Lectures, students and comprehension

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DENISE MULLIGAN & ANDY KIRKPATRICK. Curtin University of Technology. ABSTRACT. A recent study into tertiary literacy (Reid, Kirkpatrick, & Mulligan, ...

Higher Education Research & Development, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2000

How Much Do They Understand? Lectures, students and comprehension DENISE MULLIGAN & ANDY KIRKPATRICK Curtin University of Technology

A recent study into tertiary literacy (Reid, Kirkpatrick, & Mulligan, 1998) found that many students have problems with comprehension and note-taking in lectures and that students from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) reported particular difŽ culty. Despite the increase in the number of international students attending Australian universities over the past decade, it seems that many lecturers are still failing to accommodate the cultural and linguistic diversity of the classes they teach. The study reported here aimed to determine the nature and extent of problems experienced by NESB students in comprehending lectures and found signiŽ cant gaps in understanding: slightly fewer than 1 in 10 NESB students was able to understand the content and intent of their lectures very well. More disturbingly, almost one-quarter of them had not understood much of the lectures at all. The paper offers some suggested strategies for change—for those who prepare students for university study, for the students themselves, and for the lecturers who teach them. ABSTRACT

Introduction A recent study into tertiary literacy (Reid, Kirkpatrick, & Mulligan, 1998) found, among other things, that many students have problems with comprehension and note-taking in lectures and that students from a non-English speaking background (NESB) reported particular difŽ culty. Despite the increase in the number of international students attending Australian universities, and decades of research documenting the difŽ culties experienced by NESB students in English-medium classes, it seems that many lecturers still fail to take account of students’ difŽ culties and to modify their teaching accordingly. In this paper, we present the Ž ndings of a study funded through the Australian Department of Education Training and Youth Affairs’ (DETYA) Higher Education Equity Program. The study aimed to determine the nature of difŽ culties experienced by NESB students in comprehending lectures and then to suggest ways in which lectures could be made more accessible for such students. Rationale and Aims of the Study The appropriateness of lecturing as a teaching method has been the subject of debate for decades (e.g., Costin, 1972; Dunkin, 1983; Ramsden, 1992). The fact ISSN 0729-4360 print; ISSN 1469-8360 online/00/030311-25 Ó DOI: 10.1080/07294360020021419

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that NESB students have particular problems in comprehending lectures in Englishmedium universities has also been documented (see Bilbow, 1989; Flowerdew & Miller, 1992; Flowerdew, 1994; Biggs, 1997). There is no doubt that lectures lend themselves better to some teaching tasks than others, and that they suit some students’ learning needs better than others, but much of the criticism of lectures seems to stem from the quality of lecturing rather than the method itself (Clerehan, 1994). Accepting that the lecture will continue as a teaching method in universities for the foreseeable future (despite the move to computer-based delivery), this study sought to identify the particular problems experienced by NESB students in lectures—speciŽ cally in relation to the socio-cultural and linguistic factors that limit their comprehension—and to suggest ways in which lecturers and students could make the lecture a more valuable learning experience. Several recent studies of NESB student experiences in higher education have emphasised the in uence of cultural experiences and perceptions on students’ behaviour and academic outcomes in new educational settings and the need to accommodate these differences in revised teaching strategies (Biggs, 1991, 1997; Chalmers & Volet, 1997; Prosser & Trigwell, 1997; Watkins & Biggs, 1996). Hounsell (in Bilbow, 1989) has emphasised that: The success with which students are able to achieve understanding [in lectures] may depend critically on the capacity of the higher education teacher to recognise and build from students’ existing conceptions and to anchor new knowledge in a meaningful framework. (p. 96) Flowerdew and Miller (1995) have demonstrated that a “meaningful framework” can operate at several levels of cultural expectations in L2 (second language) lectures. They conducted a comprehensive ethnographic study of Chinese students’ experiences in lectures in English-medium universities in Hong Kong, using data sources which included observations in lectures, questionnaires, and interviews with lecturers and students. They identiŽ ed four dimensions of the cultural context of lecturing—ethnic, local, academic and disciplinary—that have the potential to in uence student comprehension and behaviour. Flowerdew and Miller provide as an example of ethnic culture the Confucian emphasis on respect for one’s elders, which may manifest itself in the reluctance of students of Chinese heritage to give their opinions or to ask questions in class. Ethnic cultural differences also mean that humour in cross-cultural classrooms can lead to signiŽ cant communication problems. Local culture refers to the social, political and economic milieu of any education system, from which “local” lecturers and students can draw a shared experience to enhance their understanding of lecture material, especially to elucidate key concepts (though in international classrooms, the concept of “local” culture becomes blurred). Academic culture embraces the particular academic values, roles, assumptions, attitudes, and patterns of behaviour that can operate at various levels in different educational systems. Finally, disciplinary culture refers to the theories, concepts, norms, and specialised vocabulary of a particular academic discipline. Bilbow (1989) has also highlighted the in uence of cultural factors on students’ capacity to comprehend lectures and on their learning styles in general. But while he

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echoes the concerns of other researchers (e.g., Samuelowicz, 1987; Ballard & Clanchy, 1991) that ethnic and academic traditions of Southeast Asian students may condition them to adopt surface learning strategies—speciŽ cally atomistic study practices such as memorisation by rote learning, and writing copious notes during lectures—he was not inclined to attribute this pattern only to culture-speciŽ c learning styles. In seeking to explore the reasons why NESB students might have difŽ culty in comprehending lectures, Bilbow (1989) deŽ ned comprehension thus: At its lower level, comprehension involves recognition or decoding, and at its higher level, interpretation. The former requires the perception of language forms, e.g. phoneme discrimination, recognition of clause structure, tenses, etc. The latter involves interpretation of meanings, concepts and reasoning. These two levels of comprehension … [depend] on datadriven bottom-up processing and conceptually-driven top-down mechanisms respectively. (p. 90) Bilbow suggests that the problem for many overseas students with poorly developed English skills is that they are rarely able to get past bottom-up processing to achieve the higher order, deep learning that is achieved through interpretation (at least within the immediate context of the lecture). The reasons for this are both linguistic and cultural in nature—and this can include the “academic culture” of the course that drives student behaviour. Many students, he argues, are capable of adopting both deep and shallow learning strategies—that is, being strategic learners (Ramsden & Entwistle, 1981, in Bilbow, 1989)—as the situation demands. Locally educated students of English speaking background (ESB) are just as likely as international NESB students to adopt surface learning strategies where course requirements (the “academic culture” of assessment techniques, curriculum and teaching methods) induce such practices, as recent research on student reading practices has demonstrated (Reid et al., 1998). Any meaningful investigation of student comprehension and learning strategies, therefore, clearly needs to consider the contextual in uences on student behaviour. The range of linguistic factors that contribute to NESB listening difŽ culties in lectures, and that Bilbow (1989) suggests, will also induce them to adopt surface learning strategies, include such elements as grammatical structure, sentence length, ambiguity, speech rate, extent of redundancy in the text, predictability, and non-verbal features such as gestures, facial expressions, or other conventions and cues which signal important information in lectures (p. 91). Listening in a second language involves a set of skills which are quite distinct from those involved in reading comprehension (Buck, 1992; Flowerdew, 1994). Flowerdew identiŽ es these skills as real-time processing (the ephemeral nature of spoken text means listeners have less control over the text than do readers); and phonological and lexico-grammatical knowledge (the ability to distinguish homophones, unit boundaries, false starts and hesitations, stress and intonation, colloquialisms; or vocabulary and grammar of a new culture or discipline) (Flowerdew, 1994, p. 10). The heavy emphasis on reading and writing skills, rather than listening skills, in poorly resourced English language teaching (ELT) programs, means that NESB

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students are often ill-prepared for listening to lectures in Western universities. Choi (1997) cites this as a particular problem for Korean students in Australia, but it is one that is not conŽ ned to this group alone. The ability to distinguish material which is critical to the main purpose of the lecture and that which is less relevant (asides, jokes, etc.) is also “paramount” (Flowerdew, 1994). Yet NESB students often have great difŽ culty in identifying the overall structure (or “macrostructure”) and discourse patterns of lectures (Chaudron & Richards, 1986, in Bilbow, 1989). Young (1994) has described the macrostructure of a lecture as consisting of several recurring strands—introductory, information and concluding strands—which students need to be able to identify to make sense of a lecture. Academic discourse also requires the listener to concentrate on extended monologues without the opportunity to “negotiate” meaning through the kind of “facilitating functions” that typify interactive discourse (e.g., repetition, questioning) (Bilbow, 1989; Flowerdew, 1994). It also commonly requires the listener to develop some skill in the taking of notes while listening; and the ability to integrate information from a variety of media (aural, visual, textbooks, handouts) (Flowerdew, 1994). These were factors we explored not only through questionnaires and interviews with students, but also in classroom observations. Method DeŽ nition of Terms NESB students, as currently deŽ ned by DETYA, are those who were born overseas, speak a language other than English at home, and have been resident in Australia for fewer than 10 years. We prefer the term FLOTE (Ž rst language other than English) as it emphasises an advantage that such people have over monolingual people. However, in deference to common usage, we use NESB in this report. Although DETYA’s obvious concern is with NESB immigrants to Australia, for the purposes of this study international NESB students were also included in our sample and results. For ease of reference throughout the article, the category “ESB” students includes all those who nominated English as the only language they speak at home (whether or not they also nominated a language other than English as their Ž rst language), as well as those students who speak a language other than English at home, but who have been resident in Australia for 10 years or more. Data Collection Our data collections were conducted across two separate disciplines (Architecture & Construction Management and Economics & Finance), providing a mix of lecture types to be analysed. The data was gathered from a range of sources: in-class observations of lectures; student questionnaires; in-depth interviews with lecturers and students; and group interviews with students. Eight lectures involving Ž ve lecturers were observed by two researchers. All bar

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·

two of the lectures were recorded. One researcher took details of student note-taking and participation in classroom activities, questioning and discussion. The second researcher concentrated on the style of delivery and overall presentation of lecture content. A pro-forma schedule was completed in each case (copy provided in Mulligan & Kirkpatrick, 1998). All bar one of the classes observed were 1st year units. The biggest class consisted of around 450 students, where the lecture was conducted in a large lecture theatre, serviced with built-in bunkers of audio-visual equipment and lighting controls, as well as microphone and recording facilities. The smallest class of 29 students was addressed in a small studio, which was only equipped with a whiteboard and overhead projector. These classes were selected for analysis because they contained signiŽ cant proportions of NESB students. Not only did this give us a relatively balanced NESB/ESB student population to be surveyed (48% NESB overall), but it also meant that we could expect to see some accommodating behaviour on the part of lecturers to meet the needs of their NESB students. Students were asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the last class observed. A total of 414 questionnaires were analysed for the study, of which 198 came from NESB students and 216 from ESB students. The questionnaires covered the following areas, using a combination of closed-response and open-ended questions: educational and linguistic background; preparation before lectures; ability to comprehend lectures and take notes; nature of difŽ culties in comprehension and note-taking; activities after lectures; strategies used by student to enhance understanding; ways in which lecturers can improve lecture comprehension. ·

·

·

·

·

·

We also interviewed 29 students (16 ESB and 13 NESB), some individually , others in small groups, so that issues raised in the questionnaires could be discussed in more detail. These interviews were transcribed from tape, word for word in signiŽ cant areas, but paraphrased in other sections. We have also made reference, where appropriate, to interview data collected during earlier research into the reading practices of Australian tertiary students (see Reid et al., 1998). The research included consideration of the relationship between reading and lectures in the total study cycle. Finally, we interviewed the lecturers of the classes observed and surveyed, generally on two occasions. Apart from the occasional reference, however, the material from these interviews has not been utilised in this paper. Student Demographics Most of the NESB students sampled were Asian born (90%), with those born in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore constituting the biggest groups. Two-thirds of the ESB students were Australian born and 20% were born in Asia. A little

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less than half (46%) of the NESB group had been living in Australia for only 1 or 2 years, whereas 84% of ESB students had been resident all their lives or for more than 10 years (the remaining 16% had been resident fewer than 10 years but claimed an English-speaking background). Speakers of some form of Chinese constituted the biggest grouping by far among the NESB students sampled (58%), followed by Indonesian speakers (20%). Most student respondents were aged under 24 years. Gender distributions were reasonably balanced in both sample groups. Findings and Discussion We have focused our attention in this paper on the major Ž ndings from the questionnaires we asked students to complete after lectures. Where relevant, we have related these Ž ndings to student comments gathered during interviews conducted both for this research and for our earlier research on student reading practices (Reid et al., 1998). Overall Comprehension in Lectures After asking students a series of questions to identify the particular difŽ culties they may have experienced in comprehending the lecture they had just heard (the results of which follow), we asked them to indicate how well they understood the lecture overall (see Table 1). Nowhere is the gap between NESB and ESB students in lecture comprehension more apparent than it is here: whereas around one-third (34%) of ESB students surveyed in this study believed that at the end of their lectures they had understood the content and intent of those lectures very well, around 1 in 10 (9%) NESB students could say the same. More disturbingly, almost one-quarter of NESB students (22%) indicated that they had not understood a lot of the lecture content. It needs to be emphasised that students were responding to questions about their comprehension of the lecture immediately after its delivery. This makes no allowance for an enhanced understanding of lecture material which may be achieved by

TABLE 1. Overall, how well did you understand this lecture? (%)

Understood very well Understood fairly well Did not understand a lot

NESB

ESB

9 68 22

34 58 8

Notes: this question not asked in Ž rst questionnaire administered (Unit 1). NESB N 5 174; ESB N 5 216. Differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence.

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317

review and re ection after the event. There is considerable research which indicates that NESB students rely heavily on review strategies to make sense of lecture material precisely because they choose not to “listen” (in the sense of cognitive engagement) during lectures, but focus rather on note-taking (Murphy & Candlin, 1979; Oner & Denham, 1993; McKnight, 1994; Reid et al., 1998). Further evidence for the “not listening” strategy was found in this study and later sections of this paper explore the issue further. For those lecturers who use their teaching sessions only for information transmission, it may not be a problem that students don’t actually listen to their commentary but concentrate only on their overhead transparencies (OHTs). But for those who regard the lecture as their opportunity for “emphasising conceptual organisation, clarifying ticklish issues, reiterating critical points, and inspiring students to appreciate the importance of key information” (Lowman, 1988, in McInnis, 1998, p. 1), the failure of a substantial proportion of their class to comprehend the lecture as delivered must indicate a need for new strategies. Metapragmatic Signalling NESB students had difŽ culty in identifying metapragmatic signalling of changes in topic or emphasis (see Table 2), with 26% of them indicating they were “not at all” able to identify non-verbal changes of topic or emphasis (physical movements or expressions, writing on the board or other changes in the mode of delivery), and 25% saying they were “not at all” able to identify when the lecturer went off the topic. More explicit verbal signals (“OK, right …”; “So to conclude …”; “In summary …”; “Let’s move on …”; “The important point here …”) caused them fewer problems, but NESB students were still signiŽ cantly less likely than ESB students to identify them all or most of the time (NESB 23%; ESB 52%). All students beneŽ t from clear signalling of new topics and elaborations, but this is especially important for NESB students who may be unable to identify parallelisms and synonyms as elaborations rather than as additional items of information (Fahmy & Bilton, 1990). Unfortunately, lecturers often fail entirely to signal a change of topic or emphasis. In over 60% of cases in Fahmy and Bilton’s research, lecturers signalled neither the entry nor the exit to an elaboration, either indirectly with a change of stress or speed, or directly with speciŽ c verbal markers (p. 117). Identifying Lecture Macrostructure In view of their difŽ culty in identifying a change in topic or emphasis, it is not surprising that NESB students’ ability to recognise the macrostructure of these lectures was also comparatively poor (see Table 3). Only around one-third of NESB students could “always or mostly” identify supporting material such as examples (NESB 32%; 49% ESB), identify main ideas (NESB 33%; ESB 61%), follow the topic development (NESB 33%; ESB 47%), or identify the purpose of the lecture (NESB 36%; ESB 50%). NESB students’ ability to identify the macrostructure of a lecture can signiŽ cantly

44 49 52

15 27 23

ESB

62

48

59

NESB

41

42

47

ESB

Sometimes

Note: *differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence.

During this lecture were you able to: · Identify non-verbal signals of a change in topic or emphasis* · Identify when the lecturer went off the topic* · Identify verbal signals of a change in topic or emphasis*

NESB

Always/mostly

1

25

26

7

9

9

ESB

Not at all NESB

TABLE 2. Ability to identify metapragmatic signalling within lectures (%)

318 D. Mulligan & A. Kirkpatrick

32 33 33 36

49 61 47 50

ESB

53 57 54 53

NESB

46 34 48 44

ESB

Sometimes

15 9 12 11

NESB

5 5 6 6

ESB

Not at all

Notes: *differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence; **differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.01 level of conŽ dence; ***differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.05 level of conŽ dence.

During this lecture were you able to: · Identify supporting materials, examples* · Identify main ideas of the lecture*** · Follow the topic development** · Identify purpose of the lecture***

NESB

Always/mostly

TABLE 3. Identifying lecture macrostructure (%)

How Much Do They Understand? 319

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affect their understanding of the detail, especially in subject areas where they are being introduced to complex or highly technical concepts. Providing a clear outline of the macrostructure at the beginning of a lecture, either on an introductory OHT or as a handout, is one of the easiest and most beneŽ cial things that lecturers can do for their students: Some lectures are all over the place, you don’t know where the direction is … I prefer if the outline is given and in point form and referring back to the outline. (1st yr Malaysian, 4th yr resident) The units I’m doing now, there’s no structure, they’re all over the place. They should structure, the outline and notes. If you go there and write the notes, you are not listening to what they are saying. (1st yr El Salvadorean, 8th yr resident) [It’s] really good to get handouts before the lecture, with a list of references for more information, so during the lecture you’ve got an idea where it’s going. (3rd yr ESB (Reid et al., 1998)) Strategies such as this—along with well-organised lectures overall—are especially important in subject areas where a textbook is not available as a supplement for students’ comprehension of lecture content, as these students noted during our research on reading (Reid et al., 1998): The units people fail are those where there is no textbook and you rely on the lecturer for the information. You have nowhere else to go. … You thought you had the best notes, you weren’t worried at all, but at the exam you look at the paper and you don’t know anything about it. It’s just so hard to keep up, so much information, you don’t know what to take down. There are no headings, you always need headings, but they just go on … no signals. The lecturer has a responsibility to put something together for us. He says to take down the drawing but as you’re drawing, he’s telling you all the important stuff about it, so you miss it all. Note-Taking Interviews we conducted during our research into student reading practices indicated that NESB students had considerable difŽ culties with note-taking in lectures (Reid et al., 1998): I can’t listen and take notes at the same time. … One lecturer talks very fast, you can’t hear anything, so you give up and wait for a new thing. You always think you are missing something. It’s very hard, sometimes I want to cry. Normally I would absorb and understand what the lecturer had said before I write it down with my own words. In fact, I didn’t do much note-taking because once I understand what the lecturer’s said, I didn’t manage to get the time and chance to write it down as I need to prepare

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to understand what would the lecturer says later on. Hence, it is very easy for me to forget what is going on during lecture, if I didn’t do any revision or reading. NESB students in this current survey felt only slightly less able than ESB students to take lecture notes that made sense to them, but still reported greater difŽ culty in keeping up with the lecture in their note-taking (see Table 4). As observations in class proved, however, NESB students were also more likely to try to take detailed notes where there may not have been a need, and in situations where ESB students took almost none at all, such as when notes were supplied by lecturers (two of the Ž ve lecturers provided summary notes of their lectures, in both cases after the lecture was given). By providing “skeleton” notes, especially at the beginning of a lecture, lecturers can enhance student comprehension by freeing them “from docile note taking to give both eye and ear attention to the lecturer” (Klemm, 1976, p. 10). Some lecturers have argued to us, both during this research and the reading research, that providing outline notes to students amounts to spoon-feeding, and would encourage students to miss lectures completely. But there is substantial evidence from this study to contradict both of these beliefs: Some I went to, they have notes on the Web, and you bring them in. It saves time and you can concentrate on what they say. … Sometimes in the lecture, he can give examples so we can write them too. That means we don’t go to sleep, just listening and holding the paper. That would be helpful, I think. Not just writing and not listening. (1st yr Malaysian, resident 6 yrs) [You like the idea of having notes before the lecture?] Yes, before the lecture, I have to focus and then I read the textbook and I can understand more than 70% or 80%. … I can learn more from the lecture if I understand the materials but not understand all of them because the English or because I never done that before, so these parts I don’t understand so I’ll listen very carefully, and take notes. (1st yr Singaporean, 1st yr resident) [T]here are still parts that the lecturer will add that won’t be in the notes. It’s always like that. Like, especially for xxx, he’ll draw on the board, but it won’t be in the notes. So it’s essential you attend. In one unit, we just get the outline, the topic. He encourages you to come to the lecture. (1st yr Mauritian, 2nd yr resident) [Do you still attend lectures when you get notes?] Yes. Just with handouts and notes I can follow more clearly, I know what’s happening. The lecturer is giving lecture from notes, so I can write notes on the side in my own words, so I understand what is going on. (1st/2nd yr Macau-Chinese, 2nd yr resident) In situations where outline notes are not provided, students will generally regard

43 53

53 73

ESB

Note: *differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence.

During this lecture were you able to: · Take notes that make sense to you · Keep up with the lecture in terms of note-taking*

NESB

Always/mostly

50 40

NESB

43 25

ESB

Sometimes

TABLE 4. Ability to take notes during lecture (%)

9 6

NESB

5 2

ESB

Not at all

322 D. Mulligan & A. Kirkpatrick

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323

getting the details from OHTs as essential, and listening to the lecturer’s commentary as secondary (the “not listening” strategy): I just copy them down and copy without listening to him. If I listen I can’t copy. … I hope I can learn from what I have copied. If not I look for more materials. Even when they do attempt to record the lecturer’s commentary, in situations where the delivery is too rapid, some students appear to adopt a strategy of literally recording the words as they hear them, without any cognitive processing for comprehension. [S]ome lectures are too difŽ cult for note taking. We can’t think, just put our heads down and write what he’s saying. Some talk quite fast, some slow. Depends on that. It’s hard to identify the main ideas because we only write. (1st yr Indonesian, 8th yr resident) In this situation, NESB students will only begin to comprehend a lecture as they review their notes after the event, which will often also require some reprocessing in their Ž rst language (see Bilbow, 1989). Notwithstanding the particular difŽ culties that NESB students face, all of us can Ž nd note-taking difŽ cult when unfamiliar material is rapidly delivered in a closely packed, disorganised manner, as this ESB student noted during our reading research (Reid et al., 1998): Some, you just sit there and have no idea, they go from topic to topic, you have to go home and work it out, no time to in class, you just have to write everything down. It’s very hard to understand as I’m writing, I just try to write what I can. But if you don’t understand, or miss something, it’s difŽ cult to write it because you don’t know what’s going on. It’s important to write in your own words, not rely on writing word for word, because you don’t have enough time to do that. Conceptual Understanding NESB students were less able than ESB students to identify the conceptual basis and relevance of lecture content as it was delivered (see Table 5): they were only half as likely to “always or mostly” see the connection between the lecture content and other course content (NESB 19%; ESB 41%) or with their previous education (NESB 23%; ESB 44%). To some extent, these problems may stem from lecturer assumptions about students’ prior knowledge of the subject area: [Are the concepts explained sufŽ ciently for you?] Very quick … not so deep. Just like in xxx he relate it to high school, and say you should know this. Most have done high school here, so they know what they’re talking about. He didn’t go deep, just said Oh you should know this in high school, so just passes over. (2nd yr Chinese, 10th yr resident)

41

44 51 37 49

19

23 24 21 32

ESB

60

64

59 66

55

NESB

49

54

47 46

49

ESB

Sometimes

8

15

18 11

27

NESB

3

9

10 3

10

ESB

Not at all

Notes: *differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence; **differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.01 level of conŽ dence.

During this lecture were you able to: · Identify relationships between lecture content and other course content* · Identify relationships between lecture content and knowledge from previous education* · Understand key terms or concepts* · Identify relationships between concepts within lecture content* · Understand questions asked by the lecturer**

NESB

Always/mostly

TABLE 5. Conceptual understanding of lecture content as delivered (%)

324 D. Mulligan & A. Kirkpatrick

How Much Do They Understand?

325

Many of the students we interviewed felt that lecturers were assuming background knowledge that students did not possess and wanted lecturers to check students’ comprehension before they progressed, taking the time to explain key concepts, to paraphrase and simplify, and to avoid the use of jargon (or at least explain it). Questionnaire results bear this out, with NESB students being considerably less able to understand key terms or concepts (NESB 24% “always/mostly”; ESB 51%); and having greater difŽ culty identifying relationships between concepts within the lectures (NESB 21% “always/mostly”; ESB 37%). With these difŽ culties in mind, it is not surprising that NESB students also had difŽ culty understanding questions asked by their lecturers (NESB 32% understood “always or mostly”; ESB 49%), though only 8% of NESBs failed to understand any of the questions. It may be difŽ cult for some monolingual lecturers to appreciate the complexity of studying in a second or even third language and the problems this creates for NESB students in following conceptual relationships within a lecture. The comments of one Chinese Malaysian participant are enlightening here, when he recalled how he went from a Ž rst language and primary education in Mandarin (which he stills uses as his preferred social language), to a secondary education with all textbooks and classes conducted in Malay, to a post-secondary education in English: It is not easy for me as a Chinese student to translate Mandarin to Malay and then Malay to English. Many of the “ambiguities” of lectures can be ameliorated with a thoughtfully constructed unit outline. Students have a better chance of seeing connections between concepts within lectures and with other course content if they have the opportunity to read relevant material beforehand, and thus place the lecture in some overall context: In the unit outline, it shows what you have to know for the whole course, and when you go to a lecture, you know that today it’s unemployment, so I just read the chapter on employment Ž rst, then I go in I know what he’s talking about. … You have to know what they’re talking about, so you understand. A background helps a lot, because you’ve already done it. (1st yr Malaysian, resident 6 yrs) I read the chapters before I go in, to ensure I won’t be lost in the lectures. Before every lecture, I read the chapter the lecture will cover. I’ve been without reading, and I won’t understand the whole lecture. If I’d read, I would understand 80%. If I don’t read, then only a bit, not the theories. (1st yr Malaysian, 1st yr resident) Overall, those lecturers who check student understanding as the lecture progresses, are clear about the learning objectives and provide a lecture outline are most likely to be those who are well regarded by students: [Good lecturers] give a concept Ž rst of what you’re going to learn, then ask your opinions or questions, so you know what you’re really learning. So the Ž rst is giving the concept, to give a clear understand of what’s going on, to

326

D. Mulligan & A. Kirkpatrick TABLE 6. Understanding cultural references within lecture content (%) Always/mostly

During this lecture were you able to: · Understand references to material or examples speciŽ c to Western culture* · Understand references to material or examples speciŽ c to Australian culture* · Understand references to material or examples speciŽ c to non-Western culture* · Identify relationships between lecture content and own life experiences** · Understand jokes or humorous remarks by the lecturer*

Sometimes

Not at all

NESB

ESB

NESB

ESB

NESB

ESB

16

54

63

41

21

5

20

55

57

39

23

6

23

45

56

47

21

8

18

32

54

49

28

19

31

65

56

27

13

8

Notes: *differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.001 level of conŽ dence; **differences between groups signiŽ cant at 0.01 level of conŽ dence.

make sure you have a clear understanding. … A handout for each lecture helps. … Like in xxx, after every lecture I really understood, because he always makes it simple, asks questions, gives examples. (1st/2nd yr MacauChinese, 2nd yr resident) Cultural Factors In uencing Lecture Comprehension Cultural factors, particularly ethnic and local (Flowerdew & Miller, 1995), seemed to cause a great number of difŽ culties for NESB students: they were signiŽ cantly less likely than ESB students to “always or mostly” understand references to material or examples from Western (NESB 16%; ESB 54%) or Australian (NESB 20%; ESB 25%) cultures (see Table 6). Some culturally speciŽ c examples, idioms or metaphors used with no further explanation for students in lectures we observed included “daggie”, “poetic of the Aussie tin roof”, references to Australian sporting heroes and other icons of popular culture, or to the local political or social environment. Though a little less troublesome, references to material or examples speciŽ c to non-Western culture nevertheless caused difŽ culties in understanding for signiŽ cantly more NESB students than ESB students (NESB 23% “always or mostly” understood them; ESB 45%). NESB students also had greater difŽ culty identifying relationships between the lecture content and their own life experiences (NESB 18% could “always or mostly” see a connection; ESB 32%) and they were less likely to understand lecturers’ jokes or humorous remarks (NESB 31% “always or mostly” understood them; ESB 65%). The effect of cultural differences on NESB students’ ability to comprehend

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lectures and other learning experiences was highlighted by the comment of one 1st year NESB student during our research into student reading practices (Reid et al., 1998): Some lecturers are rather insensitive toward NNS or Asian students and they tend to have the perception that we are exposed to similar culture like theirs in our own country. One Singaporean student argued in a written comment on lecture comprehension, that sharing notes and thoughts across cultures might be very beneŽ cial for NESB and ESB students alike: This exchange between our cultures would also help facilitate the information processing we derive from our lectures. This is because we would view and interpret information from different perspectives. Many students provided written comments on the importance of examples in explaining material in lectures. However, as valuable as examples can be in explaining difŽ cult concepts, unfamiliar references are very likely to be ignored by students who are having trouble keeping up with the whole pace of the lecture anyway, including having to interpret unfamiliar accents: If you wonder about it, it’s past. So you listen to stories, but quick to pass on, you don’t have time to think about what it is. Sometimes I think the examples aren’t so important, so forget it, don’t bother to ask. (2nd yr Chinese, 10th yr resident) Sometimes I can’t catch all the words, because English is not my Ž rst language. If they give you extra points, sometimes I can’t get them. Not like local Australians. [It’s] accent sometimes, some wordings and local examples. Also different cultures so I don’t know the most common things here. (1st/2nd yr Macau-Chinese, 2nd yr resident) Lecturers should not rely too heavily on textbook examples either, especially those from foreign texts, but try instead to provide “real life” examples that are directly relevant to students’ own experiences (two of the lecturers we interviewed regularly asked overseas students to bring in their own examples to share with the class): [You suggested here the lecturer should provide more real-life situations. What do you mean?] Sometimes you wonder if you need the information in the future. So they should inject some reality, try to incorporate real life examples. All of the ones they give are textbook based. (1st yr Singaporean, 1st yr resident) Examples are very important, they show you how things are done. … Most people learn from examples. They have to explain them though. Books just summarise them, and don’t explain them. [If] the lecturer talks about it, you can ask questions. (1st yr Malaysian, 6th yr resident)

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Student-Cited Strategies to Enhance Understanding in Lectures We asked students through an open-ended question in the questionnaire for details of strategies they use during lectures to enhance their understanding of lecture content. ESB students were more forthcoming in sharing their experiences—42% of them offered written responses compared with just 15% of NESB students. Considering the evidence presented thus far regarding the inability of many NESB students to engage with the lecture as it proceeds, this is perhaps not surprising. ESB student responses certainly display some critically active approaches, a kind of “wrestling” with lecture content, where they are actively trying to make sense of it as the lecture proceeds. As the following section reports, NESB students are more likely to rely on pre- and post-lecture activity to achieve their understanding. So far as note-taking was concerned, only three NESB students cited any special strategies for note-taking in lectures. Many more ESB students referred to their attempts to take abbreviated notes, paraphrasing lecture content in their own words, and focusing only on key issues or main ideas. Several students had developed systems where they would structure their notes on the page—which necessarily involves ordering concepts and ideas in the mind Ž rst. These included the use of mind maps,  ow charts or sketches, or the structuring of notes with different colour headings. Listening strategies cited were fairly straightforward, and amounted to actually listening, critically trying for understanding, rather than being “distracted” by furious note-taking or by other students (e.g., by sitting at the front of the lecture theatre and focusing on the lecturer, a common strategy for NESB students). The importance of providing meaningful examples and “contextualising” lecture material is highlighted by the number of students (mainly ESB) who said that they looked for connections between lecture content and other aspects of their lives or previous/current education.

Pre- and Post-Lecture Activities Tauroza and Allison (1995) have demonstrated that unexpected or unfamiliar schematic structures in lectures can negatively affect student comprehension. Reading relevant sections of the text or completing tutorial exercises before a lecture might therefore be useful, to “familiarise students with various schematic structures” (Flowerdew, 1994, p. 292). We asked students whether they undertook any of three nominated activities before lectures: reading the assigned textbook, previewing the previous week’s lecture notes, and completing assigned exercises or other materials. NESB students were more likely than ESB students to claim to have read the assigned textbook (where one was available) before the lecture (NESB 23%; ESB 17%), whereas ESB students revealed during interviews that they were more inclined to read after lectures. Both approaches are probably strategically appropriate—NESB students beneŽ t from the “scaffolding” that pre-reading provides, whereas reading after the lecture means that students can read selectively, focusing on areas highlighted in lectures.

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[Advice to new students?] Read before the lecture. If you do, you might get 40% understanding, so you can focus on the lesson. (1st yr Indonesian, resident 8 yrs) Sometimes I pre-read. Then I understand the lecture, can learn faster. If not, I’m like a blank, have to concentrate and write fast. If I’ve read—like law, there’s a syllabus book—you read them before, you don’t have to write down everything he says, just the name of the case and you know what that’s about. (1st yr Malaysian, resident 6 yrs) Read before going in. That’s important. Sometimes if I don’t, I don’t understand lectures—it’s bad. You take notes but you don’t understand. And also do the tutorial questions, usually after the lecture. And ask … if I don’t understand and don’t see the lecturer or tutor, I go and see if my friends did, or whether they have the same idea as I do. Some from my tutes, others who came from Malaysia. (1st yr Malaysian, 1st yr resident) While relatively few students in either group claim to have read an assigned textbook before lectures (the fact that students in two of the units relied on notes provided by the lecturer rather than a textbook will have in uenced this result), NESB students were signiŽ cantly more likely than ESB students to review the previous week’s lecture notes (NESB 43%; ESB 24%) and to complete exercises or other material assigned by the lecturer (NESB 55%; ESB 35%). So, although they tended to understand less of lectures than did ESB students at the time of delivery, NESB students would considerably enhance their overall understanding of lectures as a result of their efforts to review and re ect on the content afterwards. It was apparent (and to be expected) that the provision of notes by the lecturer had a clear effect on student behaviour after lectures. Students in the two lectures where notes were provided by the lecturer were less likely than those who relied on taking their own notes to review their notes within close proximity of the lecture, but were rather more likely to leave any review for a few weeks. The interviews revealed that students’ strategies for reviewing their lecture notes (whether self-transcribed or provided by the lecturer) took several forms—some students simply re-read them, others copied them out again (by hand or by typing them), and some annotated them from further reading. This approach may be less effective than “task-oriented” activities, unless the review involves a critical reworking of the content. An active “reworking” of lecture material is an effective way for students to enhance their understanding of lecture content, since it generally involves a reframing of concepts so that they are consistent with the students’ own cognitive styles and knowledge bases. For some NESB students, it may be the only way they can begin to make sense of a lecture. Students’ Preferred Lecturing Styles From the range of material available for analysis from interviews and questionnaires, some common themes about student expectations of lecturers emerged. Above all,

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students want to be challenged and entertained (though not by diversions away from the main topic) and they appreciate a sense of humour, provided it is “appropriate”. They also want a clear understanding of what the unit objectives are and expect that lectures will be focused on those objectives: Sometimes the tutor’s questions, you just copy from the lecture books. It is very easy. But I just don’t like this way. … I like the Marketing lecturer, he not just ask you to read the book, he encourage you to think about things, and then to learn things from your experience or you learn from others. Sometimes, some lecturers just like to force-feed you. (1st yr Chinese/Macau, 2nd yr resident) [My ideal lecturing style is] where they give a concept Ž rst of what you’re going to learn, then ask your opinions or questions, so you know what you’re really learning … to give a clear understanding of what’s going on. (1st yr Chinese, 1st yr resident) Contrary to a commonly held belief among lecturers, few if any of the students we interviewed believed that it was the lecturer’s role to provide them with everything they needed to know. Students expect to have to put in the extra effort to Ž ll in the details, but they do want guidance on the most important areas to focus on, they want lecturers to explain and elaborate the major concepts they need to understand: [Expect everything you need to know from lecturer?] Not really. I don’t expect them to spoon-feed us. To recommend references, it’s up to us to refer to them. It’s up to the individual. (1st yr Singaporean, 1st yr resident) [Are lectures important to you ?] Yes very. In econs, the books are so hard to understand, some things I don’t understand. Lectures summarise the whole thing, make it easier to understand. That’s what the lecturer does, instead of reading the whole chapter, he summarises it simply. … Lecturers start us off, so we have a starting point. (2nd yr Indonesian, resident 10 yrs) Lectures give you an outline of what you need to know. I don’t get too much of them, they are too quick. They go through what is to be assessed, so I go home and get my book and do those areas in more depth, so you don’t get side-tracked. (1st yr El Salvadorean, resident 8 yrs) Students especially like lecturers who are approachable and who encourage interaction and questioning. This allows students to check their own understanding and also allows the lecturer to be sure that students understand before he/she proceeds: [T]he one who interacts and puts humour in it too, puts life into the subject.. Feeling free to ask questions, and he will ask you questions, this interaction and friendly approach. That’s most important … he tries to see if you understand what he’s said. If you’re confused he can sort things out. General questioning to the class is best. (1st yr Mauritian, 2nd yr resident) As important as lectures are in the overall teaching cycle, it is important to stress that

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smaller groups were the preferred teaching/learning mode for most of the students we interviewed, and especially for NESB students: Lectures are important, but not Ž rst for me. Tutes are best. … All that reading in private, I can’t really know the subject. In tutes, there’s discussion, you can discuss your answer. … And the lecturer will know each student’s problem areas, and deal with it there. (1st yr Singaporean, 1st yr resident) In tutorials, you get to speak to tutors. It’s more helpful, I prefer the individual attention. I know what I want from the tutor, and if I feel like asking questions, I will. Group-wise, someone might ask an interesting question, and you learn something else. (1st yr Mauritian, 2 yrs resident) Although they may appear to be reluctant at times to participate in questioning, it seems that the big attraction of small groups for NESB students is that they present a more conducive environment for questioning and interaction: If there are 200 students in a lecture, you can’t ask questions. A small group, they talk to you and you can interact. So seminars are important. … In Organisational Behaviour we have a discussion in class, one hour is for group activity. There are different cultures, and different people, points of view, so we learn. (1st yr Malaysian, 1st yr resident) You can’t ask questions in a big situation, no chance to ask. Sometimes the lecturers give a little break to give us the opportunity for questions. Sometimes I do, mostly not. I’m embarrassed in a way. I prefer lectures with about 40–50. The lecturer is more approachable, easier for us to ask, interact. (1st yr Indonesian, 8th yr resident) Bearing in mind the reported difŽ culties with note-taking, many students suggested that lecturers should provide notes (either directly or in the library) so that students could concentrate on listening, or be able to Ž ll the gaps when they missed something in a lecture. Other students were happy to take their own notes but wanted lecturers to allow some writing time before they launched into detailed explanations of the material. Using the whiteboard to explain key concepts can often slow down a presentation sufŽ ciently to allow such “writing time”. NESB students showed a strong preference for visual reinforcement of the material covered in lectures. Overheads or PowerPoint, slides or board-work, or those contentious handout notes, can all be used to highlight important information and ease the cognitive load of listening alone. There were some suggestions that there should be greater use made of PowerPoint presentations; but just as many students felt that PowerPoint was counterproductive. Overheads were certainly popular but they need to be well structured and uncluttered, containing essential information only in point form: Basically if you don’t have anything to back you up, and you just listen, you get left behind. The teacher is talking, and you can’t catch one thing and

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Pace and clarity of speech was important to all students, but especially for NESBs who also had to struggle with unfamiliar accents: I think it’s better for lecturers to use slides or overheads, more than talking. Not everybody takes care when they speak and my lecturer’s accent is not Australian, it’s European. It’s hard to understand. [Overheads help overcome that problem?] Yes, and a good unit outline. And a lecture outline, subheadings etc in the unit outline. (2nd yr Indonesian, resident 10 yrs) Econs this semester, there’s hardly any pause at all, a full hour. I suppose there’s a joke now and then, but no pause for it. No “put your pens down for a second”, just a continuous  ow of overheads and writing. (1st yr educated Aust 10 yrs, ESB) Conclusion This study found signiŽ cant gaps in understanding by NESB students of the lectures we observed and surveyed, with only around 1 in 10 able to say they understood the content and intent of their lectures very well. More disturbingly, almost one-quarter of them reported that they had not understood much of the lectures at all. Such a failure of a substantial proportion of students to comprehend lectures as delivered indicates a need for new strategies—by those who prepare students for university study, by the students themselves, and by the lecturers who teach them. EAP teachers and course coordinators need to ensure that they provide NESB students with an extensive range of “real” lecture experiences; and that they provide students with note-taking, listening and review strategies to cope with such a range. Students who have difŽ culty with comprehension of lectures are well advised to read any relevant material before they go into lectures; to review and supplement their notes immediately after their lecture, ideally exchanging them with fellow students; and perhaps to Ž nd themselves “partners in note-taking” for lectures, where each partner alternates in the tasks of listening and writing/copying, so that the full value of a lecture can be appreciated. Finally, lecturers can best assist their NESB students by providing a comprehensive unit outline and reading list; by beginning each lecture with a clear outline, and returning to the outline as the lecture progresses; by providing students with skeleton notes of lecture content, so that they are better able to concentrate on listening; by using clear and concise OHTs and other visual reinforcement of content; by delivering their lectures at a reasonable pace and with clear signalling of changes in topic or focus, so that students are able to distinguish the main ideas from the supporting argument; by allowing students opportunities during the lecture

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to discuss in groups or pairs the main points of the lecture, perhaps by referring to worksheets and handouts; and, most importantly, by being prepared to listen to their students. These are strategies, of course, that any good lecturer will adopt, no matter what the audience. This study has shown, however, that they are particularly important when the audience comprises students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Ramsden (1992) has argued that learning in an educational institution “should be about changing the ways in which learners understand or experience, or conceptualise the world around them” (p. 4). What this study has highlighted is that, in an institution that is operating in a culturally diverse marketplace, students and educators alike must be listeners and learners if these changes are to be achieved. Address for correspondence: Andy Kirkpatrick, School of Languages and Intercultural Education, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth 6845, Australia. E-mail: [email protected] References BALLARD, B., & CLANCHY, J. (1991). Teaching students from overseas: A brief guide for lecturers and supervisors. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. BIGGS, J. (1991). Approaches to learning in secondary and tertiary students in Hong Kong: Some comparative studies. Educational Research Journal, 6, 27–39. BIGGS, J. (1997). Teaching across and within cultures: The issues of international students. In R. Murray-Harvey & Halia C. Silins (Eds.), Learning and teaching in higher education: Advancing international perspectives (Special Edition). Proceedings of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) Conference, Adelaide, South Australia. BILBOW, G. (1989). Towards an understanding of overseas students’ difŽ culties in lectures: A phenomenographic approach. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 13(3), 85–99. BUCK, G. (1992). Listening comprehension: Construct validity and trait characteristics. Language Learning, 42(3), 313–357. CHALMERS, D., & VOLET, S. (1997). Common misconceptions about students from South-East Asia studying in Australia. Higher Education Research and Development, 16(1), 87–98. CHOI, M. (1997). Korean students in Australian universities: Intercultural issues. Higher Education Research and Development, 16(3), 263–282. CLEREHAN, R. (1994). Yes and no: What value the lecture? HERDSA News, 16(1), 10–11. COSTIN , F. (1972). Lecturing versus other methods of teaching: A review of research. British Journal of Educational Technology, 1(3), 4–31. DUNKIN, M. J. (1983). A review of research on lecturing. Higher Education Research and Development, 2, 63–78. FAHMY, J., & BILTON, L. (1990). Listening and note-taking in higher education. Ericdb Document No. ED366189. FLOWERDEW, J. (1994). Research of relevance to second language lecture comprehension—an overview. In J. Flowerdew (Ed.), Academic listening. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. FLOWERDEW, J., & MILLER, L. (1992). Student perceptions, problems and strategies in second language lecture comprehension. RELC Journal, 23(2), 60–80. FLOWERDEW, J., & MILLER, L. (1995). On the notion of culture in L2 lectures. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2).

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KLEMM, W. (1976). EfŽ ciency of handout “skeleton” notes in student learning. Improving College University Teaching, 24(1), 10–12. MCINNIS , C. (1998). Lecturing. [On-line]. Melbourne University Centre for Studies in Higher Education, Resources for University Teaching. Available: http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/ CSHEf/Lecturing.html MCKNIGHT, A. (1994, March). The business of listening at university (or: Do international students learn by not listening to lectures?). Paper presented at the 28th Annual TESOL Convention, Baltimore, MA. Ericdb Document No. ED374663. MULLIGAN, D., & KIRKPATRICK, A. (1998). University lecturing styles and NESB students’ comprehension. Report to Curtin University’s Committee on Equity and Access. Perth: Curtin University Centre for Literacy, Culture and Language Pedagogy. Available: http:// www.curtin.edu.au:80/curtin/dept/eesj/projects/nesb/university.html MURPHY, D., & CANDLIN , C. (1979). Engineering lecture discourse and listening comprehension. Lancaster Practical Papers in English Language Education, 2, pp. 1–79. ONER, A., & DENHAM , P. (1993, September). Understanding lectures better by not listening and other unexpected Ž ndings of research into migrant students’ listening skills in English. Paper presented at the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA) 18th Conference, University of Adelaide. PROSSER, M., & TRIGWELL, K. (1997). Using phenomenology in the design of programs for teachers in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 16(1), 41–54. RAMSDEN, P. (1992). Learning to teach in Higher Education. London: Routledge. RAMSDEN, P., & ENTWISTLE, N. (1981). Effects of academic departments on students’ approaches to studying. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 51, 368–383. REID, I., KIRKPATRICK, A., & MULLIGAN, D. (1998). Framing student literacy: Cross-cultural aspects of communication skills in Australian universities. Sydney: NCELTR/Curtin University of Technology. SAMUELOWICZ, K. (1987). Learning problems of overseas students: Two sides of a story. Higher Education Research and Development, 6(2), 121–132. TAUROZA, S., & ALLISON , D. (1995). Expectation-driven understanding in information systems lecture comprehension. In J. Flowerdew (Ed.), Academic listening: Research perspectives (pp. 35–54). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. WATKINS, D., & BIGGS, J. (Eds.), (1996). The Chinese learner: Cultural psychological and contextual in uences. Hong Kong: Comparative Education Research Centre, University of Hong Kong. YOUNG, L. (1994). University lectures—macrostructure and microfeatures. In J. Flowerdew (Ed.), Academic listening. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Appendix: supportive lecturing strategies Below we present, in note form, a range of behaviours or conditions we identiŽ ed in our observations of lectures that are likely to enhance comprehension for all students, and for NESB students in particular.

·

Interest and Rapport Use mixed delivery modes, introducing variety to the lecture (slides, OHTs, board-work, commentary; OHTs, board, commentary with no visuals, lecturer/student discussions, students complete short activities). · Adopt a relaxed style, where students feel comfortable to ask questions. · Ensure students have regular opportunities to discuss key points among themselves. · Never use ridicule and only use “inclusive” humour.

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Structure ·

Provide outline and structure of lecture at the beginning. Provide clear introduction, topic development and summary conclusion. · Make the aims of the lesson explicit and clear. · Follow a straightforward progression with a predictable format. ·

Pace ·

Provide well-paced delivery, with shifts in pace to maintain interest, making note-taking achievable for students. · Dictate deŽ nitions of key terms so that students can note them, providing repetition and time where necessary. Otherwise provide them in notes. · Use the whiteboard occasionally to emphasise key points and at the same time break up the pace of delivery. Explanation and Elaboration ·

Provide clear explanations of technical terms (formal deŽ nition plus restatement in everyday language). · Use clear examples (slides, drawings on board) to illustrate material, drawing from students’ own experiences, cultures and backgrounds. Signalling ·

Explicitly identify important information and key concepts. Use clear discourse markers. · Do not rely on tone or intonation alone to signal changes of topic, etc. ·

Questioning ·

Create an atmosphere that makes students feel comfortable about interrupting if there is something they do not understand or want to question. · Repeat student questions and responses so that whole class can hear. · Respond sympathetically to student questions. Using OHTs or PowerPoint ·

Reveal items on OHT only as they are discussed so that students naturally adopt a write-listenwrite-listen routine. · Make sure OHTs are clear and can be easily read and noted. Use a large font and restrict the amount of information on each OHT. · Turn the OHT off and ask students to listen when you have something critical to say. · Use the OHT as a whiteboard. For example, one lecturer provided initial OHT which contained text, but no numbering, underlining or punctuation. Lecturer begins discussion with “There are three points here” and numbers them, then progressively works through the points listed, underlining key words, adding quotation marks, etc.

·

·

Review and Further Study Provide details of source materials used in lecture and where to Ž nd them. Relate lecture content explicitly to other course content, previous/next weeks’ lecture and/or assessment requirements.

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