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Learner identified essentials for tertiary success (L2) Clesol 2014 Mary Fisher & Mhairi Mackay Wintec, Hamilton, NZ.

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Presentation on theme: "Learner identified essentials for tertiary success (L2) Clesol 2014 Mary Fisher & Mhairi Mackay Wintec, Hamilton, NZ."— Presentation transcript:

1 Learner identified essentials for tertiary success (L2) Clesol 2014 Mary Fisher & Mhairi Mackay Wintec, Hamilton, NZ

2 Overview Main Categories Survey Student-identified ‘essentials for tertiary success’ with suggestions to the next cohort to help them help themselves. Student suggestions for improvements to their English programme and also recognition of its benefits. Student attitudes that demonstrate aspects of essentials for tertiary success.

3 Facts and Figures Figure 1 courses and countries

4 Facts and Figures Students’ feelings at the start, middle and the end of (Students could choose one or more box.) 70% didn’t know anyone in their classes 80% were taking some subjects new to them

5 Facts and Figures Beginning of semester 1 Beginning of semester 2 Listening 30% 56% Speaking 40% 20% Reading 15% 12% Writing 15% 12% Which language skill do you think you will need to be strongest in for your study this term?

6 Practical identification of issues Big lectures can be a shock: "It can be very, very difficult to understand some medical words.” Video has been cut to allow ppt to be sent by -apologies

7 Prepare yourself It is very difficult and for me I always printed the lecture PowerPoint before the lecture. I spent maybe two hours to study it because if I couldn’t do that, I don’t understand anything. And also after lecture I studied it too. Try to remember everything.

8 Take control What I do normally if I’m not understanding what’s in the class, when everyone goes at the end I can ask the teacher, “Do you have a few minutes?” “Can I ask you about what you mentioned before?” This means I’ve got the correct message from her. So that’s what I suggest coz sometimes a teacher would jump about and I’m not quite processing quickly enough so I check what I’m understanding.

9 Anticipate-take control “ I’ll understand some more….it’s better than if I don’t preview.” Video has been cut to allow ppt to be sent by -apologies

10 Check carefully Use time wisely It takes us longer I used 2 days to discuss with my classmates just to try to think what the tutor is talking about-what they want for the assignment- its just 250 words but…. Very difficult. I think for us probably to speak for me… I sleep at one o’clock in the morning and I wake up at six o’clock in the morning. We don’t have enough time to do nothing, just study, study.

11 It’s normal to feel frustrated … at the beginning of the study I had the same feeling, what is the tutor talking about…I couldn’t catch up with them. I didn’t have any stress, it’s not my major, I was just doing that study to improve my English but that feeling made me feel frustrated… All the classmates were kiwis and they felt so relaxed, and sometimes the tutor told a joke and hahaha, but for me there was no response at all.

12 Practical identification of issues-speaking The other learners advised that this soon becomes less of an issue. The advice was:-never mind –just ask. “Don’t worry about your English-it gets better!” Video has been cut to allow ppt to be sent by -apologies

13 Keep working at it I feel comfortable now with how to understand people or anything like that, but my pronunciation I feel I need to improve as well, because I’ve had lots of comments from people, what did you say …they don’t understand the first time I said to them.

14 Take English classes I got some, what you call it, self-confidence again after I joined with the Language course. Mary taught us how to debate and using the correct sentences, the stronger sentences, that is really important. …how to move intonation up and down and things like that, that gave important knowledge … I learnt how I can improve my speaking and also try to understand what the people are saying, especially the kiwis… you know (laughter)

15 Recognise your strengths: Presentations We have done presentations in English class so… …we already have quite good skills about how to do a good presentation, such as the good structure, eye contact, the communication. But kiwi students are just not caring… the difference is the mark you get! “I think we can be better than kiwis.”

16 Is language such a big issue? If your grammar is not very good but your idea is good, you’ll also have quite high marks. But if your grammar is perfect and your idea is very, very poor- sorry.

17 L2 students NEED academic writing training I think it’s helpful. I also have Chinese classmates in the mainstream course, they didn’t have this kind of paper study before and I think sometimes they felt confused about how to write a reflection, how to write an essay, how to write a report. So maybe they didn’t know how to write the sentence, the whole structure, the whole concept about this writing, that’s my experience.

18 Group work is an important issue The students also identified that a lecturer/tutor can help: -By encouraging contact if there is trouble. -By suggesting or insisting students choose a group with someone from another country to get a variety of opinions and experience. The video talked about the problem of 1 mark for all participants etc Video has been cut to allow ppt to be sent by -apologies

19 Group work issues But its really hard if we’re in groups mixed with them (kiwi students). Coz if you give your opinion they just ignore it. I think the first main point is we need to really clearly understand what the tutor wants us to do. At the moment we are really confused.

20 Working with kiwis: an initial challenge I can remember nobody wanted to work in a group with me. I do think if we’re doing things in a group they won’t choose the international students that’s what they reckon …because they’re sort of not open and they have to put more effort to understand us. They’ve not really invited us in the first place but they’re still open to us if we show that we’re willing to work.

21 Group work and study: suggestions Group study is very important…in the mainstream course there is a lot of group work that are group assignments. I think in the DEAL (English) class we could do more practice for the group study, so that we can be used to this kind of style. Group work= assignments in a group

22 Group study: how we try to solve issues So I think the group study is very helpful so sometimes we have group study. We talk to each other and we share opinions and we can have a lot of different ideas. So I think understanding the topic is the first thing we can do using a group. The group the students choose can study together very well.

23 Managing the workload -Works well, students identify that they get good results -Note the increased independent approach to solving study issues. For example, these students are applying feedback models. Video has been cut to allow ppt to be sent by -apologies

24 Learner-identified essentials for L2 success in a tertiary environment Psychological Academic Social

25 Psychological Preparedness Confidence based on English language preparation for study in NZ Development of the ability to recognise strengths and build self-confidence in a challenging environment Ability to take responsibility and control AND recognition that there is often no need to go it alone Acceptance that feeling different and frustrated will occur and cause stress

26 Academic Get prepared through suitable English classes Continually preview and review information and tasks Check understanding Discuss Think and value own ideas Know where the grades come from

27 Social Use group study techniques Build- and be part of- a supportive network Control time as much as possible Discuss Let go of bad experiences Take control by asking for assistance appropriately Build a new identity as an L2 learner in a NZ tertiary institution –positively!

28 So what? What should institutions, language centres and individual concerned teachers be doing to help? Suggestions: Provide opportunities for networking and study group formation (programme/course level, teacher level) Provide opportunities for same language/nationality/culture groups to evolve support groups and build liaison with management (institutional level) Support/communicate with EAL/ESP language programmes before and probably also concurrent to mainstream subject study (institutional and individual teacher level) Include/extend an internationalised academic writing support centre or service (institutional level) Consider policies and practices to break intangible barriers within classes-or alternative assessed tasks (Programme/course level, teacher level)

29 Your responses and ideas? Pay attention to difficulties and successes Aim to reduce difficulties and support successes Talk again Review Talk to all concerned parties Talk to students


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