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Teaching and Learning English : meeting the global needs
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Erlenawati SawirErlenawati Sawir
Globalisation has escalated people movement. There are more people leaving their home countries to pursue their degrees overseas than before. Australia is one among the countries with a large number of international students. The rapid growth in numbers has prompted numerous studies on international students and aspects of their academic and social experience. One frequently cited problem facing international students entering tertiary education in Australian institutions is difficulties with English language. The paper reports findings from a large-scale qualitative study concerning international students in Australian higher institution. It identifies language and teaching and learning issues affecting international students as observed by academic staff involved in teaching the students. The staff also discusses strategies for addressing those issues. Data are derived from semi-structured interviews with 80 academic staff in four faculties in one institution, and considered in the context of the research literature on international students. The issues have global implications. Language proficiency and communicative competence affects the capacity of students to learn within the academic program, to survive and integrate in the country of education, and to maximize the potential for more cosmopolitan relations with local students. The issues affect not only higher institutions in Australia but also provider countries sending international students especially language teachers in high schools, higher institutions and other language courses.