Dr Pat Corr, 2011 - Queen`s University Belfast

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Transcript Dr Pat Corr, 2011 - Queen`s University Belfast

Experiences of Teaching a Culturally
Diverse and Internationalised Student Body
Dr Patrick Corr – Centre Director
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
INTO’s UK University Partners since 2006
Partnerships with
universities in the
UK, USA and China
The INTO Queen’s Centre
INTO Queen’s is a joint venture partnership, between INTO and
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
Overview of courses
English for University Study:
Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Pre-sessional English
In-sessional English
International Foundation:
• Engineering and Science
• Business, Humanities & Social
Study Abroad with English
International Diploma:
• Engineering
• Management and Finance
Summer School English packages:
This is a tailored English course
including a social programme, available
upon request
Graduate Diploma:
• Finance
• Management
• Computing (NEW Sept 2012)
The student’s Journey
Imagine you are an
international student ….
It can be a difficult journey…
Everything is
different .. weather,
accents, social
norms, etc, etc
Making the big leap
Into the brave new world
Spot the individual
Some common overgeneralisations:
They rote learn and lack critical thinking
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
They won’t mix
Motivations and Expectations
Motivations and Expectations
Student motivations
and expectations are all
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
Language Difficulties
Three main problems have been identified from a number of independent surveys:
Listening and speaking in seminars:
Academic writing:
• expectations – what is a seminar?
• Expectation of role of tutors/lecturers
• speed of input – other students
• Type of assignments/skills required
• shyness
• Conventions of written work
• inability to formulate a response (fast enough)
• Range/type of resources used
• knowing the ‘best way’ to say something
• Form and culture of assessment
• Linguistic competence- limited
vocabulary/grammatical range
Listening and note-taking:
• Understanding a new accent, a variety of
• Understanding fast talkers
• New vocabulary
• Listening, looking and writing at the same time
• Getting used to a different system
• Plagiarism- often easy to identify in
international students
Cultural differences
May include:– being too teacher-dependent
– being uncritical of materials
– understanding what independent
learning means in HEI
– ‘accidental’ plagiarism
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.
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
Draw upon and use students’ ‘cultural capital’ they have lots to contribute interesting for local students
Keep on and on about acknowledging and referencing
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)