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Uni students who are preparing to study abroad

 
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FreakingTea



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 163

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:02 am    Post subject: Uni students who are preparing to study abroad Reply with quote

This semester I've got a class of sophomores who will be studying abroad in California next semester. They're a breath of fresh air compared to my other (non-English major) classes in terms of overall level and enthusiasm, and the book I was given for this class seems pretty good. "New Inside Out," dunno if anyone has used it. I also have very little to compare it to.

The thing is, I've never taught a class like this, and I really doubt they'll be up for following lectures in an American university. When I studied abroad in Japan junior year, all I studied was the language along with some culture classes taught in English. My students, though, are financial management majors.

Does anyone have any advice for teaching this type of oral English class? What kind of material I should not miss out on covering, what area I should focus on the most? I'd hate to start a new semester in the fall thinking I hadn't done all I could for them and wondering if they're struggling more than they might be otherwise.

Thanks Smile

FT
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Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 1334

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Uni students who are preparing to study abroad Reply with quote

FreakingTea wrote:
This semester I've got a class of sophomores who will be studying abroad in California next semester. They're a breath of fresh air compared to my other (non-English major) classes in terms of overall level and enthusiasm, and the book I was given for this class seems pretty good. "New Inside Out," dunno if anyone has used it. I also have very little to compare it to.

The thing is, I've never taught a class like this, and I really doubt they'll be up for following lectures in an American university. When I studied abroad in Japan junior year, all I studied was the language along with some culture classes taught in English. My students, though, are financial management majors.

Does anyone have any advice for teaching this type of oral English class? What kind of material I should not miss out on covering, what area I should focus on the most? I'd hate to start a new semester in the fall thinking I hadn't done all I could for them and wondering if they're struggling more than they might be otherwise.

Thanks Smile

FT


I taught from New Inside Out (Pre-Int and Int). It's not really a book suited for preparation to study at university though.

My current job is preparing international students to study in western universities, so my advice to you would be to focus on the skills they will need for academic life. How much leeway do you have with the course content? Does it have to be 100% oral English?
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1490
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some ideas...show them some short snippets of video of a lecture on finance or related topics from youtube, just for them to have an idea about lecture/teaching styles and to discover teaching vocabulary that confuses them or that they don't understand at all.

Have the students prepare short lessons to teach the rest of the class following the short videos (or the textbook if appropriate) as examples. Nothing like having to speak to really get them to learn the material. Teaching may help train their ears for listening to the lecturer too.

Ask their opinions (individually) a lot, to prepare them for classes where their input is required, and gain confidence in responding in English, even if it's only how to express that they didn't understand the question.
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dean_a_jones



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1139
Location: Wuhan, China

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be honest, I think unless you know a great deal about their major you might just want to stay away from that. Maybe point them in the direction of free online academic resources (i.e. itunes u) if they want to learn more.

Giving them a good foundation of study skills is not a bad idea. Teaching them about cultural differences. Dealing with independent life abroad. Teaching them basic logic via simple philosophical discussions (on ethics, aesthetics, epistemology etc.) is not a bad idea, as they are just not usually thinking this way (which they will be expected to do when they get abroad).

I teach similar students, and I know there is no way they could legitimately walk into a western classroom and have much of an idea of what's going on. But schools here will take their money and 'teach' them (often focused on helping them simply pass a language test) and schools there will happily take them for the cash. I try not to get too hung up on that and provide them with the basic information and skills they might need in a western academic context.

There are also some good websites out there to help prepare students for study abroad that you may be able to incorporate into lessons, such as:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/general/talkaboutenglish/2009/04/090427_tae_al.shtml
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you asked the students if they intend to study abroad? I was given a group to work with two years ago. We were given an IELTS book to work with. When I saw how much trouble they experienced with the book, I polled the class to find out how many of them intended to study abroad.

Answer: none of them.

To study abroad, they'll have to take the IELTS or TOEFL. Their efforts should be focused on the skills surveyed on those two tests.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2485
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the California uni have a study prep course for international students for a few weeks before regular lectures start?
May be useful to see if they do and align your efforts to that.
Full marks for the commitment you are showing.
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wangdaning



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 2069

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Powell wrote:

To study abroad, they'll have to take the IELTS or TOEFL. Their efforts should be focused on the skills surveyed on those two tests.


That is not quite true. They have to have a certain IELTS/TOEFL level or equivalent. The requirements can be made through coursework.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2485
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The requirement will vary from country to country and school to school.
If OP's students are headed to the same college, dovetail with its requirements.
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1387

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wangdaning wrote:
Bud Powell wrote:

To study abroad, they'll have to take the IELTS or TOEFL. Their efforts should be focused on the skills surveyed on those two tests.


That is not quite true. They have to have a certain IELTS/TOEFL level or equivalent. The requirements can be made through coursework.


In the U.S., TOEFL and IELTS are the most common college-entry English language tests accepted by tertiary-level institutions in the U.S.. AFAIK, those tests must be submitted to the university or college upon application. Those institutions that have ESL programs in place may allow the students to meet the English proficiency requirements through ESL course work. At the end, they'll still have to take a proficiency test.
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