Title: Fostering the Academic Transition of International Students Who Are Ethnoculturally and Linguistically Diverse in Postsecondary Education
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Kacia Whilby, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
The need for more services and support for the academic transition of international students is evident as their population continues to increase in postsecondary institutions. There is also a need for faculty to have a deeper understanding of how international students transition academically and how they can use the knowledge to guide academic support development. This phenomenological study examined the personal experiences of international students who are ethnoculturally and linguistically diverse (ECLD) with academic transition to postsecondary education. The focus was on international students with educational backgrounds and experiences outside of Canada and their adjustment to academic writing and teaching strategies in a Western Canadian university. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with eight purposefully selected international graduate students. To provide triangulation a content analysis was performed on documentary evidence from the study location. All data were analyzed following an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis resulting in the creation of superordinate themes: teaching and learning approaches, challenges, types of support and suggestions. Findings from this process revealed that disparities in one’s social and educational background are conflicting and critically affect an international students’ ‘academic transition.’ The findings brought to bear culturally responsive practices that postsecondary institutions should adopt as they develop programs and academic support services for students. The study also provided recommendations that can be implemented to ensure the smooth transitioning of all international students.
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