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Communicating Effectively with International Students
Transcript of Communicating Effectively with International Students
Kelly Hatcher and Becca Bonner
Assisted by Amber Richards and Naomi Perez Troy University offers Blackboard to teachers and students. The writing center tutors assist students through this site. What We Plan to Do in the Future The Troy University Writing Center will receive iPads within a few weeks, and this tool will provide tutors with many more venues for tutoring. Troy University "Alabama's International University" How to Overcome Language Barriers 1. Establish a comfortable environment.
2. Make a plan.
3. Don't be afraid to make meaningful marks on the paper.
4. Ask the student to explain a sentence.
5. Make notes for the student to take. The Challenge Technology in the Writing Center Cultural differences cause special challenges in the tutoring session and the writing process.
Language barriers can impede communication. A campus where:
12% of the population is international.
More than 80 different languages are spoken.
46% of Writing Center tutees are international students (Fall 2012). Cultural Differences Cultural differences can affect the interaction within tutoring sessions. Students' cultural views about tutoring sessions often differ from the Writing Center’s idea of peer tutoring (Harris 207-208). Brauer points out, “Outside of Anglo-American higher education, the idea of writing centers and peer tutoring that goes beyond fixing language issues is fairly new” (187). Students may not expect to answer questions that tutors have for them because they are accustomed to teachers giving information (Harris 210-211). Students are often anxious about beginning a tutoring session because of the difficulties associated with speaking a new language and interacting within an unfamiliar cultural setting (Harris 213). Cultural differences also involve ways in which ideas are presented in writing assignments. Ryan and Zimmerelli explain, “Americans tend to value a direct approach, but some cultures believe that meaning should be implied rather than spelled out directly” (65). Students from other cultures may be unfamiliar with the use of thesis statements and Western organizational patterns (Ryan and Zimmerelli 65). Classes that teach second languages tend to focus on teaching grammar and punctuation rather than meaning (Harris and Silva 530). What We Do To Address Cultural Differences We are always friendly and supportive of students during the tutoring session. This puts students at ease so that we can focus on the task at hand. We always try to compliment things that students have done well. We have a sign posted at our tutoring tables that specifies what we can and cannot do. We explain that we cannot proofread or edit papers. This clarifies the tutor-student relationship and helps to avoid misunderstandings. This prevents the student from trying to ask us what to fix line by line.
Also, this can help us as tutors by showing the extent that students understand our explanations.
After we read through the paper and begin talking to students, we often put down our pens or pencils. We mark the locations of difficulties beside the line or section of the paper. Cultural Differences that Affect Writing The Way We Overcome This Barrier We use visual aids in order to teach students Western styles of essay organization. We use outline diagrams and charts that demonstrate effective techniques of essay organization in an easy to understand way. We ask questions to encourage student participation.
This can help the writer focus on issues related to effective communication. This encourages critical thinking while giving students experience in using the English language in an academic setting. Language Barriers Tablet devices offer a number of applications that benefit students and tutors.
The iPad offers a translator app that can translate over 50 languages (W. Dave).
The iPad also provides fun methods of learning.
The game Futaba is a multiplayer game that can increase an ESL student's vocabulary in a way that doesn't seem like work (W. Dave). A wide number of websites offer lessons and tutorials on grammar and writing (Hegelheimer and Fisher 260).
Online tools are useful in helping students realize grammatical and language errors (Hegelheimer and Fisher 261).
Online resources also provide feedback, which helps educators fill in the learning gaps for ESL students. Arabic Sentences are written from right to left.
Coordination over subordination is important (it is acceptable for sentences to begin with so or and).
The basic sentence pattern is verb-subject-object.
Ex. Wanted the children some ice cream.
There is no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters.
Modifiers follow a noun.
Ex. Hair long blond
Singular nouns are used after numerals above 10.
Ex. She has twelve book.
There are no indefinite articles
Ex. He is freshman Mandarin There are no plural forms for nouns.
Adjectives are commonly the same form as nouns.
Ex. He is very athlete boy.
No articles are used.
There are no verb tenses.
There is no difference in order of words in questions and statements.
Ex. When she will explain?
Modifiers come before nouns.
Ex. She played too loud for me music. Japanese The common sentence pattern is subject-object- verb.
There are no plural forms for nouns.
There is no system for referring to countability.
Ex. Car is important.
It is acceptable to omit possessive pronouns.
Ex. She painted nails. Bibliography Brauer, Gerd. “The Role of Writing in Higher Education in Germany.” ESL Writers. 2nd ed. Ed. Shanti Bruce and Ben Rafoth. Portsmouth, NH: Boyton/Cook Publishers, 2003. Print.
Harris, Muriel and Silva, Tony. “Tutoring ESL Students: Issues and Options.” College Composition and Communication 44.4 (1993): 525-537. JSTOR. Web. 10 September 2008.
Harris, Muriel. “Cultural Conflicts in the Writing Center: Expectations and Assumptions of ESL Students.” The St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors. 3rd ed. Ed. Christina Murphy and Steve Sherwood. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 206-219. Print.
Ryan, Leigh and Lisa Zimmerelli.The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.
Williams, Jessica. “Undergraduate Second Language Writers in the Writing Center.” Journal of Basic Writing 21.2 (2002): 73-91. Google Scholar. Web. 19 December 2012.
W. Dave, http://ipadsinesl.com. Independent School Educators Network. 20, January, 2013
Hegelheimer, Volker and Fisher, David. “Grammar, Writing, and Technology: A Sample Technology-supported Approachto Teaching Grammar and Improving Writing for ESL Learners” CALICO Journal, 23 (2), p-p 257-279. Iowa State University. 20, January, 2013 Bibliography Continued
Raimes, Ann. "ESL Tip Sheet 5: Japanese." Part II: Teaching Composition to ESL Students: Strategies and Tip Sheets. (1966). Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
Raimes, Ann. "ESL Tip Sheet 2: The Chinese Languages." Part II: Teaching Composition to ESL Students: Strategies and Tip Sheets. (1966). Web. 21 Jan 2013.
Raimes, Ann. "ESL Tip Sheet 1: Arabic." Part II: Teaching Composition to ESL Students: Strategies and Tip Sheets. (1966). Web. 21 Jan. 2013
Alabama’s International University. Troy University. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.
Students may not view using someone's words as plagiarism but as a way of complimenting writers on their work (Ryan and Zimmerelli 69).