Bilingual Vs. Esl Instruction Essay

Bilingual Vs. Esl Instruction Essay

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The twentieth century was considered the century of migration (Iyer, 2011), and this trend is even more obvious in the 21st century. International students, as one of the major groups in the migration, are serving as cultural carriers and resources (Mestenhauser, 1983; Paige, 1990). According to Canadian Bureau for International Education (n.d.), there were over 290,000 international students in Canada in 2013. These students take their education seriously, and are eager to succeed in their courses and obtain degrees (Fox, Cheng, Berman, Song, & Myles, 2006). English is undoubtedly one of the most important skills for those who go to English-speaking countries. Without this skill, students are very likely to meet barriers in their study because “they do not have access to effective bilingual or ESL instruction” (Eric Development Team, 2001, p. 1). Moreover, these international students also need this skill to “master the ways of speaking, reading and writing that are appropriate to the new community” (Berkenkotter, Huckin, & Ackerman, 1988, p. 12).
2.2 International Students’ Challenges in Their Campus Lives
Due to the large population of international students and the importance of their English skills, the difficulties that students are facing in their academic learning and cultural adaptation caused by the lack of English proficiency have been discussed by many researchers.
Chacon (1998) conducted a survey about international students’ academic life at the University of Alberta. The result showed that 74.4% of international students found they had a problem in English writing and speaking, and struggled to understand their instructors in academic classes.
In 2010, Berman and Cheng supported Chacon’s findings with their rese...


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...aled the disadvantages of traditional education, which focuses primarily on language itself and writing skills, often excluding social context (Kress, 2000). ESL pedagogy should combine both language and context, meaning the teacher should teach the students English under some certain circumstances (e.g., they teach students how to open an account at a bank, or how to explain their symptoms to a doctor, etc.) (Leung & Franson, 2001).
As for students’ second language anxiety, Liu and Jackson (2008) suggest that ESL teachers should “discuss with their students in the very first lesson(s) the significance of speech communication in class and share with them the feeling of anxiety experienced by many people.” Furthermore, teachers should “help increase students’ self-perceived competence in English to improve their learning of the language” (Liu & Jackson, 2008, p. 82).

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