Foreign Students in Western Universities: Difficulties in Academic Success

Pages: 2 (669 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Assignment One
Use information from the Leslie and Smith (2004) survey to account for the difficulty that new overseas students in Western universities encounter in their pursuit of academic success. Refer also to Ballard (1996) to support some of the points you make.

In this global age, studying abroad has become an inevitable trend and, for overseas students, western universities are the priority choices to study in. Studying abroad is a good chance not only to expand the knowledge as well as the mind but also to grow up independently. Nerveless, those students who have already achieved satisfactory score of TOEFL or IELTS still meet several difficulties during the process of pursuing academic achievement. Above all, the analysis skill and active as well as independence attitude are two common weaknesses for students from non-western countries. This essay will offer an explanation of what cause these weaknesses with Leslie and Smith (2004) survey and Ballard (1996) research.

In data taken from Leslie and Smith’s survey (2004) some international students indicate the fact that the aim of education in the UK is completely different from the aim of education in non-western countries. The former is active and independent, but the latter is passive and reproductive. For example, one students claims that he is taught to believe the knowledge given from teachers. The responsibility of student is to remember the knowledge (Leslie & Smith, 2004: Respondent 6), while another students mentions directly, “I think learning is more passive in my country, and we have to be more active here.” (Leslie & Smith, 2004: Respondent 10) These data may be supported by Ballard (1996, p4), who argues that, in many non-western countries, teachers strongly ask student to keep reserved attitude through reproductive learning skill which has been built up in primary and secondary western educational system. Moreover, this difference is closely related to the different country...

References: Ballard, B. (1996). Through language to learning: Preparing overseas students for study in Western universities. In Coleman, H (1996). Society and the language classroom( pp. 148-168). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leslie, A & Smith, A. M. (2004) Academic Synergy: Cultural influence on individual learning and teaching style. In Pulverness, A (2004) IATEFL 2003 Brighton Conference
Selections. Canterbury IATEFL.
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