Academic Reading and Writing Challenges Among International EFL Master’s Students in a Malaysian University
The Voice of Lecturers
Keywords:academic reading, academic writing, challenges, international graduate students, lecturers
Focusing on the perspective of lecturers, this qualitative research investigated the academic reading and writing challenges faced by international English-as-a-foreign-language master’s students at a Malaysian university. Data was collected through semi-structured, in-depth, one-on-one interviews with 16 lecturers who taught international students from various graduate programs. The findings from the lecturers’ perspectives indicate that the students faced acute challenges in their academic reading and writing practices such as adhering to academic writing conventions and interpreting text in an English language instructional setting. This study suggests policies and programs to overcome the challenges of the international EFL students’ academic writing and reading practices to ensure their academic success in as they learn in graduate programs.
Abdulkareem, M. N. (2013). Investigating study of academic writing problems faced by Arab postgraduate students at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(9), 1552-1557.
Adas, D., & Bakir, A. (2013). Writing difficulties and new solutions: Blended learning as an approach to improve writing abilities. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 3, 254-266.
Ahmed, K. (2018). Student Perceptions of Academic Dishonesty in a Private Middle Eastern University. Higher Learning Research Communications, 8(1), 16-29. doi: 10.18870/hlrc.v8i1.400.
Ankawi, A. (2015). The Academic Writing Challenges Faced by Saudi Students Studying in New Zealand. (Unpublished Master Thesis). Auckland University of Technology.
Adrian-Taylor, S. R., Noels, K. A., Tischler, K. (2007). Conflict between international graduate students and faculty supervisors: Toward effective conflict prevention and management strategies. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(1), 90-117. doi:10.1177/1028315306286313.
Andrade, M.S. (2006). International Students in English-Speaking Universities : Adjustment Factors. Journal of Research in International Education, 5(2), 131-154. doi: 10.1177/1475240906065589.
Arkoudis, S., & Tran, L. (2010). Writing Blah, Blah, Blah: Lecturers’ Approaches and Challenges in Supporting International Students International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 22 (2), 169-178.
Braine, G. (2002). Academic literacy and the nonnative speaker graduate students. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 1, 59-68.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa
Campbell J., & Li, M. (2008). Asian students’ voices: an empirical study of Asian students’ learning experiences at a New Zealand university. Journal of Studies in International Education, 12(4):
-96. doi: 10.1177/1028315307299422.
Cheng, L. L. (2016). The Impact of Taiwanese Faculty Perception on Western Students’ Adaption: Challenges and Benefits. International Journal of Research in Business Studies and Management, 3 (3), 12- 19.
Creswell, J.W. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among the five traditions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Creswell, J. & Plano Clark, V. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Goodfellow, R. (2004). Online literacies and learning: Operational, cultural and critical dimensions. Language and Education, 18(5), 379-399. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/76146/.
Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R.B. (2014). Theory and practice of writing: An applied linguistic perspective. New York, NY: Routledge.
Irvin, L.L. (2010). What is “Academic “Writing? In Lowe, C., & Zemliansky, P. (Eds.), Writing Spaces: readings on writing (Vol.1). Parlor Press.
Lan, Shu-Wen. (2018). Exploring the Academic English Socialization of International Graduate Students in Taiwan. Journal of International Students, 8(4), 1748-1763.
Lalasz, C.B., Doane, M.J., Springer, V., & Dahir, V. (2014). Examining the effect of prenotification postcards on online survey response rate in a graduate sample. Survey Practice, 7(3).
Luo, N. (2017). Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea Remap Regional Student Flows. https://wenr.wes.org/2017/08/global-mobility-japan-malaysia-taiwan-and-south-korea-seek-to-shift-student-mobility-by-2025
Hirvela A (2004) Connecting Reading and Writing. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
Hudson, T. (2007) Teaching Second Language Reading. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kassim, A. (2013). Public universities: Development and internationalisation. In S.Y. Tham (Ed.), Internationalizing higher education in Malaysia:
Understanding, practices and challenges (pp. 41-65). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
Knight, J., & Sirat, M. (2011). The complexities and challenges of regional education hubs: Focus on Malaysia. Higher Education, 62 (5), 593- 606. doi:10.1007/s10734-011-9467-2.
Manjet, K. (2015). International Graduate Students’ Academic Writing Practices in Malaysia: Challenges and Solutions. Journal of International Students, 5(1), 12-22.
Manjet, K., Pandian, A., & Kaur, S. (2015). International Graduate Students’ Experience in Academic Listening Practices in a Malaysian Public University: Challenges and Overcoming Measures. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 24(1), 91-102.
Manjet, K. (2016). An emic perspective on academic writing difficulties among international graduate students in Malaysia. GEMA Online: Journal of Language Studies, 16 (3), 83-97.
Manjet, K. (2017). International EFL/ESL Master Students’ Adaptation Strategies for Academic Writing Practices at Tertiary Level. Journal of International Students, 7(3), 620-643. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.570025.
McMillan, J. H. & Schumacher, S. (1993). Research in education: A conceptual understanding. New York: Haprer Collins.
Miles, M.B. and Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Noor Saazai, M.S., Melor, M.Y., & Mohamed Amin, E. (2014). The Successes and Challenges in English Language Learning Experiences of Postgraduate International Students in Malaysia. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5 (19), 206-217. doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n19p206
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Collins, K. M. (2007). A Typology of Mixed Methods Sampling Designs in Social Science Research. The Qualitative Report, 12(2), 281-316. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol12/iss2/9
Paltridge, B., Harbon, L., Hirsh, D., Shen, H., Stevenson, M., Phakiti, A., & Woodrow, L. (2009). Teaching Academic Writing: An Introduction for Teachers of Second Language Writers. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.
Pandian, A., Baboo, S. B. & Mahfoodh, O. H. A. (2016). Influence of
multiculturalism on the study programs in Malaysian public universities: International students' perceptions. Studies in Higher Education, 41(7), 1133-1152. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2014.968538
Phakiti, A & Li, L. (2011). General Academic Difficulties and Reading and Writing Difficulties among Asian ESL Postgraduate Students in TESOL at an Australian University. RELC Journal, 42 (3), 227- 264. doi: 10.1177/0033688211421417
Phan, H.L.T., Tran, L.T., & Blackmore, J. (2019). Internationalization, Student Engagement, and Global Graduates: A Comparative Study of Vietnamese and Austraian Students’ Experience. Journal of Studies in International Education, 23(1), 171-189.
Robertson, M., Line, M., Jones, S., & Thomas, S. (2010). International students, learning environ-ments and perceptions: a case study using the Delphi technique. Higher Education Research and Development, 19(1): 89-102. doi: 10.1080/07294360050020499
Scarcella, R. (2003). Academic English: A conceptual framework. The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute. University of California: Technical report 2003-1. Irvine, CA: University of California.
Shan X, Wang T (2007) Exploring Chinese postgraduate students’ academic adjustment experiences in Australia. Paper presented at Enhancing higher education, theory and scholarship: the 30th HERDSA annual conference, Adelaide, Australia.
Siti Hamin, S., & Mohammad, I. (2012). Rhetorical awareness and Jordanian EFL students’ expository writing. European Scientific Journal, 8(26). doi: 10.19044/esj.2012.v8n26p%25p
Spack R (1997) The acquisition of academic literacy in a second language. Written Communication, 14(3): 2-62. doi: 10.1177/0741088397014001001
Talebloo, B., & Bak, R.B. (2013). Challenges faced by international postgraduate students during their first year of studies. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(13).
Tas, E. (2010). Current trends in academic writing. Procedia-Social and Behaviorial Sciences, 3, 121-126.
Tran, L.T. (2013). International student adaptation to academic writing in Higher education. UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Sage, London.
Teddlie, C. & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed Methods Sampling: A Typology with Examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1, 77-100.
Trice, A. G. (2003). Faculty Perceptions of Graduate International Students: The Benefits and Challenges. Journal of Studies in International Education, 7(4), 379-403. doi: 10.1177/1028315303257120
Trice, A.G. (2005). Navigating in a Multinational Learning Community: Academic Departments’ Responses to Graduate International Student. Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol. 9 No. 1, Spring 2005, 62-89. doi: 10.1177/1028315304271664
Turner, J. (2011). Language in academy. Multilingual Matters.
Unruh, S. (2015). Struggling International Students in the US: Do University Faculty Know How to Help? Athens Journal of Education, 2 (2),99-110.
Wan, C-D., Sirat, M. (2017). Internationalisation of the Malaysian Higher Education System Through the Prism of South-South Cooperation. International Journal of African Higher Education, 4(2), 79-90. doi:10.6017/ijahe.v4i2.10298.
Wan, C-D., Sirat, M. (2018) The Development of Malaysian Higher Education: Making Sense of the Nationa-Building Agenda in the Globalisation Era. Asian Education and Development Studies, 7 (2), 144-156. doi:10.1108/AEDA-07-2017—0068.
Wan T-Y, Chapman, D.W., & Biggs, D.A. (1992). Academic stress of international students attending US universities. Research in Higher Education, 33(5), 607-23.
Wang, T., Shan, X, (2007). A qualitative study on Chinese postgraduate students’ learning experiences in Australia. Proceedings of 2006 AARE (Australian Association for Research in Education)
International Educational Research Conference, 27- 30 November, 2006, Adelaide, Australia.
Xu, M. (1991). The impact of English-language proficiency on international graduate students’ perceived academic difficulty. Research in Higher Education, 32(5), 557-70.
Yingli, W. (2012). Differences in L1 and L2 Academic Writing. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(93), 637-641.
Yuen, C.K. & Mussa, I.H. (2015). Academic Writing Difficulties of Iraqi Postgraduate Students in Malaysia. International Journal of Education and Research, 3 (6), 25-34.
Yusoff, Y. M. (2012). Self-efficacy, perceived social support, and psychological adjustment in international undergraduate students in a public higher education institutions in Malaysia. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(4), 353-371. doi.org/10.1177/1028315311408914
Zhang Z, Brunton, M. (2007). Differences in living and learning: Chinese International students in New Zealand. Journal of Studies in International Studies in International Education, 11(2), 124-40. Doi: 10.1177/1028315306289834
How to Cite
All published articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.