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Experiences of Teaching a Culturally Diverse and Internationalised Student Body Dr Patrick Corr – Centre Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Experiences of Teaching a Culturally Diverse and Internationalised Student Body Dr Patrick Corr – Centre Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Experiences of Teaching a Culturally Diverse and Internationalised Student Body Dr Patrick Corr – Centre Director

2 A little context – What is INTO Queen’s? INTO is a global private sector organisation that partners with leading universities to transform their international performance, invest in their student experience and prepare students for success in higher education worldwide. Partnerships with universities in the UK, USA and China

3 INTO’s UK University Partners since 2006 Partnerships with universities in the UK, USA and China

4 The INTO Queen’s Centre INTO Queen’s is a joint venture partnership, between INTO and Queen’s; Established in August 2009 – based in Lennoxvale Range of English language and Pathway programmes Rapid growth – currently almost 200 Queen’s students We are the journey – a Queen’s degree is the destination

5 Overview of courses English for University Study: Undergraduate and Postgraduate Pre-sessional English In-sessional English Study Abroad with English Summer School English packages: This is a tailored English course including a social programme, available upon request International Foundation: Engineering and Science Business, Humanities & Social Sciences International Diploma: Engineering Management and Finance Graduate Diploma: Finance Management Computing (NEW Sept 2012)

6 The student’s Journey Imagine you are an international student ….

7 It can be a difficult journey… UKBA Culture Shock Home sickness Everything is different.. weather, accents, social norms, etc, etc Different education system

8 Making the big leap Into the brave new world

9 Spot the individual They rote learn and lack critical thinking skills They are passive, won’t talk in class Progressive Western teaching methods don’t work with Asian students They only focus on assessment They don’t understand what plagiarism means They won’t mix Some common overgeneralisations:

10 Motivations and Expectations

11 Student motivations and expectations are all different

12 International students: issues Language difficulties Cultural differences – independent learning Educational expectations - plagiarism Why don't they speak slowly? Our teachers normally dictate the notes. Roles of university teachers- more or less supportive or involved? Differing learning styles and experiences – education systems differ Ability and opportunities to integrate

13 Language Difficulties Three main problems have been identified from a number of independent surveys: Listening and speaking in seminars: expectations – what is a seminar? speed of input – other students shyness inability to formulate a response (fast enough) knowing the ‘best way’ to say something Academic writing: Expectation of role of tutors/lecturers Type of assignments/skills required Conventions of written work Range/type of resources used Form and culture of assessment Linguistic competence- limited vocabulary/grammatical range Plagiarism- often easy to identify in international students Listening and note-taking: Understanding a new accent, a variety of accents Understanding fast talkers New vocabulary Listening, looking and writing at the same time Getting used to a different system

14 Cultural differences May include:- –being too teacher-dependent –being uncritical of materials –understanding what independent learning means in HEI –‘accidental’ plagiarism

15 In class All new students need to adjust to their new educational setting - school to university, country to city. Those from an international background will generally have significantly more adjustment to make – culture, climate,language… International students do have a range of different needs. To accommodate them we need to change (or have already changed) how we teach and what we teach and probably, how we think about teaching …. to accommodate cultural and linguistic diversity.

16 Some practical considerations Find time to learn a little about the cultural backgrounds of your students & about the different kinds of experiences and expectations they may have Be conscious of your own delivery - speed, language Use visual support, handouts, QOL Mix nationalities in group work - shared input into final product Discuss and decode academic language. How is ‘evaluate’ different from ‘justify’ Draw upon and use students’ ‘cultural capital’ they have lots to contribute - interesting for local students Keep on and on about acknowledging and referencing

17 Actively Manage Diversity Be aware of and accept academic cultural difference. experiencing differences as a natural and enriching issue instead of a problem is another significant condition for intercultural learning’ (Jokikokko, 2009). Be prepared to support students through the transition period & help them develop the necessary skills to be successful Use teaching methods that encourage participation and collaboration Anticipate and manage predictable problems (expectations, integration,group work, plagiarism, etc)


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