Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/12073
Title: Meeting the challenges of English-medium higher education : the first-year experience in Hong Kong
Authors: Evans, S 
Morrison, B 
Issue Date: 2011
Source: English for specific purposes, 2011, v. 30, no. 3, p. 198-208
Abstract: This article examines the language-related challenges that first-year students face when adjusting to the demands of English-medium higher education in Hong Kong. The article is based on the findings of a longitudinal study which tracked the university careers of 28 students from a range of backgrounds via in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted at regular intervals over their three years of study. These findings are complemented by the results of a questionnaire survey completed by around 3 000 students at the same university. The interview and survey findings indicate that students experience four particular problems during the crucial first year at university: understanding technical vocabulary, comprehending lectures, achieving an appropriate academic style and meeting institutional and disciplinary requirements. The evidence suggests that students are able to overcome these and other problems through a combination of strong motivation, hard work, effective learning strategies and supportive peer networks. To illustrate and personalise the first-year experience, the article paints 'portraits' of three students from different societal, educational and disciplinary backgrounds. These portraits follow a series of 'landscapes' which depict recurring patterns in the qualitative and quantitative data. The article concludes by discussing the implications of the study for EAP provision in ESL and EFL contexts.
Keywords: Academic literacy
EAP
First-year experience
Hong Kong
Longitudinal research
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Journal: English for specific purposes 
ISSN: 0889-4906
EISSN: 1873-1937
DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2011.01.001
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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