Another Look at the Language Difficulties of International Students

Yanyin Zhang, Yinan Mi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    International students encounter language-related problems in their academic studies. Specific problem areas have been identified and possible underlying causes have been explored. The present study investigates the impact of two variables-length of study and academic disciplines-in relation to the problems. The findings from a survey and interview of 40 Chinese students at 8 Australian universities reveal that though listening and speaking pose a lot of difficulties for the majority of the informants, the difficulties are confined to the first 2 years, and they do not seem to affect the academic study of those informants in linguistically less demanding courses. Reading does not seem to be a problem area but writing does, across academic disciplines, defying the 2-year mark. These findings call for a more balanced and nuanced understanding of the language difficulties experienced by international students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)371-388
    JournalJournal of Studies in International Education
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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