The increasing number of international students from non-English speaking backgrounds (I-NESB) enrolling into classes in New Zealand tertiary institutions presents new challenges for tutors and students. This paper reports the results of an email survey of tutors, members of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ), regarding problems encountered with increasing numbers of international students and strategies employed to overcome these problems. Respondents reported international students present in a variety of computing courses, none of which have restrictions on the number or proportion of international students able to enrol. Only one third of the tutors reported any, usually minimal, training in teaching I-NESB students and none had English for Speakers of Other language (ESOL) specialists present during classes. Despite this, most tutors reported no major problems. Not surprisingly, weak English skills, comprehension and oral and written communications, were the most frequently mentioned issues, with several also mentioning different learning cultures and impacts on the tutor and host country students. A variety of strategies were reported to overcome these problems including self-paced worksheets, forum discussion boards, forced culturally mixed project groups, use of examples from other cultures, and humour. Communication to international students was enhanced through multi-channelling, for example, use of the whiteboard to explain concepts and discussion boards. Some specialized tutorials and one-to-one tutoring was also employed.
Hope, Beverley G. and Chamberlain, Barbara, "International students from non-English Speaking Backgrounds in the tertiary computing classroom: Some teaching strategies" (2003). ACIS 2003 Proceedings. Paper 57.