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Facing the Challenges of Higher Education in a Second Language: The Case of Chinese Students in a Canadian University

Facing the Challenges of Higher Education in a Second Language: The Case of Chinese Students in a Canadian University
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Author(s): Clinton Hendry (Concordia University, Canada) and June Ruivivar (Concordia University, Canada)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 21
Source title: Handbook of Research on Advancing Language Equity Practices With Immigrant Communities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso (Universidad ORT Uruguay, Uruguay) and Max Vazquez Dominguez (University of North Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3448-9.ch001

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Abstract

This chapter reports on a needs analysis on a joint science program in which students spend two years each in China and Canada. Students take ESL courses in China to help them transition to the English curriculum in Canada. Since many of these students plan to work in Canada upon graduation, the authors aimed to determine how the program prepared them not only for university, but also for out-of-class interactions. They interviewed students currently in the Canadian stage of the program, a science teacher, and two ESL teachers. Students were well prepared for academics, but struggle with informal talk. The science teacher found the students to perform well, though were reluctant to speak up. In contrast, the ESL teachers commented on their lack of motivation. All parties noted that a specialized English for academic purposes (EAP) course might address these issues. The authors discuss implications for cross-cultural curriculum design and the need for communication between domain and language experts.

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