Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Zhang, Zuochen


Chinese students, ESL challenges, Ontario, post-secondary education




With an ever-increasing number of Chinese students coming to Canada for better education opportunities, Canadian universities are providing various ESL programs to facilitate their academic study in a new country. However, Chinese ESL learners are still facing challenges in the learning process. This study focuses on answering two main questions: (1) What are the major challenges that post-secondary Chinese students face when enrolled in an ESL program in Canada? and (2) How do their previous educational experiences in China affect their ESL learning in Canada? Six participants from a university in Ontario were invited to talk about their learning experience in the ESL program offered by the university and to give suggestions for the improvement of the program. This research aims to obtain an in-depth understanding of the challenges that are faced by the research participants. It also intends to offer suggestions that may help institutions and their teachers provide a better learning experience for ESL learners not only from China, but all international students who need English language development prior to their program of study at post-secondary Canadian institutions.