International Student Academic Support: Academic Support given to Chinese International Students from Teachers

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JesAlana Stewart

Abstract

With the large flux of international students attending American universities in order to achieve a higher level of education, it is imperative that these institutions provide sufficient resources to enable them to succeed. The vast majority of these students have had no experience with the western academic system, and they need an academic cultural ambassador to guide them in this setting. The foremost resource in helping these non-native students to navigate academia is the teacher. This study takes a qualitative approach of four case studies of freshman composition instructors of international students in order to develop the perspective of a first line of defense. This research finds many commonalities among the perspectives of these teachers, particularly in how empathic these instructors are towards their non-native students, and it reveals many forms of accommodations that they make in order to help their students succeed. It discovers that from the perspective of these teachers, this particular group of students will only use the resources that they are encouraged to utilize by each individual instructor (even when there are other known services available to them). Furthermore this study calls for more research into the available resources that international students use, more training for teachers who are going to instruct this very diverse population, and it advocates for the development of further resources for the future.

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