Addressing the Academic Language needs of (Post)Graduate ESL Students: An Evaluation of Three Different Programs
Dr Neomy Storch.
In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of international students in Australian universities. For example, at the University of Melbourne, international student enrolments has increased from just under 5000 in the year 2000 to almost 8000 in 2003.. A significant proportion of these students (about 20%) are (post)graduate students. In some faculties (e.g. Engineering, Economics and Commerce), international postgraduate students make up almost 50% of the total enrolments. Furthermore, for the majority of these international students, English is their second language.
With the growing number of international students, there has also been an increased awareness of the difficulties these students face when undertaking (post)graduate courses and especially when they have to write a thesis in their second language. In response, ESL and language support centres in Australia and elsewhere have developed a range of courses and support programs to address these students academic language needs.
This paper begins by reviewing some of the existing programs in Australia and overseas. It then focuses on three different programs developed and implemented by the author: a credit-bearing ESL unit, a language mentoring program, and a short course on thesis writing. The paper describes each program and reports on the perceived strengths and drawbacks of each program from the students’ and lecturer’s perspective.
Dr Neomy Storch (Australia)
Senior Lecturer in ESL
Language and Learning Skills Unit and Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics
The University of Melbourne
Neomy Storch has been teaching ESL for over 20 years. She completed her Phd in applied linguistics at Melbourne University. Her research interests are in second language pedagogy, particularly the teaching of writing and the nature of pair interaction.
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)