Staff development needs on an international campus

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Baker, Wendy
Panko, Mary
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Conference Contribution - Oral Presentation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
non-English speaking background students
NESB students
staff development
tertiary education
Baker, W., & Panko, M. (1998, July). Staff development needs on an international campus. Paper presented at the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Conference, Auckland.
Over the last decade academic staff at tertiary institutions have been confronted by increasing internationalisation of their classes. In an attempt to support staff development in this area a collaborative research project was undertaken by a combination of interviews and observations to investigate the issues and strategies adopted by staff to improve the learning of Non English Speaking Background (NESB) students. In the study lecturers identified the overwhelming problem when teaching NESB students as language difficulties which they attempted to address by altering their oral delivery patterns but not supporting this with other 'good practice' strategies. Other issues raised were: cultural factors such as limited participation in group work by NESB students, and that NESB students 'unpreparedness' for Student-Centred Learning. Few lecturers were observed to attend to these issues. The study also revealed problems and attitudes changed according to who was the minority - in some classes first language English-speaking New Zealand students formed the minority group while in others it was NESB students. Without exception lecturers valued the presence of NESB students but felt that institutions that encourage large numbers of NESB students should become more accountable for lecturer difficulties and frustrations. The research paper concludes by the advocacy of 'best practice' which will go a long way to overcoming difficulties with NESB students for both lecturers and institutions.
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