Developing Writing Skills for International Students:Adopting a critical pragmatic approach

Stephen John Catterall, Christopher John Ireland

Abstract


The number of overseas finalists in the Business School of the University of Huddersfield has increased recently particularly from the European Union, including the new accession states. While the level of functional English of students is acceptable, they are inadequately prepared for study in English, given that they are expected to complete a final year dissertation that requires the acquisition of new skills. Student time in the final year is restricted and the main challenge is to provide useful learning opportunities within a limited timescale. A critical pragmatic approach has been adopted in developing a programme of writing skills support which enables students to adapt quickly to the demands of study at final year undergraduate level. The approach follows a pragmatic tradition but recognises the importance of critical skills and the necessity to practice of such skills. Quantitative research into student attendance and achievement indicates that this approach has had a positive impact while findings indicate that this approach to academic writing might be beneficial in similar settings.

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