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Being an international student Pippa Whitton and Andy Holbrook INTO University of Exeter.

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Presentation on theme: "Being an international student Pippa Whitton and Andy Holbrook INTO University of Exeter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Being an international student Pippa Whitton and Andy Holbrook INTO University of Exeter

2 Foundation → meeting needs of students studying at university?

3 Research question How closely and effectively aligned is the teaching in INTO with the needs of our students going to study as undergraduates in Exeter University?

4 Context Baleap (‘the global forum for EAP professionals’) tracking project ≈ 400 Foundation students → 60-70% UoE

5 INTO → University of Exeter Foundation Student experience Tutor perspective Questionnaires 1 st & 2 nd year Focus groups / interviews 1 st - 3 rd year

6 Questionnaire Dec 2011 (open Qs) Useful, not useful, gaps (on Foundation): Various skills - esp RSS and WTG (useful) Very varied – WTG, novels, culture (gaps) Differences/challenges (at university): 1 st year – independent study reading lectures 2 nd year – similar + writing essays

7 Comments Useful: ‘Referencing Conventions gave us a head start compared to the English students. As it meant that we were not worried about plagiarising.’ 1 st year ‘Reading and note-taking - we have lots of reading to do when writing an essay’ 2 nd year Not useful: ‘Note taking because my subject do not need it…’ 1 st year Gaps: ‘discussion rather than oral presentation for exam’ 1 st year

8 Questionnaire March 2012: Useful (17 x 1st yr)

9 Questionnaire March 2012: Useful (12 x 2nd yr)

10 Quest March 2012: not useful (11 x 1st yr)

11 Quest March 2012: not useful (7 x 2nd yr)

12 Comments: Foundation Useful 1 st year - not challenged (one st) Not useful 1 st year - emphasis on ‘formalized’ writing (one st) Gaps 1 st year – time mgt, note-taking prep for lectures, gp work 2 nd year – writing, group work, searching for sources

13 Comments: at university Differences: 1 st year - more indep’ study/less like school (±), harder (one st ‘less pressure’?), more reading 2 nd year – more self-study, less T-st interaction, group work, more stressful Challenges: 1 st year – language, self-study/control, referencing 2 nd year - time management, understanding articles & lectures

14 Developments on Foundation English More explicit & staged approach to developing skills: note-taking & paraphrasing/summarising referencing critical thinking independent learning More collaborative work (group presentations, seminars)


16 Semi-structured – focus groups of 2-4 Could tell us about the main challenges you have faced studying at university? In what ways do you think the Foundation course prepared you for university well? In what ways could the Foundation course have prepared you better? What are the main differences between studying on the Foundation course and in the University.

17 Focus groups threw up many of the same challenges in university studies already mentioned: Time management Lectures Reading Exams

18 Focus groups also mentioned Integration with native speaker students Personal tutorials Team-based presentations and essays Assessment

19 In general the same issues that many younger undergraduate students have? –Transition to a much less supportive learning environment –Dealing with very large amounts of reading –Managing time for independent learning –Increasing levels of personal critical response –Effective, advance preparation for lectures, seminars and tutorials –Team-working skills –Writing well structured academic essays

20 Good practice Putting lecture recordings and power points on to ELE. (power points a week or two in advance). Working on the development of team-working skills Supporting effective time-management strategies Supporting good study skills through ELE Supportive personal tutorial system Providing a manageable single text in advance of lectures Audited reading lists The ‘global chum’ initiative

21 Good practice (cont) Ensuring International students have adequate representation on SSLCs Joining university societies Actively encouraging students to participate in study groups Using the opportunity for multi-cultural exchange in a positive way.

22 Implications for INTO Need to look at our CPD –More general awareness of academic culture in staff –Greater understanding of blended learning techniques –Greater understanding of how to instil criticality Need to look at our courses –More on team-working –More on study skills and time management –Promote greater awareness of the demands of university

23 Other issues Quantity & type of reading Level of support

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