Writing blah, blah, blah: lecturers’ approaches and challenges in supporting international students
journal contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Arkoudis, Ly TranLy Tran
The increase in numbers of international students who have English as a second language (ESL) and are studying in English-medium universities has renewed the emphasis of English language development in higher education, particularly concerning academic writing. Much of the discussion has concentrated on developing best practices in providing support via Language and Academic Support (LAS) programs. However, the main challenge in recent years has focused on integrating disciplinary and language learning. What has been largely missing from the discussion are the views of lecturers and students regarding the strategies they use to develop academic writing in the discipline. This paper addresses this issue. The analysis reveals that academic writing within the disciplines is largely an individual endeavour for both lecturers and their students. Lecturers focus on explaining what skills students are required to demonstrate in their assignments, but students are more concerned with understanding how they can develop these skills. The implications are discussed concerning the development of a whole institutional approach for integrating language and disciplinary teaching.