, entertainment, and communication. Findings suggest that host mass media were the major influence on these students’ acquisition of host communication competence and perceptions of and acculturation to Canada. Their reliance on mass communication went into the later years of their acculturation process and complemented their language and culture learning, which was somewhat limited through insufficient or reluctant participation in host interpersonal communication. Host communication competence was a primary factor that influenced their selection and use of host mass media, but it was not the only decisive factor relevant to their degree of acculturation. Individual characteristics and the social and cultural environment in Canada were also found to have significant impact on their acculturation process and outcomes. These findings can assist colleges and universities in designing effective programs based on these students’ needs and characteristics, thus enabling them to achieve their academic and professional goals.