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Should Academics Adapt Their Teaching for International Students?

Should Academics Adapt Their Teaching for International Students?

by Guest AuthorJanuary 2, 2016

International students have increased in recent years and now forms a large part of most universities. International students are often the first to fail courses due to the language barrier and differences in teaching methods. Such problems as language barrier, difficult subjects and an atmosphere in campus, lead to stress, problems with studying process and depression among foreign students. Mymathdone, leading homework help service, reports the increasing of demand on homework help among students. “It’s a connected to changes in bachelor programs in many universities. Foreign students don’t have enough time for adaptation and meet a hard pressure from parent’s side,” – said the representative of the company.

The question is how universities can adapt their teaching to help international students study at the best of their capabilities. Let’s look at some ways that teaching methods can be improved to suit the specific needs of foreign students.

Methods of improving the study experience of foreign students.

Implementation of an over-bridging year

Some UK universities have already implemented an over-bridging or catch-up year for foreign students in order to offer more support to them during their studies. In this extra year international students could be taught about study methods in the country they are studying in as well as learning more about the language and culture. This is in an attempt to give them a better foundation for their future years of study.

Separate teaching for foreign students

Another idea that can help improve the study experience of foreign students is to teach them separately from home language students. This way they could progress at a slower speed if they feel they are left behind in the combined classes.

Test international students’ English

Most foreign students will be studying in a language different to their home language. This language barrier is thought to be one of the greatest culprits in the high fail rate of international students. Universities should implement compulsory tests that could determine on which level a student’s English is. In this manner one could determine which students need extra help with their English language skills. This could prevent majority of foreign students failing their courses.

Custom course designs

Universities could improve their study design to better suit the needs of foreign students. They are probably not used to the teaching methods of the foreign country they study in. A custom course design could be implemented to teach foreign students or a new course design could be implemented in general that will better suit the needs of a combination class. If this is not a feasible idea the teaching methods and course design of the university should be explained to the international students so they know what to expect.

Appropriate support for staff

Another aspect of a foreign student’s study experience is the capabilities of teachers and other staff members. University staff should be trained to better support the learning needs of international students. It is not solely the responsibility of the student to do well, but it is also the way a teacher approaches foreign students that could make all the difference to their time in a foreign country.

There is great benefit in being able to properly teach foreign students and there seems to be many possible ways to improve their studying experience. By providing international students with a good education it could improve the international standard of education as well as positively impacting the country they study in.

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