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Does adaptation to U.S. culture and language proficiency affect international student engagement? Ronald Miller William Neal Kathy Pulotu Amber Hanza.

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Presentation on theme: "Does adaptation to U.S. culture and language proficiency affect international student engagement? Ronald Miller William Neal Kathy Pulotu Amber Hanza."— Presentation transcript:

1 Does adaptation to U.S. culture and language proficiency affect international student engagement? Ronald Miller William Neal Kathy Pulotu Amber Hanza

2 BYU-Hawaii Mission to serve Asia and the Pacific A highly multi-cultural environment 48% are international students International students are from all educational and economical backgrounds Participation in NSSE since 2002

3 Definitions Language—our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning (Myers, David G., 2005). Culture—the enduring behaviors, ideas, attitudes, and traditions shared by a large group of people and transmitted from one generation to the next (Myers, David G., 2005). Acculturation—coordinating two cultures and languages...by adopting new beliefs and values from the receiving culture and retaining beliefs and values from the culture of origin (Cote, James E. 2006; Tong, Virginia M. et. Al. 2006).

4 Past Studies Communication problems arise from language barriers and from differences in learned cultural behavior. (Barnlund, D.C., 1989) Chinese immigrants were found to have a low level of acculturation when relocated to New York City. (Yu, P., & Berryman, D. L. 1996) Factors predictive of acculturative stress affected students’ participation in class. (Yeh, Christine J., 2003) Levels of acculturation have an effect on students’ ability to function in the university atmosphere. (Greenland, Katy, 2005)

5 Research Question Are there any significant differences between first-year and senior Asian students in areas dealing with culture and language adaptation?

6 Focus Group Responses “I think in your First-year you have to learn to adjust yourself. In the first-year [international] students have to learn to adjust so many things other than just academics because everything is different.” “The reason there is such a difference is because Americans are already here and have adjusted to their environment, so the gap is not as big as it is for Asians. Americans do not have to worry about culture shock or adapt in that way.”

7 Method Process –Analyzed National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) data –Analyzed only variables dealing specifically with culture and language Participants –Brigham Young University-Hawaii students –337 Asian –1097 U.S.

8 Hypothesis Exposure to the dominant language and culture will result in senior international students being more similar to mainland students than first-year international students in the following categories:  Personal Values  Collaboration  Socializing  Academic Effort  Academic Skills

9 Personal Values

10 To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following? Understanding yourself 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians reported a significant increase (p<.01) between First-Year and Senior students in their ability to understand themselves. “I would say that the education in the states is quite different from Asian culture and lets you explore, so US students may understand themselves a bit more than we do.” Focus Group Member

11 Personal Values To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following? Developing a personal code of values and ethics 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians reported a significant increase (p<.001) between First-Year and Senior students when developing a personal code of values and ethics. “Since I have come to [BYUH] everything is so new and now I have to choose for myself whereas before my decisions were made by my family. I am building a foundation for myself. I am growing from this experience and now I have to make decisions for myself.” Focus Group Member

12 Personal Values To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following? Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asian students significantly increased (p<.001) between First-Year and Senior students in understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. “I know there are some countries who do not like Japan because of things that have happened in the past but [on campus] we are in a kind of cultural fusion so I think it is a really great opportunity where we can avoid discrimination more and learn a lot of things from each other. [This experience] has changed my perspective of those from other countries, I have begun to really respect them.” Focus Group Member

13 Personal Values In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity than your own 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much First-Year and Senior Asian students did not significantly differ in frequency of serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity. “ As your English ability increases you have more opportunities to have conversations with native speakers.” Focus Group Member

14 Personal Values In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Had serious conversations with students who are very different from you in terms of their religious beliefs, political opinions, or personal values 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians significantly increased (p<.001) from First-Year to Senior students in frequency of serious conversations with students of differing religious beliefs. “ As freshmen, we must adapt to a new a environment and language. Many English speakers will not talk to first- year Asians whose English is not very good. Freshmen year is harder than their senior year.” Focus Group Member

15 Personal Values Conclusion Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture showed significant change for Asian students in all areas of Personal Values except in having serious conversations with students of differing race or ethnicity.

16 Collaboration

17 In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework (committees, orientation, student life activities, etc.) 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in frequency of working with faculty members on activities other than course work.

18 Collaboration In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with faculty members outside of class 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in discussing ideas or readings from classes with faculty outside of class.

19 Collaboration In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Discussed ideas from your readings or classes with others outside of class (Students, family members, co-workers, etc.) 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians showed no significant difference between First-Year and Senior students in discussing ideas from readings or classes with others outside of class.

20 Collaboration Mark the box that best represents the quality of your relationships with people at your institution: Relationships with Other Students Asian students did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in how they rated their quality of relationships with other students. 1 = Unfriendly, Unsupportive, Sense of Alienation, 2 = 3 = 4 = 5 = 6 = 7 =Friendly, Supportive Sense of Belonging

21 Collaboration Mark the box that best represents the quality of your relationships with people at your institution: Relationships with Faculty Members Asian students did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in how they rated the quality of their relationships with faculty members. 1 = Unfriendly, Unsupportive, Sense of Alienation, 2 = 3 = 4 = 5 = 6 = 7 =Friendly, Supportive Sense of Belonging

22 Collaboration Conclusions Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture did not show a significant change between Freshmen and Senior Asians in areas of Collaboration After exposure to the dominant language and culture Asian seniors are more similar to US Seniors in how often they: –Discuss ideas from readings or classes with others –Discuss ideas from readings or classes with faculty

23 Socializing

24 About how many hours do you spend in a typical 7-day week doing the following? (Number of hours per week) Participating in co-curricular activities (organizations, campus publications, student government, social fraternity or sorority, intercollegiate or intramural sports, etc.) Asian students did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in the amount of time spent on participation in co-curricular activities. 1 = 0 hours 2 = 1-5 hours 3 = = = = = = More than 30 hours

25 Socializing About how many hours do you spend in a typical 7-day week doing the following? (Number of hours per week) Relaxing and socializing (watching TV, partying, etc.) Asian students did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in the amount of time spent relaxing and socializing. 1 = 0 hours 2 = 1-5 hours 3 = = = = = = More than 30 hours

26 Socializing Conclusion Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture did not significantly affect Asian students’ performance in variables relating to socializing.

27 Academic Effort

28 In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Prepared two or more drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year to Senior students in how often they prepared two or more drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in.

29 Academic Effort About how many hours do you spend in a typical 7-day week doing the following? (Number of hours per week) Preparing for class (studying, reading, writing, doing homework or lab work, analyzing data, rehearsing, and other academic activities) Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in the number of hours spent preparing for class. 1 = 0 hours 2 = 1-5 hours 3 = = = = = = More than 30 hours

30 Academic Effort In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Come to class without completing readings or assignments 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians showed a significant increase (p<.001) between First-Year and Senior students in how often they came to class without completing readings or assignments.

31 Academic Effort Conclusions Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture did not significantly increase Asian student performance in variables dealing with academic effort. After prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture, Asian students more often came to class unprepared.

32 Academic Skills

33 In your experience at your institution during the current school year, about how often have done the following? Asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in how frequently they asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions.

34 Academic Skills To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following? Speaking clearly and effectively 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in speaking clearly and effectively.

35 Academic Skills To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following? Writing clearly and effectively 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians did not significantly differ between First-Year and Senior students in writing clearly and effectively.

36 Academic Skills During the current school year, how much has your course work emphasized the following? Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory such as examining a particular case or situation in depth and considering its components 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians significantly increased (p<.001) between First-Year and Senior students in analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory.

37 Academic Skills During the current school year, how much has your course work emphasized the following? Making judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods, such as examining how others gathered and interpreted data and assessing the soundness of their conclusions 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asians significantly increased (p<.001) between First-Year and Senior students in how often they made judgments about the value of information, arguments, or methods.

38 Academic Skills During the current school year, how much has your course work emphasized the following? Memorizing facts, ideas, or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them in pretty much the same form 1=Very little, 2=Some, 3=Quite a bit, 4=Very much Asian students significantly increased (p<.05) between First-Year and Senior students in memorizing facts, ideas, or methods.

39 Academic Skills Conclusions Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture did not change Asian student performance in : –Asking questions in class –Speaking skills –Writing skills Prolonged exposure to the dominant language and culture did show marked increase in how often Asian students: –Analyze the basic elements of an idea –Make judgments about the value of information –Memorize facts, ideas, or methods

40 Conclusions

41 Overall, engagement activities most heavily dependent on language or requiring interaction with others do not seem to change over time for Asians even though we know their language does improve. Asians do see a significant change in engagement activities that are mostly self- driven and more strongly related to culture.

42 Contact Information Dr. Ronald Kathy Pulotu Amber

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