Article

Quiet, but only in class: Reviewing the in-class participation of Asian students

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  • UNSW Canberra
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Abstract

This paper presents a teaching innovation that has proved successful in stimulating the in-class participation of Asian students. The innovation consists of using written communication as an additional tool to clarify material and to promote discussions. Although this innovation has been introduced in too few classes to draw a general conclusion, its results suggest that Asian students are willing to actively participate to discussions. Teachers can therefore unlock their Asian students' potential to speak up. These observations are in line with the literature, suggesting that the quiet behaviour of Asian students is related to cultural elements (including language skills) rather than a specific approach to learning. They are also consistent with the insights arising from a large student survey carried out at the National University of Singapore.

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... This barrier comprises a fear of intimidation, embarrassment and failure to meet social expectations. Anxiety, brought about by a wish to avoid the consequences of losing face, contributes to a level of participation which according to the western standard is rather low and passive (Flowerdew 1998;Tani 2005;Zhenhui 2001). All in all, these studies reveal that sensitivity to social face is a factor shaping the apparently reticent behaviour of Asian-CHC students in their learning environment. ...
... In many ways, engaging in CL for Asian-CHC students means a clash between those face attributes traditionally perceived as positive (humble, modest, well-thought and well-said) and those face attributes that CL perceives as positive (verbal expressing, articulating and challenging). This conflict of values may contribute to the way western educators often characterise Asian-CHC learners as reticent learners who are unwilling to commit themselves publicly, reluctant to give their opinions, anxious to question and criticise, and hesitant to participate (Flowerdew 1998;Tani 2005;Woodrow & Sham 2001;Zhenhui 2001). ...
... Different ways to confirm and confront face within-and between-group exist and manifest their influences in different contexts. For example, Tani (2005) reports that a strategy successfully used in an Australian University to encourage Asian-CHC students to participate in discussion is utilising written communication. In this way, students have more time to prepare good questions and to discuss with peers. ...
Article
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The study is concerned with the influence of western educational approaches upon non-western societies and cultural groups. In applying western educational approaches, often a detailed consideration of its consequences to the culture and heritage of a non-western civilization is neglected. This is both the case of a multicultural classroom where students come from different backgrounds and the case of homogeneous classroom in non-western countries where the western teaching and learning approaches are encouraged because they seem to bring higher academic achievement. The research further draws upon a case study that illustrates the application of Cooperative Learning, an educational method that was developed in a western context. Cautions have been raised, concerning diverse influential factors, one of them identified in this study as the cultural factor which refers to norms and values deeply embedded in the cultural niche and everyday’s life pattern of teachers and students, and to a certain extent may exert influence in how they perceive and practice CL. While we may agree that the roots of CL are extant in all cultures, because cooperation is essential to the functioning of human groups, we should acknowledge that different forms of CL are more likely to thrive in different cultures. This study is dedicated to explore the impact of a specific culture on CL process and outcomes by means of experimental research. The particular cultural reference in the study is focused on Asian Confucian Heritage Cultures, which are the cultures historically under the influence of Confucianism in the following countries: Viet Nam, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Theoretical analyses conducted to examine what aspect of Asian-CHC specifically may influence CL and in what way reveal a number of domains where cultural conflicts and mismatch are likely to happen when the mainstream CL approaches are applied in Asian context without a rigorous adaptation to improve compatibility with the host culture in the following domains: Leadership; Face; Reward allocation; Group composition; Teacher-Student dyad; Gender; Learning style; and Attitude towards time. Two experimental settings were formed by randomisation. Vietnamese students in one setting received a series of lessons in which CL principles applied in domains of focus are associated with the mainstream CL theories and practice. Students in the other setting received similar lessons but CL in these lessons were modified so as to be more culturally appropriate. Findings show that there is likely to be a discrepancy in how Vietnamese students and the mainstream CL researchers perceive the impact of leadership, the justification of reward allocation, and the effectiveness of group composition based on affect-based trust and social shared identity. When CL was organised in ways that were considered to be culturally appropriate, students reported higher work rates than those who followed a traditional programme. This study links theory directly to practice by formulating nine concrete CL instructional design principles to be considered in curriculum and task design with Vietnamese students in particular, and Asian-CHC learners in general, as target group. Arguing that CL is not value-free, the study points out a challenge for educational leaders to balance the changing demands put on learners and teachers as a consequence of globalisation, while being sensitive to the equally important task of addressing the need to value the cultural context of learners and teachers.
... The most common assertions are that they are good at listening and taking notes, but reluctant to participate in class activities and discussions (Kim, 2006). Some existing researches affirm that East Asian students are sometimes reticent and passive learners in class, but they are talkative after class with peers from the same or similar cultural background (Tani, 2005: p. 1). In several comparable studies about Hong Kong students in English context class, where the courses were taught in English by native English speakers with high expectations to students' class participation, "the deathly silence" occurred when teacher asked open-ended questions in the lecture (Biggs, 1991: p. 3). ...
... Asian culture strongly influences students' thoughts and behaviors by intrinsically providing value, tradition, habits, and assumptions (Tani, 2005;Rošker, 2017). The differences in the nurturing process of Asian-heritage and European-heritage students lead to their value and behavioral differences (Fukuyama & Greenfield, 1983;Johnson & Marsella, 1978). ...
... Also, it is interesting to find that low participation and silence appear to be only confined to classrooms (Tani, 2005), which cultural factors cannot explain. East Asian students are quiet, but only in class, because they are talkative after class, including interacting with other Asian students and talking with instructors during consultation hours. ...
Article
Full-text available
East Asian ESL students in the United States are frequently perceived as reticent, timid, and unsociable in class activities and discussions. The article reports a literature review investigating the possible causes of the actual condition of East Asian students’ participative performance and finds out feasible accommodations to provide to them. Cultural background, foreign language anxiety, classroom norms, and gender/age are discussed as factors influencing students’ willingness to speak in class. Accommodations regarding the issue include the use of written communication and online learning tools. Gaps and implications for future research are formulated in the end.
... In fact, students' in-class silence becomes a common occurrence and it often leads to communication failure between teachers and students as well as among students themselves. Although silence itself in some educational contexts can have a beneficial influence on students as it creates space for extended cognition and deep reflection (Granger, 2004;Liu, 2005;Tatar 2005), many researchers claim that in the circumstance of a foreign language classroom silence presents a significant threat to successful language learning when it is characterized by an absence of oral communication and verbal responsiveness from students (Nakane, 2002;Tani, 2005;Tsui, 1996). In other words, students of foreign languages have to communicate so as to achieve progress with their foreign language improvement. ...
... To date, various studies investigate the silent reticence of language students (Delima, 2012;Lui, 2005;Nakane, 2005;Tani, 2005). Studies on students' in-class performance have often targeted at identifying factors which contribute to such silence with the aim to prevent students' silence (Chen 2003;Cheng, 2000;Liu & Jackson, 2009). ...
... Moreover, elements like students' target language competence, previous speaking performance in class, confidence level, and lesson contents are all potential reasons contributing to students' tendency to be silent in language classrooms (Liu & Jackson, 2009;Delima, 2012). Studies piloted on Asian learners studying in EFL classes also claimed their inherent shyness (Liu, 2005(Liu, & 2006, inadequate language input and output, and the negative impact of university entrance exams on speaking skills (Chen 2003;Cheng, 2000), resistance to a repressive education system (Tani, 2005) as significant factors leading to students' silence. ...
Article
The current paper explores the silent behavior of students within EFL classrooms. It investigates reasons behind students’ in-class silence, or lack of verbal participation, and then puts forwards several suggested solutions for more effective in-class conversation. The population for this study consists of 85 English-major students at a university of foreign languages in Hanoi, Vietnam and the data are collected via questionnaire and semi-structured interview. The findings indicate various causes of students’ classroom silence: personal and impersonal, linguistic and psychological factors such as students’ personality and language proficiency, teachers’ methodology, lesson contents, and class cooperation. Together with the theoretical discussion, the empirical evidence revealed by this study can perhaps help applied linguistics practitioners/ teachers gain more heightened awareness and deeper understanding of students’ silent behavior. The current study purposefully targets at enhancing both the English teaching and learning efficiency at this foreign-language university.
... But as we have seen already, many international students face difficulties in participation in tutorials and developing social networks, giving them limited exposure to opportunities to communicate in English (e.g. Robertson, Line et al. 2000;Paulhus, Duncan et al. 2002;Wright and Lander 2003;Tani 2005;Fegan 2008). In the absence of this access, international students most often communicate only with their home-language groups, or if in English, to other international students. ...
... In the absence of this access, international students most often communicate only with their home-language groups, or if in English, to other international students. According to Tani's (2005) student participants, this does not constitute an adequate learning environment. ...
Book
This report presents the outcomes of The English Language Growth (ELG) Project, a large scale project conducted in five Australian universities in 2008-09 to address the ongoing English language development of international students from non-English speaking backgrounds. While these international students have a level of English deemed adequate for entry to university, as measured through: the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or similar tests or experience, many students require further language development to be successful in their studies. The previous English language experiences of these cohorts of students vary markedly. Many have learned English after the so-called “critical period” and face maturational constraints: disadvantages that are augmented by cultural and academic adjustment. The term “language growth” as used in our title Addressing the Ongoing English language Growth of International Students, although not used widely in the literature, was adopted to attract international students’ interest regardless of their skill level. Judging by the number of respondents, the choice of this title, we feel, was successful and seems to have related directly to their immediate concerns. This study therefore focused on international students and the factors influencing the growth in their English language competence over time. The study sought to investigate the relationship between academic success and two factors affecting language development: 1) language and academic learning strategy use and 2) affective learning variables (e.g., motivation, anxiety, beliefs). Using an online survey inviting both qualitative and quantitative responses, almost 800 international students provided a rich source of data. Students provided information on their attitudes, motivation and beliefs about language learning, their strategies for improving their language skills, and their strategies for academic learning. These data were correlated with the participating students’ grade point averages or similar academic measures. Many participants took considerable time and effort in responding to the survey’s open-ended questions, and a small number volunteered to be interviewed. These data enhanced the production of two further deliverables that have been generated through this project: a digital resource for students to advise them on what may/may not advance their academic success; and a resource for academics to assist with the teaching and supervision of diverse student cohorts. The study provides evidence that a range of language learning strategies do not correlate well with academic success at this higher level. By contrast, involvement in more active (integrated and social) language learning environments—where students need to be resourceful with their language and instigate a degree of risk-taking—does show weak but positive correlations with academic success. Other issues were also raised by our participants. For example, many students reported the importance of cultural knowledge in order to understand and use English effectively. Weak positive correlations were found for those strategies that promoted day-to- day interaction in English and risk-taking behaviours, such as inferring meaning from surrounding linguistic cues. Weak negative correlations were found for time- consuming strategies such as developing word lists and charts. There was a positive correlation between academic success and the provision of linguistic feedback on assignments, and a negative correlation with failure to attend lectures. These findings have implications for universities’ policy-making, particularly with regard to addressing students’ social and cultural integration and the maintenance of their own identity in the face of a globalised educational environment. The findings also raise questions about the scope of internationalisation of the curriculum and establishing an appropriate balance between recognising students’ cultural backgrounds and developing their acceptance of Australian culture. A set of 16 recommendations for higher education institutions are proposed as a result of this study: 1. The findings from our study strongly suggest the need for learning environments to be supportive of students. Recommendation 1: For this to happen we recommend that both teaching and support staff work together to cater for the needs and interests of all students through being cognizant of the students’ backgrounds, opportunities, skills and understandings and by providing appropriate teaching and learning resources. 2. Related to Recommendation 1 is our finding that a key component of academic success is the need to develop deep level understanding. Recommendation 2: Therefore we recommend that teaching and support staff develop and provide learning opportunities and provide adequate and appropriate resources (in a timely manner) so that this can be achieved. 3. The value of the daily use of English by international students cannot be overestimated. However, students need opportunities for this to occur. Our study shows that many students are so overwhelmed with their academic workload that they are unable to take on this additional, yet effective, learning opportunity. Moreover, many courses do not allow time for students to integrate. Since the tutorial classroom is the environment that lends itself most to interaction between students, the importance of creating a relaxing and secure environment is fundamental. This means that non-native speakers’ contributions are not dismissed or ridiculed by other students. Codes of conduct or “ground rules’ can be set to ensure that all students’ contributions are valued. Recommendation 3: The project team therefore recommends that tutorial classes are used to enhance communication between students, over and above the traditional format of discussing subject content. Numerous ice- breaking games and interaction tasks are available online which can be remodelled to enhance content learning and communication and which can help interlocutors to relax and develop friendships. Some examples might be activities where students match terminology and definitions, activities where student groups recreate, in their own words, topic sentences or a new title from a reading, or where students work together on concept maps thereby developing their language as they negotiate and contribute to the creation of a map. 4. Following from Recommendation 3 is the value of social support groups and functions for international students. At the university level, it is important that funding continues for these activities. At the faculty, school/department, or course/unit level it is important that students are encouraged to join such groups where they can overcome anxiety with regard to speaking. Recommendation 4: We recommend therefore that lecturers and tutors are informed of social activities on their campuses and encourage their international students to attend. Social activities involving small unit enrolments are also an option. A list of clubs and societies and recommendations for membership can be part of the unit guide. Social activities can be advertised on the unit or course website and students can be advised on the value of social learning strategies. 5. University support services already provide numerous orientation and study programs which are often poorly attended, particularly as the semester progresses. Most universities have responded to this with attempts to ‘embed’ academic support, however often these result in nothing more that ‘token’ responses to university policy allowing support staff ten minutes of a lecture to advise students. Recommendation 5: We recommend that unit coordinators make a serious attempt at embedding academic support into their units. This can be done by working closely with academic skills development staff and with teaching and learning development staff at the curriculum development stage. 6. Following from recommendation 5 is the need for students to understand about learning, what strategies suit them, what strategies are available, and what strategies other students are using. This is a further role for learning advisors, but also one that can be taken on board by academic staff. Recommendation 6: The project team recommends that students’ meta- learning knowledge (or metacognitive strategies) be developed. This can be done with information on and/or links to learning strategy advice on unit or course websites and in unit guides. It can also be the subject of discussion in an early tutorial. The CD ROM which is produced as a resource from this project can also be used to develop students’ understanding of “how to learn”. 7. Preparation before classes/lectures and attendance at classes/lectures was linked to academic success in our study. Also significant was good organisation with regard to getting assignments done early. There is clearly a need for staff to carefully construct their material so that students can adequately prepare before class, and that they construct their classes in such a way that students are motivated and understand the need to attend. Recommendation 7: We recommend that academic staff provide sufficient guidelines so that students can prepare for classes and also that their resources are constructed in such a way that students’ time management skills can be developed. For example, with online learning management systems, students can demonstrate that they have already begun preparation for an assignment by submitting an abstract or plan. Reminders can be generated for those students who have not achieved these interim goals and support can be recommended and/or offered. 8. Our research found that making connections with prior learning is important for academic success. Recommendation 8: We recommend that academic staff (continue to) provide explicit ways for international students to connect the new knowledge of their units with their prior experiences. 9. International students in our study recognised the importance of learning about Australian culture in order to understand and operate in Australian English and society. At the same time, many would like to have their own cultural experience and expertise acknowledged. Recommendation 9: We suggest that internationalisation of the curriculum involves a two-way process whereby academics explicitly demonstrate and compare the cultural components of their discipline areas on a local and on a global scale. 10. This study highlighted the importance of affective variables in student learning. Several beliefs showed some small relationship with academic success, the importance of cultural understanding for improved English, and the belief that one’s speaking should not be hindered by making mistakes. Recommendation 10: We recommend that academic and support staff develop a greater awareness of the impact of affective variables on both language and academic learning and consider that these are not only the purview of the various counseling services. Numerous stresses confront international students and these can result in loss of motivation and a fall in academic achievement. We believe that the responsibility for maintaining students’ motivation lies very much with the university as a whole. 11. In our qualitative findings students expressed concern about their listening abilities, particularly in the face of the range of accents they meet in an Australian higher education context. In terms of lecturing, it is generally felt that it is the obligation of the lecturer to make him/herself understood. This responsibility can be enhanced through the use of resources such as lecture notes, recorded/videoed lectures, podcasts and online powerpoints, and visuals. Recommendation 11: The project team recommends that lecturers take steps to ensure that students understand the content of the lectures. This can be done by speaking clearly and at a pace whereby notes can be taken, avoiding colloquial speech, explaining analogies and metaphoric expressions, providing objectives and alerting students to each objective as it is addressed, and using directive discourse markers. It is also beneficial to provide rest points at approximately 20 minute intervals. 12. An important finding in our study was a significant relationship (although weak) between academic achievement and receiving marks for good English in assignments. Obviously good English expression will enhance any grading of a written assignment, but this result suggests that if students’ awareness of the value of their English is judged, then better results will occur. Recommendation 12: Our team therefore recommends that assessments include marks for English. We are aware that many academic staff are reluctant to judge the quality of English in their students’ assignment, feeling untrained to do so. However, the combination of clear organisation, affective cohesion and coherent argumentation will render a better mark regardless of the assessor’s skills and it seems that knowing this has a relationship with students’ efforts. 13. Our results support several other studies - highlighting the importance of adequate reading skills for academic success. Because reading at university is not an activity which is observed, in contrast to the writing that is generated from it, there is a tendency to leave students to their own devices. Moreover, when the importance of reading is stressed, it invariably carries the message of reading more, and more widely, regardless of students’ skill levels. The relationship between reading and subsequent writing is important. Without adequate reading skill development we create in students an instant dependence on the very words of a written text – we set them up to plagiarise. Recommendation 13: The project team therefore recommends that additional focus be placed on developing international students’ reading skills. For example, the deconstruction or analysis of a prescribed reading can be the topic of a specific workshop/tutorial, reading groups can be set up, and annotations can be added to a text, as some simple examples. 14. Our research highlights the advantages of developing students’ reading to the point where they have the ability and confidence to infer meaning from the context. Many students are arriving at university with an ongoing reliance on dictionary use which makes reading and writing time-consuming and often inexact. The enhancement of reading skills as recommended in No 13 above, will go some way to breaking this dependence. Recommendation 14: In order to enhance students’ inferencing skills, it is recommended that students are introduce to terminology in context rather than simple word lists/glossaries, although lists of content terminology should be readily available as part of the course materials. Unit guides can also recommend the use of Learner’s Dictionaries and staff can ensure that these are available for purchase in university bookshops. 15. Following from Recommendation 14 above, is the importance of information literacy. Academic staff frequently expect students to master the information technology of a modern university library early in their studies. Library staff provide valuable support by way of orientation tours and classes. Somewhere in between these two vectors is the students’ need to develop an adequate vocabulary in order to successfully utilise the electronic facilities available to them. Recommendation 15: We recommend that both academic staff and academic support staff explicitly teach the concepts of ‘keywords’, ‘searches’, ‘databases’, ‘electronic journals’, ‘electronic resources’ and so forth. Additionally, we recommend that unit guides provide keywords and nominated databases with instructions for access along with assignment task instructions. 16. Numerous students reported difficulties with spoken language, in particular their concern at having inadequate oral communicative skills to make friends or to contribute to tutorial discussions. Given universities’ promotion of dialogic learning environments wherein critical discussion is promoted, it is of some concern that many international students cannot benefit from this learning. Several participants explained that their prior language learning had been heavily biased towards traditional grammatical instruction and translation providing little or no opportunities to converse in English. Recommendation 16: It is suggested that universities reconsider the weighting of their entry requirements (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, etc) in favour of higher level spoken English requirements. This may go some way to enhancing international students’ cultural and social adjustment and increase their involvement in the academic communities of their disciplines. A further deliverable from this project is the development of a CD ROM as a resource for students and staff for free distribution to international students at the five participating universities. This resource is also available at www.elg.edu.au.
... Considerable research concerning the ways in which Chinese students' style of learning differs from their Western counterparts (Bodycott & Walker, 2000;Calloway-Thomas, Cooper, & Blake, 1999;Cheng, 2000;Holmes, 2004;Jones, 1999;Mooney, 2006;Tani, 2005;Wallach & Metcalf, 1995) has spawned the following generalizations about Chinese students: They do not enjoy participating in class discussions because they are passive learners; they prefer to learn through memorization and repetition; they value only the instructor's opinion, not the opinion of peers; and they highly value group harmony. ...
... In contrast to the findings Tani (2005) reported concerning Chinese students' reticence to speak in class, we found that we simply could not keep the students from talking privately to one another. The tactics that we used to remedy this problem varied from stopping and reminding students about their need to practice effective listening, asking students to physically move to empty seats, using silence to gain the students' attention, and, finally, threatening to ask students to leave because of the level of disruption caused by their talking to one another. ...
Article
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Although considerable previous research has focused on Chinese students' expectations and experiences while studying in English-speaking cultures, little research to date has focused on how the instructor's cultural background affects the learning process within a managerial communication classroom Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, this exploratory case study involves two U.S. instructors teaching a managerial communication course to 106 Chinese students in Hong Kong. The findings from this study provide implications for managerial communication pedagogy and further research.
... However, the apparent inability or unwillingness of Asian students to participate is not irreversible, with Kang (2014) reporting a direct correlation between the level of in-class participation and the amount of time Korean students had spent studying abroad. Moreover, Tani (2005) reports that the stereotypically quiet behaviour of Asian students may only be restricted to the classroom itself, noting that students who are quiet in-class may well be boisterous in an 'English Cafe' setting where an informal student/teacher set-up is found. Wintergerst et al. (2003) also acknowledge that due to in-group variation, a cautious and judicious interpretation of results is required when linking culture to learning styles' (2003:100). ...
... In terms of future direction, Mello (2010) argues that 'giving students some "voice"' (2010:93) in how their participation is assessed may go some way towards alleviating the pressure felt by IAO learners. Heyman and Sailors (2011) suggest alternatives to teacher-led participation assessment, including the use of peer nominations (or ranking) of other peers' participation in class discussion, while Tani (2005) proposes using written communication outside of class when measuring participation, an approach claimed to be particularly suitable for Asian students. Perhaps the greatest potential solution to measuring (and encouraging) participation is through the use of the online technologies, allowing for 'blended' learning or the so-called 'flipped' classroom approach. ...
Article
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Background This study investigates the effectiveness and fairness of teacher-led assessment of students’ in-class participation and its effect on actual participation levels and language test scores, taking into account the diversity of second language learners’ learning styles. Methods The level of participation was measured across ten criteria over a one-semester period in four classes of beginner/intermediate level adult Korean students of English as a foreign language (EFL). The classes were divided into two test groups who had their level of participation assessed as part of their overall grade (n = 76) and two control groups whose participation was measured covertly according to the same criteria (n = 65), alongside a pre- and post-course general English proficiency test (the Oxford Quick Placement Test), and a questionnaire designed to ascertain a learner’s general learning style orientation. Results The results suggest a broad range of learning styles may be found even in mono-cultural language learning groups, dispelling the stereotype of the ‘quiet’, ‘rote-learning’ Asian student. There were only minor differences between test and control groups in terms of proficiency test scores and participation levels, suggesting that including participation as a measure of course achievement has little impact on performance. Learners with individualistic learning styles generally achieved lower proficiency test and participation scores than those with styles suited to in-class interaction. However, we also report partial evidence of improved proficiency test scores for learners with group-oriented learning styles at the expense of learners with individualistic learning styles in the test group (and vice-versa in the control group), an effect of pedagogy known as the ‘meshing hypothesis’ - a hypothesis that has often been criticised in the learning styles literature. Conclusion The results suggest that including in-class participation as part of a measure of achievement for EFL courses may be both ineffective and unfair for those with certain learning styles, and greater care must be afforded to promote inclusivity of assessment practices given the diversity of learning styles that might be present within a given cohort.
... Although silence itself in some educational contexts can be beneficial to students as it provides space for extended cognition and deep reflection (Granger, 2004;Liu, 2005), many researchers believe that in the context of a foreign language classroom silence represents a significant threat to effective language learning when it is characterized by a lack of oral communication and verbal responsiveness on the part of students (Tani, 2005;Tsui, 1996). In other words, students of language have to communicate in order to make progress with their foreign language development. ...
... Moreover, elements like students' target language competence, previous speaking experience in class, confidence level, and lesson contents are all potential reasons contributing to students' tendency to be silent in language classrooms (Liu & Jackson, 2009). Studies conducted on Asian students studying in EFL classes also identified their inherent shyness (Liu, 2005), the wash-back effect of university entrance exams on speaking skills (Cheng, 2000), resistance to a repressive education system (Tani, 2005) as significant factors leading to student silence. ...
Conference Paper
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In many tertiary institutions in Vietnam, English language becomes a compulsory subject for non-English major students. Although the favorable social context enhances the teaching and learning of the subject, it is not feasible or effective process if the English learning motivations of students are not exposed. Hence, in this paper, the authors especially focus on exploring the motivations of non-English Major students in English learning at Ho Chi Minh City Open University (HOU). The study is carried out through getting responses of 100 non-English major freshmen. The study aims to understand learners’ motivations in an accurate way, not only to propose an appropriate training program but also improve English teaching methods at HOU. The findings show that English learning motivations of students seem to be moderately different in various stages as the initial motivations of selecting English as a major foreign language in higher education, the accumulated motivations after the long run of participating in one semester training course at HOU, and the practical motivations in future English learning as well.
... But as we have seen already, many international students face difficulties in participation in tutorials and developing social networks, giving them limited exposure to opportunities to communicate in English (e.g. Robertson, Line et al. 2000;Paulhus, Duncan et al. 2002;Wright and Lander 2003;Tani 2005;Fegan 2008). In the absence of this access, international students most often communicate only with their home-language groups, or if in English, to other international students. ...
... In the absence of this access, international students most often communicate only with their home-language groups, or if in English, to other international students. According to Tani's (2005) student participants, this does not constitute an adequate learning environment. ...
Article
The English Language Growth (ELG) Project was conducted in five Australian universities in 2008-09 to address the on-going English language development of international students from non-English speaking backgrounds. Using an online survey inviting both qualitative and quantitative responses, 798 international students provided a rich source of data. Students provided information on their attitudes, motivation and beliefs about language learning, their strategies for improving their language skills, and their strategies for academic learning. The study shows that students employ a considerable range of academic and language learning strategies to improve their English. Of the academic learning strategies the authors have noted evidence of social strategies, such as creating or joining study groups and participating in tutorial discussions. Numerous cognitive learning strategies were offered by the participants, ranging from simply making lists and learning by rote, to reading as widely as possible and preparing for classes. The metacognitive strategies of organisation, planning, and self-evaluation were less frequent in the qualitative data which suggests a need to promote these strategies within university support services and within faculties.
... Understandably, this conflict of values may contribute to the way Western educators often characterise Asian students as reticent learners who are unwilling to commit themselves publicly, reluctant to give their opinions, anxious to question and criticise, and hesitant to participate (Liu and Littlewood 1997;Flowerdew 1998 ;Jackson 2002;Tani 2005). In a comparative study by Woodrow and Sham (2001, 390), when asked 'How do you feel when the teacher asks you to discuss any subject in a group?', over 76% of the British-Chinese pupil respondents used the words 'embarrassed', 'nervous' (33%) or 'feeling ill' (8.7%). ...
... Further, arguments and counter-arguments were recorded in written form. According to Tani (2005), one strategy successfully used to encourage Asian students to participate in discussion is utilising written communication. Students have more time to prepare, and within-group face is confirmed since the questions are submitted anonymously in written form. ...
Article
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Face, understood as public image, exerts critical influence on interpersonal communication. Incorporating insight from cultural neuroscience, a number of potential mismatches with regard to facework are revealed when methodologies originated from the West are applied in a different context. This paper examines culturally appropriate face strategies in cooperative learning among Vietnamese learners. Our results show that discussion outcomes increase when self-face and other-face are confirmed and group-face is mildly confronted in form of intergroup competition. The paper indicates that educational methods underpinned by fundamental psychological assumptions based on Western values should be adjusted to be culturally appropriate for contexts in which it is applied.
... Other factors contributing to learner reticence, according to Tsui (1996), are learners' inability to understand teacher talk, teachers short wait-time and learners' fear of embarrassing themselves by making mistakes. Moreover, aspects such as students' target language competence, previous speaking experience in class, confidence level, personality traits and/or learning cultures are all possible reasons contributing to learners' classroom participation in the language classroom (Liu & Jackson, 2009;Tani, 2005). Studies conducted on Asian students studying in English-speaking countries also identified native speaker peers (Jones et al, 1993) as a significant factor leading to student silence. ...
Article
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One major factor determining student classroom participation is the classroom teachers because they are the ones who control the turn-taking in the classroom. Despite the significant role of classroom teachers, to date, there is a lack of studies focusing on the role of classroom teachers in specific EFL contexts such as Indonesia. The purpose of the present study is to explore how teacher talk contributes to student classroom participation patterns. Data was collected through 85 student narratives written as part of a Cross Cultural Understanding (CCU) course assessment in an English teacher preparation program in a private university in Indonesia. From the student narratives, the factors related to teacher talk cited as contributing to student classroom participation were teachers' lecturing styles, teachers' lack of modified input, unfavorable past teacher feedback and teachers' pedagogical stories. The study points to the critical role of teacher talk in shaping student classroom participation patterns.
... "Confucian culture" is said to be different from western thinking, specifically generating different expectations about learning. Some argue that this is just a myth (Tani, 2005) and certainly one can draw too stark a contrast, forgetting the increasing diversity in age and background of UK students themselves (Ippolito, 2007). Yet there is some substance to cultural difference. ...
Article
While UK universities see group work as essential to building higher order intellectual and team skills, many international students are unfamiliar with this way of studying. Group work is also a focus of home students' concerns. Cultural differences in the interpretation of space for learning or how spatial issues affect group work processes has not been much explored in the internationalisation literature. The research described in this paper used data based on Chinese and home students making models of a good group work space. The data showed no marked cultural differences in visual taste. However, Chinese students were more concerned with the emotion of group work while home students were task focussed. All designs opted for a neutral office style design, rather than celebrating diversity. The paper supports the value of creative visual methods in exploring difficult to articulate topics, as part of a package of qualitative research methods.
... The style has been formal as the topic is academic. Tan (2005) has reached a similar conclusion with Asian students of English as a second language in Australia where writing has been combined with speaking. ...
Article
This study investigates the problems of EFL/ESL university students' unwillingness to speak and take part in class discussions. Saudi students find it inappropriate to speak in class because of their fear to be seen as verbally challenging their teachers' views openly and publicly. Even when they do, they speak a little. This leads to frustration on the side of the teacher, in addition to the absence of any clear feedback from the students: whether they have/have not understood the lecture. The study proposes an integrative approach addressing this problem by integrating all the four communication skills, in addition to the sociolinguistic factor. It has been conducted at the English Department, Qassim University, KSA. The results show that the students have exhibited a considerable improvement in the oral skills. In short, the integrative approach procedure has been generally useful in overcoming those hurdles of students' reticence to communicate, participate, and interact with one another in class discussions.
... [9] ...
Conference Paper
The impacts of IT/IS on organizations gave rise to a great deal of interest from the researchers during the last decades. However, studies on the impacts of IT/IS on the performance of engineering projects are less numerous. Moreover, the impacts from IT/IS on engineering projects are rarely based on real data of projects. The objective of this study is to investigate, from real project data, the level of utilization of a project management software package, developed by an engineering construction firm recognized internationally, and its link with project performance. Results stemming from non-parametric tests and correlation analyses show that the level of use of the software, and some of its subsystems, appears to be linked to project performance.
... Notwithstanding previous findings which support the importance of deep approach in learning processes, many scholars tend to perceive Asian or South East Asian students as “surface” learners. They rely very much on the syllabus and textbooks, and are more teacher-directed and less self-directed in classroom discussion (Kember, 2000; Leung et al., 2007; Tani, 2005; Ziguras, 2001). In Hong Kong, scholars have criticized construction students for their tendency to adopt a surface approach due to their pragmatic attitude, and their eagerness for quick and instant benefits (Leung et al., 2006). ...
Article
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This study aims to evaluate the learning characteristics of students using a matrix framework of learning approaches (MFLA) in a Malaysian public university. A survey form based on Biggs's study process questionnaire (SPQ) was distributed to a total of 350 students. This study employed a descriptive correlation research design to address the research objectives. The findings revealed that Malaysian students are prone to applying the achieving approach in their studies. The achieving approach is the most preferable learning characteristic. The results also indicated that four of the nine hypothetical learning approaches exist, two of which are positive in nature. As a result, a proposed teaching method based on the MFLA was introduced to suit the needs of these major learning characteristics among students.
... These challenges related to learning-style differences, written and oral proficiency, interpersonal communication, plagiarism and collaborative writing, inductive versus deductive reasoning, and classroom management. Substantial research has been conducted on how Asian students' style of learning differs from their Western counterparts (Bodycott & Walker, 2000;Calloway-Thomas et al., 1999;Cheng, 2000;Holmes, 2004;Jones, 1999;Mooney, 2006;Tani, 2005;Wallach & Metcalf, 1995;Klose, 2007) in (Roberts & Tuleja, 2008). This research also explores these differences between Asian students and others and male and female students. ...
... These challenges related to learning-style differences, written and oral proficiency, interpersonal communication, plagiarism and collaborative writing, inductive versus deductive reasoning, and classroom management. Substantial research has been conducted on how Asian students' style of learning differs from their Western counterparts (Bodycott & Walker, 2000;Calloway-Thomas et al., 1999;Cheng, 2000;Holmes, 2004;Jones, 1999;Mooney, 2006;Tani, 2005;Wallach & Metcalf, 1995;Klose, 2007) in (Roberts & Tuleja, 2008). This research also explores these differences between Asian students and others and male and female students. ...
Article
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Using qualitative and quantitative analysis this paper presents a teaching model based on experiential learning in a large ‘International Business’ unit. Preliminary analysis of 92 student evaluations determined the effectiveness of experiential learning to allow students to explore the association between theory and practice. The analysis of the student responses identify that the students were able to complete all four stages of Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory (KLSI), the components of experience, critical reflection, abstract conceptualization, active experimentation, through the participation in experiential activities in this unit.The cognitive and affective experiences of students learning were measured using a battery of 15 Likert scale items. The scores for all the 15 items were found to be significantly above the scale midpoint of 3 validating a positive learning experience. The respondents were strongly of the opinion that the experiential learning activities helped them learn (Cognitive) and they liked participating in the activity (Affective). The attitudinal scores of Asian students were compared to the other students and a significant difference was found in only one of the 15 attitudinal items of the likert scale administered to the students. The Asian students found experiential activities material too complex as opposed to the other students.
... From the student reports above, language has an impact on the interaction among group members, thus affecting the degree of collaborative interaction in heterogeneous groups. This constraint to group participation has been previously identified (Biggs, 1991;Tani, 2005). Chinese students' lack of English proficiency might explain the phenomenon that Chinese students appear to be quiet participants in a heterogeneous setting. ...
Article
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Despite increasing number of mainland Chinese students studying in western tertiary settings, there is limited information available on their learning experiences and responses to popular educational practices in these contexts. There is an assumption in the literature that Chinese students respond well to the collaborative demands of groupwork due to the collectivist nature of their culture, however there are few reports to substantiate this claim. This paper reports on mainland Chinese students’ perception of groupwork in two Australian tertiary settings. Thirteen students from mainland China were interviewed on their groupwork experiences. All interviews were completed in either Mandarin or Cantonese. Two types of groupwork were identified: assignment groupwork (AGW) and student generated groupwork (SGGW). Three criteria for collaboration: level of interaction, construction of knowledge and a shared goal were used to search for signs of collaborative elements in the Chinese students’ recall of their groupwork experience. Indicators of collaboration were identified in the reports of AGWs but were less consistent in SGGWs. The findings of this study suggest that Chinese students perceive out-of-class groupwork in an Australian context as a positive learning experience, reporting enhanced understanding of academic contents, application of knowledge and socializing with other Chinese students.
... Although oral participation improves language learning skills, learners would rather not to participate in the EFL/ESL oral activities voluntarily. Tani (2005) claimed that "one of the most visible differences that Asian students bring to classroom is a low level of in-classroom participation" (p. 5). ...
Article
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A problem commonly found in a foreign language classroom is students' reluctance to participate. The present study was an attempt to find out the factors contributing to students' nonparticipation in Iranian university EFL classrooms. The participants answered a questionnaire on students' reluctance to participate as well as strategies used by students to participate in the class. Interviews with participants were conducted to confirm the findings on students' nonparticipation in the classroom. The research findings showed that different factors influence students' reluctance to respond to the instructor in oral English language classrooms such as instructor evaluation, lack of confidence, and low English proficiency. Moreover, EFL students employed different strategies such as write and say what they have written to participate in classroom oral activities. As a result, some measures need to be taken to exalt students to participate in oral activities. The findings of this study help teachers and learners consider the linguistic and psychological factors in teaching and learning.
... In a nutshell, silence can have a positive impact on learners by building space for further awareness and more profound assessments in some scholastic situations on the one hand (Liu, 2005;Tatar, 2005) and on the other hand, some scholars (Nakane, 2002;Tani, 2005) mentioned that silence in language education jeopardizes effective language education when it is defined by the lack of verbal association and reaction from learners. Due to the significance of educator immediacy in all scholastic settings, many investigations have tried to investigate the relation between this relational practice (immediacy) and educatorcentric elements like scholastic involvement, commitment, desire to take part in classes, cognitive learning, affective learning, class retention, fulfillment, and state/trait enthusiasm (Derakhshan, 2021;Hussain et al., 2021), based on the researcher's information, no studies have been carried out to examine the association between this interpersonal behavior, immediacy, and studentrelated factors such as silence, and hopelessness. ...
Article
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The students’ silence in the classroom has lately become an area of attention of educators and scholars similarly; however, the factors influencing students’ classroom silence are not mainly scrutinized. This construct has been regarded as a problem of the communication between the educator and the learners that not only impact completing the teaching objectives in the classroom but also affect the nurturing of learners’ achievement. In addition, teachers positively have a noteworthy function in learners’ growth and progress and its behavior such as their immediacy remains a significant issue toward stimulating effective educational methods. Whilst teacher immediacy in a classroom setting is important, there is growing awareness about its important effect on learners’ silence and hopelessness. This review tries to provide some considerations about the relationship between teacher immediacy, both verbal and non-verbal, and students’ active silence and hopelessness. Successively, some suggestions are offered to lighten the practice of educators, learners, and teacher instructors.
... Although the previous findings supported the importance of SAL in learning processes, many Asian or South East Asian students still prefer to apply surface approach rather than deep approach in their study. Asian learners relied very much on a syllabus and textbooks, more teacher-directed and less self-directed in classroom discussion [11][12][13][14]. In Malaysia, Fung [15] described Malaysian secondary and undergraduate students as surface rote learners and unfamiliar with deep approaches to learning. ...
Article
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This study evaluated the learning characteristics of university students based on three learning approaches (surface approach, deep approach and achieving approach) and six subscales, namely three learning motives (LM) and three learning strategies (LS). A survey form adapted from Biggs's study process questionnaire (SPQ) was distributed to a total of 193 students at a private university college in Malaysia. This study employed descriptive correlation research design to address the research questions. Results of the study indicated that students were more prone to apply deep approach. Further analysis revealed a combination of "achieving strategy and deep motive" was the most popular approach among students. The pattern of surface and achieving approaches showed significant differences across subject variable. Proposed teaching methods were introduced to suit the needs of these major learning characteristics among university students.
... "When people avoid communication because they believe it is better to remain silent than to risk appearing foolish", this behavior is called as reticence (keaten & Kelly, 2000). Despite the students' awareness of the importance of spoken English, still many students are reticent and quiet in EFL classrooms (Tani, 2005). ...
Article
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Reticence is regarded as a problematic phenomenon among students in EFL classrooms. The present study was an attempt to explore the issue of reticence in Iranian foreign language classrooms. The study examined the relationship between students’ reticence and their personality types among university EFL learners. For this purpose, the Reticence Scale-12 (RS-12) questionnaire and the 60-item NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) questionnaire were used. Moreover, interviews with the participants about reticence were employed to find the students’ ideas about reticence in the classroom. The results revealed that the five personality types affected Iranian EFL students’ reticence. In addition, educational, situational, and emotional factors contributed to the students’ reticence in EFL classrooms. It can be concluded that teachers’ awareness of learners’ reticence can help them match their teaching styles with their students’ personality types, and choose more appropriate activities that can enhance EFL learners’ participation. The study can have implications and applications for both teachers and students.
... These challenges related to learning-style differences, written and oral proficiency, interpersonal communication, plagiarism and collaborative writing, inductive versus deductive reasoning, and classroom management. Substantial research has been conducted on how Asian students' style of learning differs from their Western counterparts (Bodycott & Walker, 2000;Calloway-Thomas et al., 1999;Cheng, 2000;Holmes, 2004;Jones, 1999;Mooney, 2006;Tani, 2005;Wallach & Metcalf, 1995;Klose, 2007) in (Roberts & Tuleja, 2008). This research also explores these differences between Asian students and others and male and female students. ...
... However, the shifting from teacher-centered learning to the student-centered learning sheds light to the new paradigm of teaching that promotes students interaction during the teaching and learning process. Tani (2005) found that the students in Asian countries tend to be quiet during the process of teaching and learning for fear of making a mistake. The "culture of silence" is also increasingly thickened with the teacher assessments which see only black and white/ wrong or right towards the students. ...
Article
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p>This study was descriptive qualitative study aimed to investigate the problems of applying student centered syllabus in vocational high schools in Kendal regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The subjects of the study were twenty English teacher in vocational high schools in Kendal. The data were collected through observations, questionnaires, and interviews. The collected data further were analyzed using inductive analysis in which the researchers looked for the pattern of the data and the meaning of the data. Based on the data, there are three points concluded. The first was the English teaching and learning process in vocational high schools in Kendal had applied the student-centered syllabus. The second, in designing the students-centered syllabus the teachers found difficulties in having a model of the student-centered syllabus as a guideline in adapting and designing their own syllabus, describing the learning indicators, and formulating learning activities alligned with the student-centered learning. The third, the teachers faced difficulties in terms of encouraging their students to participate actively during the teaching and learning, and requiring a lot of time in implementing the student-centered syllabus. Thus, even though the teachers had already applied the student-centered syllabus in their teaching, they still found difficulties in implementing it. In conclusion, they need a model of student-centered syllabus for being a guideline in designing their syllabus and workshops to train them the ways to implement the student-centered syllabus successfully in their teaching.</p
... The literature shows that international students experience difficulties in writing (Berman & Cheng, 2001;Holmes, 2004;Shen, 1989;Ward & Masgoret, 2004), in delivering oral presentations (Berman & Cheng, 2001;Duff, 2007;Morita, 2000;Ward & Masgoret, 2004;Zappa-Holman, 2007), and in research (Abasi et al., 2006). A large body of literature has explored the difficulties that these students, and particularly students from Asian cultures, have in participating in discussions in class (Campbell & Li, 2008;Duff, 2007;Holmes, 2005Holmes, , 2006Morita, 2004;Tani, 2005;Walker, 2004), a skill explored in many EAP courses. ...
Article
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International students make an important financial contribution to Australian universities, but the English-language pathways through which they meet enrolment requirements are a source of controversy, with concern focused on English-language proficiency (ELP). This study investigates two major pathways by comparing the academic results and questionnaire responses on backgrounds and academic acculturation of students whose ELP test scores met requirements (the Testing pathway) with those who had to complete prior English-for-Academic-Purposes programs (the EAP pathway) due to below-entry-standard ELP test results. Results were that the EAP students had similar pass rates but lower GPAs than Testing students in the first semester ; however, this gap narrowed in the second semester. EAP entrants were also younger, more likely to be Asian and to enrol in the Business & Economics faculty, and more likely to report a higher degree of prior learning in academic skills. This paper suggests that, although it is not known whether EAP graduates reach the required ELP levels after their course, learning in academic skills, as distinct from measurable improvements in ELP, may help to equalise their performance with that of Testing students. The findings also support the benefits of an increased focus on academic ac-culturation for all international students.
... Students, especially Asian students, are not really active in the classroom. Asian students commonly have a low level of inclass participation [1]. It shows that this is a common problem in the classroom, especially in Asian countries. ...
Article
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Low level of in-class participation can be a problem for lecturers when they teach Asian students. One of the reason is the characteristics of the Asian students, which are quiet and passive. Active learning is needed to solve this problem. Gamification is one of the things that can improve active learning. This study aims to understand how to design gamification system for higher education teaching, the factors contributed to the gamification system in higher education, and the impacts of the gamification system for students with the case study of Bina Nusantara University in Indonesia. The finding shows that there are several things to consider in designing gamification system. Factors in the system, the lecturers, the course, and the students also take important parts in the implementation. When it is done correctly, there will be a lot of positive impacts for the students and the teaching
... It reveals that this is a typical obstacle in the classroom, particularly in Asian countries. A study has been carried out on Asian students highlighting some characteristics shared by all students such as being silent and inactive, dependent on lecturers, concentrated on results, lack of awareness of plagiarism, and rewarding experience 12 . ...
Article
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Background: Gamification is defined as the application of typical elements of game playing (rules of play, point scoring, and competition with others) to other areas of activity, specifically with the aim of engaging users in learning. The present study aimed at the designing, implementation, and evaluation of gamification in psychiatric course. Methods: This gamification was developed to design, develop and assess gamification in psychiatric course in 13 parts in the web and android based mobiles. Gamification was developed in 3 dimensions mechanisms, dynamics and components, in 3 phases including design, implementation and evaluation). This gamification was developed for the acquisition of learning goals in nursing and para medical students in mental illness (psychology or psychiatry) using Octaysis 8 core drivers. Gamification arranged in 3 categories included multiple choice, extended matching and case base learning. Evaluation was based on students (quantitative), interview from professors (qualitative) and IT engineers. Results: Data gathering was from interview and questionnaire with 8 items in 5 continuum in order to evaluate students' satisfaction (n=42), teacher evaluation (n=5), and technical evaluation from IT engineers (n-=10). The students reported this software as funny and interesting. Most of them reported the positive effect of gamification on learning (average mean score of items). The teachers also described the software as an efficient tool for achieving students' higher level of learning in psychiatry, funny and innovative method, also a new way to teach psychiatry. IT engineers positively reported the technical characteristics. Most of them reported the positive effect of gamification on learning (average mean score of items). Conclusion: Due to the efficacy of gamification in students' satisfaction and learning indicators, it is suggested that gamification should be used in the design and development of medical course as an innovative, interactive and exciting method.
... In addition, the module instructors noticed an increased discussion among students, from what would traditionally be a quiet Asian-style classroom. 37 Some of the qualitative feedback received from students was that CheMakers "adds competitiveness so helps us to improve the speed of solving questions" and "helps to reinforce learning and refresh memory in a fun and less stressful manner". These responses point to how CheMakers may provide a meaningful learning experience for students. ...
... It was the anxiety and lack of understanding of the system of reward and punishment as demonstrated from group assignments that brought about Asian students' silence. 6 Michele, et al. study revealed that to increase student participation within the gaining knowledge system, a small group studying have grown to be more and more popular in present days' curriculum. One kind of small group learning is team-based learning, which incredibly new instructional approaches in health care training. ...
Article
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Group assignments introduce the students to be effectively work in teams. Students demonstrate their knowledge while learning to appreciate the perspective of others. The aim of this study is to explore the nursing students' perception of group assignments It is descriptive correlational study using self-administered questionnaire consist of 14 items assessed the perception of group assignment. The sample size was 230 nursing student from colleges of nursing in governmental and private universities in Jordan. The overall mean of students' perception was 3.63 which is neutral. There is no relationship between student perception of group assignments and the academic year as the p value = (0.699) greater than 0.05. In conclusion, this study serves nursing programs in identifying the specific factors that adds difficulties to the students' abilities to work in teams so as to build their competencies that will serve them in their future career because team work considered as a vital nursing care delivery system in many facilities.
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This bibliography includes a list of articles, books, and reports published on international students/cross cultural studies. There are more than a 72-page worth of references on this particular student population published in a variety of journals, newsletters, and books.
Article
In business higher education, group project work plays an essential role. The purpose of the present study is to explore the relationship between the group heterogeneity of students’ business project groups and their academic achievements at both group and individual levels. The sample consists of 536 freshmen from an International Business School in a Dutch University. The research has revealed that students’ academic performances are positively correlated with their achievement in group projects at both individual and group levels. However, the group ethnic heterogeneity is negatively related with students’ project scores. The findings may enable education practitioners to gain more insights into students’ project work and manage students’ group work more effectively.
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International research is positive about the educational benefits of working in diverse groups but there has been little New Zealand research in this area. This paper investigates how students are prepared for collaborative learning in three New Zealand tertiary institutes and identifies the particular problems experienced by Chinese students when the preparation in multi cultural classes is not carried out adequately and does not address cultural issues. An initial research project by Clark and Baker (2006) involved a survey of staff and students at two Wellington tertiary institutes The results indicated that students were often inadequately prepared for working in groups and, although they usually valued informal collaborative learning, they did not achieve the desired outcome of learning to work together constructively and cooperatively in assessed collaborative assignments. This paper, which reports on a follow up research project, presents findings from focus groups with Chinese international students and with New Zealand tertiary lecturers who use collaborative learning techniques in their teaching. The findings from these focus groups indicate that there is a strong cultural conflict in the conceptualisation of collaborative learning between Chinese students with little prior experience of collaborative learning and New Zealand lecturers who are often not fully prepared to help Chinese students to bridge the gaps. The majority of Chinese students value lecturers' programme content delivery and the achievement of high marks over the development of interpersonal skills; this is contrary to the lecturers' belief that the development of team skills is the most important outcome from collaborative learning. This cognitive dissonance reinforces the importance of understanding cultural differences and their impact on student patterns of classroom behaviour. To bridge the gaps, this paper recommends that Chinese students be prepared more effectively to understand the reasons for the use of collaborative learning in New Zealand tertiary classrooms and that lecturers be trained in designing assessment programmes that are pedagogically sound and culturally accommodating.
Article
Chemistry education games are helpful tools in chemistry classes, although their design and production are challenging. It is acknowledged that the number of chemical equations is enormous and varied, so it is rather difficult for beginners to memorize equations within a limited time. In a sense, beginners' interest in exploring chemistry is hindered intensively by traditional rote-learning methods. Therefore, we introduce CHEMTrans as a chemistry education game featuring many chemical reactions. Based on the concepts of classical Aeroplane Chess, CHEMTrans assists students in mastering chemical equations and cultivating their collaboration skills. The players need to write the chemical reactions in specific situations within a limited time, achieving their goals as soon as possible. Based on the data collected, CHEMTrans is an excellent chemistry-based game for high school students and adults whose chemical scientific literacy has been relatively improved during the game.
Article
This study examined classroom questioning with a socio-cultural theoretical framework to gain a better understanding of how teacher questioning operates as a pedagogical and learning tool in English classroom settings in Taiwan. Four teachers and twelve students in four different classes in three secondary schools participated in this study in the second term of the academic year 2006. Three kinds of interviews (pre-observation, post-observation, and stimulated recall interviews) were conducted for all subject teachers in order to obtain in-depth information for further analyses. 12 focal students were selected to respond to the questionnaire and participated in the semi-structured interview with the researcher. 24 class periods were videotaped and twenty of them were transcribed verbatim. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed to analyze the collected data. Teacher questions served as important devices to self-clarify, to push learners’ language production, to encourage comprehensible output, to impart knowledge and to mediate learners’ language learning and cognitive development. Both Mandarin and English languages used in teacher questioning had pedagogical functions. Also, the research findings indicate that there is a strong relationship between teachers’ teaching and learning goals and their decisive use of questions to scaffold classroom participation and learning. L1 use as private speech in learner responses was found to have affective, social, and cognitive functions. Most of the time, the four classes which were observed were quiet and passive. After analyzing the questionnaire and interview data, the researcher found that some socially-constructed affective factors, the learner-teacher or learner-learner interpersonal relationships, and some specific Taiwanese socio-cultural reasons might cause learners to hold back from classroom interaction. The instructional goals of the subject teachers differed in the opportunities they created for learning. The research findings also suggested that no matter which languages the teachers used, how to make efforts to negotiate forms and meanings with students is the most effective way to improve learners’ learning. Socio-cultural theory is indeed a viable theoretical framework for analyzing teachers’ solicitations but further research can be improved by conducting a complementary socio-cognitive model that emphasizes that social and cognitive concepts are even more closely connected. It addition, it seems important for further research to carry out prolonged and extensive fieldwork to obtain in-depth data and investigating long-term, not short-term, effects of teacher questioning.
Article
This article explores the perception and reasons for Korean students’ silence and low levels of oral participation in U.S. graduate programs. It analyzes a case study conducted with two Korean students currently attending graduate school in urban settings. The researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with the participants, using a constant comparisons method for data analysis. The study shows that the participants perceived themselves to be the quietest members of their classes. Reasons for silence included poor command of the English terms relevant for their discipline, influence of Korean classroom mannerisms, and face saving. However, the participants had a strong desire to contribute, which was revealed when they actively worked on an online discussion board. This implies the need for pedagogical tools to encourage and help these students actively speak up in U.S. classrooms.
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The purpose of the research program described here was to investigate college students' approaches to learning, and to determine the extent to which these reflected the effects of teaching and assessment demands rather than representing relatively stable characteristics of the individual learners. There were six main areas within the program: (1) the measurement of approaches to and styles of studying; (2) the exploration of the cognitive skills, cognitive styles, and personality characteristics underlying different approaches to studying; (3) the extension of Marton's work on reading academic articles; (4) the identification of students' perceptions of the academic 'climate' of departments; (5) the use of interviews to investigate students' strategies in carrying out particular types of academic task; and (6) an investigation of how contrasting academic contexts appear to affect the approaches to studying adopted by students in those departments. Details of each of these areas of research are presented. (BW)
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International students from South‐East Asia who study in Australia are often portrayed negatively compared to local students in terms of learning and study practices. This article discusses some of the misconceptions held by university teachers and administrators about South‐East Asian students studying in Australia and examines them in the light of recent research. In particular, it challenges the views that students from South‐East Asia are surface learners, passive non‐participants in class who prefer the company of other Asian students. These findings challenge university teachers to reconsider accepted beliefs and practices when teaching all students, but particularly students from South‐East Asia.
Article
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Many teachers see major difficulties in maintaining academic standards in today's larger and more diversified classes. The problem becomes more tractable if learning outcomes are seen as more a function of students' activities than of their fixed characteristics. The teacher's job is then to organise the teaching/learning context so that all students are more likely to use the higher order learning processes which "academic" students use spontaneously. This may be achieved when all components are aligned, so that objectives express the kinds of understanding that we want from students, the teaching context encourages students to undertake the learning activities likely to achieve those understandings, and the assessment tasks tell students what activities are required of them, and tell us how well the objectives have been met. Two examples of aligned teaching systems are described: problem-based learning and the learning portfolio.
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Teachers sometimes comment on East Asian students' reluctance to adopt active speech roles in classrooms. In two large-scale surveys conducted at the University of Hong Kong, however, students gave no evidence of such reluctance. They expressed a liking for communicative work at school and a preference for university classes in which students do most of the talking. What is the cause, then, of the reticence that some teachers have observed? The surveys indicate that most students have enjoyed inadequate speaking opportunities at school, where “listening to teacher” has been their most frequent classroom experience. Many have low confidence in their ability to speak without prior planning. Although most see no conflict between speaking English and their Chinese identity, many feel unease when speaking it. This unease is often reinforced by students' anxiety to speak well and some teachers' error treatment techniques. Schoolteachers need to provide more and better contexts for students to develop oral English skills and use these skills in active learning roles in the classroom. Tertiary teachers need to develop strategies for encouraging students to step into the active learning roles which both sides seem to want. These practical implications will be explored further in the paper.
Article
What impact will a greater increase in the diversity level of an organization's work force have on its productivity? Practicing managers' desire to have this question answered has been the stimulus for much of the diversity-related research currently in print. However, the narrow focus on providing an answer to this particular question appears to have diverted researchers' attention away from a number of perhaps more fundamental issues. A major issue that has been neglected in previous research studies is the impact that greater increases in work-force diversity might have on communication processes within organizations—specifically, communication processes that are associated with organizational productivity. As a contribution toward helping to fill in this research gap, this article proposes a typology of impacts that greater increases in work-force diversity might have on communication effectiveness in organizations.
Article
Research into the nature and extent of problems faced by overseas students in Australia is based almost entirely on surveys of this population either by staff of support services or by or on behalf of policy making bodies. The nature of educational difficulties ‐‐ ‘language’ and ‘study’ problems ‐‐ is still relatively unknown, however it has been explored to some extent by study skills counsellors and teachers of English as a second language. Little is known about perception of these problems by academic staff. This paper describes learning problems of overseas students as seen by the academic staff at the University of Queensland and compares them with the perception of learning problems held by overseas students. Academic staff (145) representing 50 departments, and 136 overseas students representing 14 courses at postgraduate level and 10 courses at undergraduate level responded to questionnaires identifying educational problems and suggesting possible solutions.
Article
Recent ESL/EFL literature has frequently reported that Asian (especially East Asian) students of English as a second/foreign language are reticent and passive learners. Cultural attributes of Asian societies are often cited as the main causes for such alleged behaviour of reticence and passivity. Based on counter evidence against these allegations, this article argues that it is a dangerous over-generalisation to say Asian students are reticent and passive learners. Results from existing research show that many Asian students do have a strong desire to participate in classroom activities. The article also argues that if some Asian students are indeed observed to be quieter than expected in certain circumstances, the causes are situation specific rather than culturally pre-set. These situation-specific causes could be the differences between teaching methodologies and the lack of required foreign language proficiency. Interpretations based on cultural attributes should not be considered as an easier diagnosis for all problems arising in ESL/EFL practices.
Article
A common observation about Chinese students in American classrooms is their silence, which has been speculated on by many second-language acquisition researchers as the result of the students' lacking communicative competence compatible to their native-English-speaking counterparts. By focusing on three students from mainland China as part of a larger investigation of Asian students' classroom communication patterns in US universities, this paper explores in depth the complexities of silence, and the cultural interpretations of silence in various social contexts. Multiple functions of silence in terms of linkage, affecting, revelational, judgemental, and activating functions are explored across the three cases. This paper further investigates how Chinese students construct their identities through silence, and how they can reconstruct their identities by negotiating silence in American classrooms and by developing adaptive cultural transformation competence in the target culture.
Article
Discussion will be undertaken within this paper identifying a barrier hindering the overall learning and interaction of students from countries within the East Asian region undertaking education in an Australian context. This barrier was identified within a form of teacher research undertaken in Melbourne, Australia. The barrier encompasses the fear of intimidation, embarrassment, and consequences of ‘loss of face’ for some of the targeted students, within Australian classrooms. This paper will address approaches to alleviate the repercussions of ‘loss of face'for these students, and issues and methods for teachers and students to consider when attempting to overcome this learning barrier.
Article
This book draws on classroom experiences and faculty suggestions in providing a practical guide to teaching strategies to encourage active learning in the college classroom. A wide range of teaching tools which ask students to apply what they are learning are considered, including problem-solving exercises, cooperative student projects, informal group work, simulations, case studies, and role playing. Additionally, the book discusses how various small-group exercises, simulations, and case studies can be blended with the technological and human resources available outside the classroom. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 surveys the general subject of active learning and why it makes sense as a teaching strategy. Part 2 considers four major active-learning teaching strategies in more depth: informal small groups, cooperative student projects, simulations, and case studies. Part 3 explores how reading assignments, outside resource persons, and electronic media can be successfully integrated with active-learning strategies in the classroom. Contains approximately 150 references and an index. (GLR)
Article
Second language acquisition (SLA) researchers have not adequately explored English as a Second Language (ESL) students' use of English in academic settings other than the language classroom. Social contexts of language learning, such as students' content course classrooms, affect not only the amount and the type of input learners receive, but also the extent to which learners are able to engage in meaningful real-life communication in the target language. An increasing educational concern in American academic settings is some ESL students' minimization of the importance of verbal communication in their content courses. To challenge the linguistic explanation of the inability of ESL students to adapt to active oral participation modes in their content courses, this study, by focusing on Asian graduate students in different majors in a US university, examined multiple pertinent factors affecting their oral participation modes via both classroom observations and interviews. Sociocultural, linguistic, cognitive, affective, and pedagogical/environmental factors were found to influence these students' oral communication in their content courses, with socio-cultural factors exerting the largest influence on students' classroom reticence. Directions for further research are recommended.
Article
This paper examines the effectiveness of active learning implemented in two undergraduate programmes at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Several learning activities were implemented during student seminar sessions. The effectiveness of these activities was investigated using questionnaires and interviews to explore student attitudes as well as the Study Process Questionnaire to measure student approaches to learning. Results showed that active learning made a valuable contribution to the development of independent learning skills and the ability to apply knowledge. It also helped to create interest in the curriculum and to prepare students for their future careers. The activities used affected the quality of student learning by shaping the way that students studied and meeting desired learning outcomes. The results are discussed in the context of student approaches to learning and in relation to the programmes' educational objectives.
Article
This study interviewed 53 novice or experienced students enrolled in part-time courses in Hong Kong universities. It was found that the attitudes to and ability to cope with study were influenced by a coherent set of beliefs about knowledge and the process of teaching and learning. This belief set was characterised in two broad orientations as didactic/reproductive or facilitative/ transformative. Novice students holding didactic/reproductive beliefs found it difficult to adjust to higher education if the teaching was not expository, as often happened with distance education tutorials. These students also experienced problems with assignments which went beyond the reproduction of material, since these were incompatible with their epistemological beliefs. The conclusion is that courses should aim to help students make the difficult transition to the belief orientation of the more experienced students as a means of assimilating students into higher education.
Article
This paper considers the problem of cultural stereotyping in work on intercultural communication. Recent interest in culture in relation to language learning is described, and the problematif the concept of culture is discussed. A recent study of Chinese students attitudes towards academic study is described and the results are presented of a small-scale attempt to test the geners findings: 12 Chinese visiting scholars were given the opportunity to reflect upon and respond in writing to some comments from the earlier study. It is concluded that Chinese attitudes to toc study are diverse. It is argued that the results support the view of culture as a contested area of discourse. It is suggested that ideas about Chinese culture should be set in historical coe historical description is given. Sources are quoted regarding the recent history of English language teaching in China. It is argued that communication problems may be more economically expls of aspects of language proficiency rather than cultural differences.
Article
Describes an attempt to identify different levels of processing of information among groups of Swedish university students who were asked to read substantial passages of prose. Ss were asked questions about the meaning of the passages and also about how they set about reading the passages, thus allowing for the examination of processes and strategies of learning and the outcomes in terms of what is understood and remembered. It was posited that learning has to be described in terms of its content. From this point differences in what is learned, rather than differences in how much is learned, are described. It was found that in each study a number of categories (levels of outcome) containing basically different conceptions of the content of the learning task could be identified. The corresponding differences in level of processing are described in terms of whether the learner is engaged in surface-level or deep-level processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Informal conversations and structured opportunities for oral communication help international students overcome barriers to improving their academic language skills.
Article
International students identify problems with communication in the classroom and how to solve them.
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning style preferences and approaches to learning of international students from Asian backgrounds, and make comparisons with the learning styles of Australian students. The sample consisted of 78 newly arrived international students from Asian countries, and 110 Australian students, studying at the same university. Two survey instruments, the Study Process Questionnaire (Biggs 1987c) and Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire (Reid 1987) were used to investigate cognitive and environmental dimensions to student learning. Descriptive statistics and multiple discriminant analyses were employed for data analysis. No statistically significant differences were found between Asian international and Australian students in their overall `Approaches to Learning'. However, Asian international students demonstrated significantly higher use of deep motivation, surface strategies, and achieving strategies, whilst Australian students demonstrated higher use of deep strategies and surface motivation. The groups also differed significantly in their `Learning Style Preferences' in group, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic modes of learning, with the strongest difference being in group learning, supporting the notion of Asian students being more `collaborative' in their learning styles. The findings draw attention to dimensions of learning diversity that may be present in Australian tertiary classrooms, and could have implications for teaching and management of this diversity. The findings may also have relevance to countries with similar `western' traditions to Australia and cross cultural student populations.
Article
There is a common perception that Asian students relyupon rote learning and prefer passive forms oflearning, though, this appears to be incompatible withevidence of their high levels of achievement. Thisapparent dichotomy is explained by showing thatmemorisation can occur in conjunction with theintention to understand. It could also result fromstudents learning material by heart because theyperceive that is what the course and assessmentrequire. Evidence from over 90 action researchprojects is used to disprove the common assertionsthat Asian students prefer passive learning and resistteaching innovations. It is argued that motivationdisplayed by Asian students is not well described byconventional definitions in psychology textbooks.Courses which provide good career preparation are asource of motivation but it is not an extrinsic formof motivation which depresses intrinsic motivation.There are high levels of achieving motive, but itfrequently has a collective nature rather than beingindividual and competitive.
Article
Incl. biographical notes on the contributors, bibliographical references, index
Article
Autonomy in language learning is sometimes presented as a Western concept unsuited to contexts, such as those in East Asia, which have different educational traditions. This paper argues that this view is unfounded but that we need to match the different aspects of autonomy with the characteristics and needs of learners in specific contexts. First the paper analyses the concept of autonomy as it relates to language learning and proposes a framework which would be applicable to learners in all contexts. Then it looks at three sources of influence which many teachers and researchers believe to have an important effect on students' approaches to learning in East Asia: the collectivist orientation of East Asian societies; their acceptance of relationships based on power and authority; and the belief that success may be achieved through effort as much as through innate ability. The paper then considers some of the attitudes and habits of learning which we might expect to result from these sociocultural influences. These are presented as hypotheses which might guide us towards a better understanding of our students but should not blind us tot the immense variation that exists in reality. Within the framework for analysing autonomy developed earlier, the paper considers what aspects of autonomy might be most strongly rooted in East Asian traditions and how they might be developed in support of language learning. The paper warns against setting up stereotypic notions of 'East Asian learners' which, if misused, may make teachers less rather than more sensitive to the dispositions and needs of individual students.
Article
There is a posited conceptual distinction in the student learning literature in higher education between contrasting forms of 'memorising': as a process of rehearsal which is usually equated with rote learning, and as a process of committing to memory material that in two separate senses is temporally either 'understood' before or after the event. The present study reports on the operationalisation of these contrasting forms of 'memorising' and investigates their empirical association with one another, their gender sensitivity, and their joint association with other modelling sources of explanatory variation in student learning. Two samples of entering first-year economics students at the Universities of South Australia (N = 896) and Adelaide (N = 448) which are combined in the present study (N = 1344). The combined sample is further distinguishable by gender (females, N = 662, males, N = 682). Students were surveyed prior to the commencement of lectures and reported retrospectively on their most recent school-based learning experiences. Resultant data in the form of inventory responses were subjected to exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, multivariate analysis of variance, and correlation analysis. Empirically the three forms of 'memorising' are independent of one another and they are furthermore sensitive to gender-based response differences in terms of both location and structure. Forms of 'memorising' are respectively associated in a theoretically congruent manner with 'deep'-level processes, learning pathologies, and contrasting conceptions of learning. The unqualified use of 'memorising' in studies of student learning is contra indicated. Contrasting forms of 'memorising' represent discrete sources of explanatory variation that can be used to construct finer grained models of student learning in process terms.
The Role of Individual Factors in Second-Language Learning by Adult Migrants
  • M S Gilhotra
  • G Callender
Gilhotra, M.S. & Callender, G. (1985). ‘The Role of Individual Factors in Second-Language Learning by Adult Migrants’, TESOL, 18(1), Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service
Conceptions of learning
  • F Marton
  • Dall
  • G Alba
  • E Beaty
Marton, F., Dall’Alba, G. & Beaty, E. (1993). ‘Conceptions of learning’, International Journal of Educational Research, 19, 277-300
Factors affecting oral classroom participation of international graduate students in ESL settings
  • J Liu
  • L F Kuo
Liu, J. & Kuo, L.F. (1996). ‘Factors affecting oral classroom participation of international graduate students in ESL settings’, Educational Research Quarterly, 19(4), 43-62
Learning Theories and Approaches to Research: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • D Watkins
Watkins, D., (1996). 'Learning Theories and Approaches to Research: A Cross-Cultural Perspective', in Watkins, D. and Biggs, J. (eds), (1996), 3-24.
Labour Market Influences on University Learning
  • M Tani
Tani, M. (2004). Labour Market Influences on University Learning. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Centre for the Development of Teaching and Learning, Singapore: National University of Singapore.
The culture inclusive classroom
  • A Sinclair
  • V Britton Wilson
Sinclair, A. & Britton Wilson, V. (1999). The culture inclusive classroom. Parkville: University of Melbourne.
Language and Culture – Vietnam: Background Notes for Teachers in the Adult Migrant Education Program
  • J Brick
  • G Louie
Brick, J. & Louie, G. (1984). Language and Culture – Vietnam: Background Notes for Teachers in the Adult Migrant Education Program. Sydney: Adult Migrant Education Service.
Chinese pupils and their learning preferences', Race Ethnicity and Education
  • D Woordow
  • S Sham
Woordow, D. & Sham, S. (2001). 'Chinese pupils and their learning preferences', Race Ethnicity and Education, 4(4), 377-394.
Teaching International Students: A Brief Guide for Lecturers and Supervisors
  • B Ballard
  • J Clanchy
  • Australia
Ballard, B. & Clanchy, J. (1997). Teaching International Students: A Brief Guide for Lecturers and Supervisors. Deakin, ACT: Education Australia.
Students in transition: needs and experiences of international students in Australia. Paper presented at the 16 th Australian international education conference
  • M Hellsten
Hellsten, M. (2002). Students in transition: needs and experiences of international students in Australia. Paper presented at the 16 th Australian international education conference, Hobart, Tasmania.
Learning in the learner's perspective, I – some commonsense conceptions, Reports from the Institute of Education
  • R Saljo
Saljo, R. (1979). Learning in the learner's perspective, I – some commonsense conceptions, Reports from the Institute of Education, University of Gothenburg, no.77.
Towards and inclusive and international higher education University and diversity: changing perspectives, policies and practices in Australia
  • M Kalantzis
  • B Cope
  • D Hill
  • B Hemmings
Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. (2000). Towards and inclusive and international higher education. In King, R, Hill, D. and Hemmings, B., University and diversity: changing perspectives, policies and practices in Australia (chapter 3). Wagga Wagga: Kean Publications.