Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

International students' participation PGT first semester

"More engagement means more good memories": do international students participate less in class discussion in the first semester of their Masters programmes than during their pre-sessional English for Academic English course, and if so, why?

School:  Centre for Open Learning

Team Members: Cathy Benson, Camilla Green, Joan Cutting, Seongsook Choi

Abstract

This study seeks to investigate whether there are differences between the level and nature of participation of international PGT students in classes on their pre-sessional Academic English courses and in workshops and seminars once they embark on their Masters programmes. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in fact they participate less in the early stages of their academic programmes. We will examine features of interaction occurring in each type of classroom, looking in particular for features which seem to encourage or inhibit participation. We surmise that lower levels of participation may in part be related to cultural differences in interaction styles between L1 English speakers and international students.

Our ultimate aim would be to make recommendations to tutors on ways of encouraging greater interaction, and design workshops on intercultural communication to be delivered jointly to local and international students.