Gillian Skyrme

Doctor of Philosophy, (Second Language Teaching)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Learning "blood lessons":Expectations,emerging issues and change for Chinese international students in a New Zealand university

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Ms Skyrme investigated the experiences of 24 Chinese undergraduate students studying business and information sciences in a New Zealand university, from retrospective and longitudinal perspectives. She found that students’ preparations both in China and in New Zealand focused on the English language dimension rather than other requirements of the experience. This left them subject to bewilderment and threatened their sense of competence during the early period of their study. However, drawing on their personal agency, most of them proved successful in negotiating a fit between their personal learning preferences and the requirements of the university, though not always in ways fully sanctioned by the university. The study concludes that entry criteria should include a period of specific university preparation, and suggests measures by which the university and its teachers might improve the experience for such students.

Supervisors
Professor Cynthia White
Dr Romuald Rudzki

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