One student’s experience of an international classroom… You know, I was really terrified. My English is improving now, but still last year I barely could not understand what people were saying. I think that everyone got the impression that I was so stupid, because I would say “oh, yeah” and just be laughing and saying nothing else. I felt ridiculous virtually all the time, and I was so terrified but still … I, some of my tutors helped me out. In class it really didn’t feel safe… in my own language, I am such a confident person Maria, 2 nd year life sciences undergraduate, 2013
What were Maria’s issues? Trying hard to be accepted Nervous Confused Embarrassed Not confident Feeling stupid Not feeling safe Not confident
What were Maria’s issues? Trying hard to be accepted Nervous Confused Embarrassed Not confident Feeling stupid Not feeling safe Not confident So, what can we do?
ACTIVITY In a language that you know quite well, say hello to someone that you do not know In the same language, tell them how to say “hello” back to you Then go see if you can do this in another language, or go to find a new partner Let’s see how many languages we can speak in this room!
This activity can… help students to feel welcomed at your university help the staff to appreciate who is in the classroom, and what their language skills are enable students to mix more confidently with those from very different backgrounds be the start of some new friendships…