Magoosh GRE

Constraints for International ESL Students

| October 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

Studying at a university or college where the first language is not your own can provide some serious challenges for a student. ESL (English as a second language) students may find the coursework much more demanding than if they were working in their own language, though this will depend on their confidence and previous experience of working in English.

An international student applying for a course will have to have met a required standard of English, both spoken and written, before being accepted. If you have met those standards, you may still find that there are difficulties dealing with various aspects of your academic work. It is often the case that speech develops more quickly than the written word when working in a second language, so here are one or two issues to consider as you progress through your course.

Understanding Your Coursework and Classes

It can be difficult as a non-native English speaker to pick up all the complexities of lectures, seminars, readings and discussions in class. You will be as well prepared as possible, but be aware that if there are things that you don’t fully grasp or understand then ask for help rather than pretending you’re up to speed. You may have friends in your year who are willing to help out with some of the basics, such as vocabulary, punctuation and grammar, but try not to fall into the trap of becoming over-dependent on people. In the end, you are responsible for the quality of your work.

Practice Your Reading and Writing

See if your university can help with short courses or extra tutorials, or look to ESL courses outside to help you with developing the quality of English you need. Above all, keep talking, reading and writing in the language to develop your confidence.

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Category: International Student Guide

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