International Students’ English Speaking Competence and Three Different Kinds of Personalities at American Universities

Topics: Student, English language, International student Pages: 5 (1713 words) Published: March 7, 2013
International Students’ English Speaking competence and Three Different Kinds of Personalities at American Universities A survey on “Wall street journal” shows that what the employers greatest expecting of business-school graduations. The number one is the ability of communication and interpersonal skills, which accounts for 88% (i.e. 88 percent of employers think this capability is most important). The second is team working skills, which makes ups 85% (Alsop R8). As you have seen, the top two issues of the survey are all associated with speaking competence. In order to get an offer of a better position, college students especially international students need to master a good English speaking ability to satisfy the requirement of employers. However, it is a fact that a weak English speaking competence is common to all international students and the method to solve this problem should be different because not everyone can expect to develop the same speaking competency due to everyone’s different personalities. Imagine that you are an international student sitting in the classroom at American universities and listen to a professor’s lecture with native American students. You can’t catch the main argument of the professor and just to watch and feel his speech on account of a weak English listening competence. The professor sometimes tells a joke to class and every American student bursts into laughter except you and other international students. You are just staring at the professor and fake a smile occasionally to avoid letting anyone else know you can’t understand what the professor is saying. American students always ask or answer some questions and speak enthusiastically, while you and other international students are still sitting quietly and don’t dare to ask the professors, more accurately, speaking in the American class. You may think you cannot make you understood or you can’t express well the ideas of you or even if the professor understand your meaning, you cannot realize the opinion of the professor as well as don’t dare to let the professor repeat what he said because it embarrasses you in the class. What you can do is still sitting quietly and staring at the professor. Gradually you think the class is boring and a total waste of time and you can’t absorb any knowledge from the class, which might as well study them in your own dormitory. It may be the most widespread difficult situation which international students face: they lack fluent communication skills in English so that they can’t have good social and professional interaction skills with both professors and American students. As a result, Maureen Snow Andrade says, a professor of English at Brigham Young University, it will cause a different extent of failure in academic achievement; especially it cuts down the scores of GPA, which not only strikes self-confidence but also reduces the interest of studying (Andrade 146-147). It indeed an unwilling consequence for every international student especially because it spends too much money from your family and you feel quite ashamed that no achievement in studying abroad. Therefore, it is necessary to research how to ensure more effective communication or how to remove the obstacles of communication between international students and native Americans in the class. A Study by Graham, a professor at University of Maryland, provides a solution to those international students who have already studied in American universities without a good speaking competence in academic communication: you can discuss academic problems with native American students instead of international students from the same country as you (Graham 518). However, one thing arouses questioning is that whether this method applies to every international student? After all, each person is different. Some international students prefer to make friends with others especially American students. The term “outgoing” exactly describes these people...

Cited: Abel, Charles F. “Academic Success and the International Student: Research and Recommendations.” New Directions for Higher Education 2002.117 (2002): 13–20. Print.
Alsop, R. “How to get hired: We asked recruiters what M.B.A. graduates are doing wrong. Ignore their advice at your peril.” Wall Street Journal 22 Sep. 2004: R8. Print.
Andrade, Maureen Snow. “International Students in English-Speaking Universities: Adjustment Factors.” Journal of Research in International Education 5.2 (2006): 131-154. Print.
Bush, Barbara. Personal interview. 21 Nov. 2011
Graham, Janet G. “English Language Proficiency and the Prediction of Academic Success.” TESOL Quarterly 21.3 (1987): 505-521. Print.
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” Across Cultures: A Reader for Writers. 6th ed. Eds. Sheena Gillespie and Robert Becker. New York: Pearson, 2005. 46-52. Print.
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