Our multidimensional identities, at least as recipients of international (TESOL) education and now working as academics actively involved in international education at universities in the English-speaking West, have allowed us to engage with the main concerns raised in the book in unique ways. This has also enabled us to offer a balanced analysis and discussion of various aspects of international education and TESOL, without compromising our scholarly stance. We, in the book, do not attempt to portray international education as either good or bad. Rather we examine how vested interest groups, such as universities and governments, construct and understand the term ‘international’ and how such understanding is promoted for largely implicit commercial and hegemonic reasons.
Rather than making generalisations on the actual needs and abilities of international students, our book demythologises the established images of them generated by the sustained homogenisation of these vested interest groups. It looks at how, although individual learning needs and prospects are often dictated by apparently arbitrary choices, which we call ‘desire’, the foundation for such choices lays in ways individuals are often led into by carefully articulated incentives offered through promotional discourses. And although we acknowledge and discuss the power of resistance and appropriation, our work points to the futility of such discourses in trying to establish the so-called ‘needs’ of international students in Australia and across the English-speaking West.
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