What is said and what is heard. You and International Students

This session will explore the mismatch between some common expectations held by HE lecturers and International Students. It will aim to promote reflection on current practice in four specific areas, namely: HE/ institution-specific vocabulary, assessment briefs, feedback and discussion centred on accuracy of L2. In addition to promoting more efficient communication between staff and students, this reflection may also help staff in providing their students with further tools to become confident and independent learners.

The session will be led by one tutor and two International Students and will begin with student quotes to highlight the disconnect between staff and student perceptions of HE study requirements.
It will then focus on 4 areas of disconnect:

  1. The language of HE– typical pre-sessional programmes incorporate the Academic Word List, collocational language etc and a typical lecturer may highlight subject-specific vocabulary. Yet highlighting high-frequency vocabulary pertaining to HE study is often overlooked. If a student does not understand ‘weightings’, ‘summative’ v ‘formative’ assessment, ‘penalty’, ‘extenuating circumstances’ and the like, can they reach their full potential? Acting on these lexical items are a major factor in student success and progression
  2. Assignment briefs – are we consistent in length, style, format and terminology used in assignment briefs? If not, how can we guide our students to navigate our inconsistencies?
  3. Our feedback – what does it really mean? Is clarity the victim of well-meaning motivational phrases?
  4. Language – when we offer comments to students on their language, do we really know what we are talking about? If we don’t know, how can our students?

For each of the above, participants will be expected to engage in group activities which offer the opportunity to develop teaching strategies which will promote effective communication and enhance learning.

 

Workshop Overview

Victoria Arslan, Fangxin Luo & Xiaotong Deng (International Students SAH)