eLearning and English as an Academic Lingua Franca: The Needs, Perspectives, and Experiences of Incoming Exchange Students
Principal Supervisors

Professor Jane Jackson
(Department of English)

Duration

2 year and 6 months

Approved Budget

HK $210,000

 
  • Abstract
  • Brief write-up
  • Video Report

Abstract

  • Rationale:
    • Annually, CUHK hosts 1,000+ incoming exchange students, most of whom are second language (L2) speakers of English.
    • As the University promotes interactive learning/eLearning (e.g., flipped classrooms, online Forums), it is important to systematically investigate how this population is coping with the demands placed on them in English-medium courses.
    • A comprehensive understanding of their needs is essential to provide direction for meaningful interventions.

  • Aim:
    • To support the University‚Äôs Internationalization at Home (IaH)/eLearning aims, this project would identify the challenges facing incoming exchange students who are L2 speakers of English to determine effective ways to support their learning/eLearning and academic integration in courses that are taught in English.

  • Approach: This mixed-method study would:
    • track the learning needs, expectations, and experiences of incoming L2 exchange students who take courses taught in English;
    • identify the internal and external factors that facilitate or hinder their learning/eLearning and academic integration.

  • Outcomes:
    • Drawing on this needs analysis, concrete recommendations would provide direction for interventions (curricular, pedagogical) that would seek to optimize the learning and academic integration of incoming exchange students who are L2 speakers of English (e.g., English for academic purposes (EAP) courses/workshops). This would benefit local and international students, and faculty.

Brief write-up

Project objectives

This project sought to identify the challenges facing inbound international exchange students who are L2 speakers of English. More specifically, it aimed to:
  • track the learning needs, expectations, and experiences of inbound L2 exchange students who take courses taught in English;
  • identify the internal and external factors that appear to facilitate or hinder their learning/ eLearning and academic integration;
  • devise concrete, research-driven suggestions for meaningful interventions to enhance the learning and engagement of this population.

Activities, process and outcomes

All inbound international exchange students (Term 2 of 2016-17, Term 1 and Term 2 of 2017-18) were invited to complete a questionnaire survey at the arrival orientation hosted by the Office of Academic Links (OAL). In total, 338 L2 speakers of English responded and 37 interviewees from diverse faculties/countries of origin were interviewed in-depth in the beginning and near the end of their sojourn. The participants also completed a post-sojourn questionnaire survey near the end of their stay. The mixed-method data was coded in SPSS and/or processed in NVivo 11 Pro.

Deliverables and evaluation

The analysis of the data identified the most common and pressing challenges facing inbound international exchange speakers (L2 speakers of English) (e.g., difficulty following fast-paced lectures with unfamiliar cultural examples, weak skimming and scanning skills, lack of familiarity with eLearning platforms). The findings pointed to ways to better support their learning/eLearning and academic integration in English-medium courses.

Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices

The findings have been widely disseminated at local, regional and international conferences and through publications.

Video Report

Please click the following link for viewing the report.
https://panopto.cuhk.edu.hk/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=D9DB843B-E8D5-4FD6-9AF4-AC7F010C7C46