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Poster #

P05

Poster

Title

eLearning and English-medium Instruction: Inbound Exchange Student Perspectives

Jane Jackson and Tongle Sun

Presenter(s)

Abstract

As Asian institutions of higher education seek to internationalize and offer more courses in English, the number of inbound non-local students on campus is on the rise. To better understand the challenges facing international exchange students who are second-language (L2) speakers of English and unfamiliar with Cantonese, a mixed-method study has been conducted at a bilingual (Chinese-English) Hong Kong university that welcomes 1,000+ semester and year-long international exchange students annually. As interactive learning and eLearning (e.g., online Forums, flipped classrooms, group projects) are promoted at the host institution, the study investigated the ways new arrivals are coping with the demands that are placed on them in the academic arena. Through pre- and post-questionnaire surveys, 92 inbound semester-long international exchange students (EFL speakers who do not know Cantonese) shared their experiences and perspectives. Additionally, a sampling of participants expanded on their views in in-depth, semi-structured interviews. The analysis of the mixed-method data pointed to the need for pedagogical interventions to better support their language/eLearning and academic integration (e.g., focused English for Academic Purposes courses, e-learning workshops, orientations). This needs analysis also offered direction for non-academic support (e.g., social activities that better integrate local and non-local students, a ‘buddy system’ or language partner scheme that links local and non-local students). (This project has generously been supported by a Teaching Development and Language Enhancement Grant (TDLEG) from CUHK.)

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