Perceptions of Academic English Language Barriers and Strategies-Interviews with Chinese International Students
As Chinese international students are becoming an important part of American higher education, there is growing need of exploring their learning experiences in the United states. This study mainly discusses their perception of English learning barriers and strategies in American universities, focusing on undergraduate Chinese international students. Research questions include: What themes emerge from interviews with undergraduate Chinese international students? How do they perceive their academic English learning? In what ways do undergraduate Chinese international students improve their academic English language skills? This is a qualitative study employing personal interviews with thirteen participants. Participants are undergraduate Chinese international students at a large public university in Washington State. Close text analysis was conducted to further study how these participants perceive their academic English learning. Based on this study, undergraduate Chinese international students feel struggled with their academic English, especially in reading and writing. Students have a similar awareness of disciplinary distinctions. Most of them believe that different disciplines have different demands for academic English. They try to improve their academic English by consciously using certain strategies, including self-study as well as social interactions. These students also feel that their learning experiences are significantly influenced by social interactions with native English speakers. Intercultural communications play a great role in their perceptions of academic English learning. The implications of my findings are: (a) undergraduate Chinese international students feel they need more support with their academic English reading and writing. Students from Humanities are in need of extra help with academic writing and students from Science need to improve reading; (b) an inclusive environment should be built to make international students feel belonged, thus they can further improve their self-efficacy. Intercultural communications should be encouraged in or after class so that students can mutually better understand each other. (c) Multilingual teaching is beneficial for second language learners as they can learn English without losing their own community and identity.
- Education - Seattle