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A newsletter dedicated to educational, linguistic, and cultural topics January 2017

New Year, New Semester, New Block !

As you prepare to welcome students back to the classroom and campus, consider the following tips
to help newly arrived international students start their studies off right!

Expectations Effective Communication

Dont assume that students know what your expectations It is helpful if you slow down your speech a bit for anyone
are, articulate them. who is in a new situation. Sometimes the newness of an
environment can affect how much is heard and under-
For faculty, this may include participation, timeliness, as-
stood, regardless of the persons comfort in English.
signments, grading policies, and academic integrity.
Repeating important information at various points
For staff providing services, this may include office proce-
throughout a block or semester is also helpful. The first
dures such as where the line forms, how many students may
day of a course or the first days on campus can be infor-
be served at a time, and which procedures may be handled
mation overload. Repetition ensures that the information
is eventually heard.
While expectations and procedures can be tiresome to those
Be very clear about what you want students to call you and
already familiar with them, remember that it is exactly these
be sure you ask how they wish to be called. Sometimes
elements of the educational experience that vary across cul-
students with popular names or very long names might
actually go by a nickname.
Repetition can be tedious, but keep in mind that although
Also, if students dont know what you prefer, they feel
you may be conveying this information for the fiftieth time,
uncomfortable trying to address you. Establishing names
for that student it may be the first time he/she is hearing it.
and terms of address that everyone is comfortable with
sets up a positive environment from the start.
Pausing at the end of important sections of speech or at
points where the topic changes is helpful to allow a little
extra processing time for those who need it.
Ask all students to write down questions that they have
and then ask for volunteers or call on individuals. Stress
the importance of asking questions (allows the instructor
to know what needs to be covered, helps other students
learn material, etc.).
Dont assume students are comfortable with Blackboard yet. Model how to navigate the site as you discuss different aspects
of the course.

Similarly, rather than give students a verbal explanation of how to use a university service remotely, prepare written instruc-
tions in advance to support comprehension.

Better still, provide an additional tier of support by demonstrating the use of the feature while verbally describing it.

Newsletter created by: Danielle Bergez, Academic Liaison for International Student Support,