Collegefor International Students
Universitiesand colleges depend on international students for income. Each year,many students across the world join colleges in the United States topursue their education. Despite the rising number of students thatvisit the United States for education, various challenges continue toconfront American colleges for international students. Whereas mostcountries use English as a language of instruction in institutions oflearning, international students have difficulties coping withlearning in the US colleges due to poor proficiency in the Englishlanguage.
Whilein US colleges, students that come from Francophone countries haveproblems with language proficiency. These students are unable tounderstand lectures and participate effectively in classroomdiscussions. They are unable to prepare written or oral examinations.Due to language difficulties, students from the Arab world havetrouble with plagiarism. Plagiarism is a new concept for thesestudents because they are used to learning without critical analysis(Leung et al. 5). The American educational context requires studentsto be their own masters of knowledge. In this regard, any attempts ofplagiarism are met with firm policy dictates. College professorsrequire students to have a critical analysis of knowledge rather thanmemorize it. Due to the problems of language, colleges forinternational students grapple with quality issues compared tocolleges that admit local students.
Tostudy English language requires constant practice. Most students feelthat it is not possible to attain fluency in the English language.This tendency among students prevents them from learning thelanguage. In most countries, people perceive English as a foreignlanguage. This attitude discourages students from actively takingpart in English classes and discussions. Leung et al. observed thatstudents study English from an extermination perspective (7). Thisimplies that mastery of English among students hardly goes beyond aparticular examination. Thus, the analytical and creative skillsamong students in regard to English as a language is low. Mostlearning institutions do not teach application-oriented grammar. Insome colleges, students do not receive adequate practice. Mostinternational students that join US colleges lag behind in classactivities because this inherent inability to master the Englishlanguage. Because of this inability, colleges that receiveinternational students often experience quality issues regarding thework quality of academic work that these students produce. Thus,there is a need for these colleges to address the problem of languageamong students that they admit for a college education.
Severalinstitutions in the United States seek the participation ofinternational students. However, these colleges are not able toenhance effective participation of international students. Theprocess of acquiring a visa to travel in the United States does notfall under the jurisdiction of the Colleges for internationalstudents. This process is usually lengthy and laborious. A collegethat seeks the participation of an international student can only doso after the student has acquired a mandatory visa. The process ofvisa acquisition begins the student’s application to theinstitution. The immigration and naturalization service (INS)approves universities and colleges that admit international students.The institution then sends the student Form 1-20 in which the studentis required to fill his demographical information (Leung et al. 12).After completing the form, the student must take the form to thelocal consulate that finally grants the student visa. Duringinterviews at the local consulates, some students are not able tocommunicate effectively regarding their intentions to visit theUnited States for studies. The issue of language comes in duringthese times. Some students feel inferior and lack the ability toself-express before the interviewing panel.
Thisprocess became problematic in the post-September 11 period. Thechance of getting a visa has reduced significantly. This reductionhas consequently limited the admission of international students incolleges in the United States. Inability to access visa has deniedmany students an opportunity to study in top US colleges. Studies byLeung et al. revealed that the reason for denial of United Statesvisa is because most students who visit the United States for studydo not come back to their mother countries (11). Instead, they remainin the United States to compete for available opportunities with thecitizens of the United States.
Despitethe challenges that colleges for international students face, manyefforts have been put in place to redress these problems. The majorconcern for these colleges is proficiency in the English language.Asian students and students from the Middle East have a major problemwith language. Whereas most students study English in their counties,colleges in the United States require these students to attainminimum scores in some tests. These tests include TOEFL, ALIGU andMTELP. The passing of these tests is a prerequisite for admission.These colleges can introduce special courses such as English as asecond language. US consulates that grant visas to students shouldacknowledge the problem of language and relax its policy andadmission requirements. College teachers must encourage students tospeak English only. This action would make students confident andeventually overcome the problem of language. Although it is difficultto attain proficiency in a short time, proficiency can be attainedthrough constant practice.
Leung,Constant, Christine Davison, and Bernard Mohan. Englishas a second language in the mainstream: Teaching, learning andidentity.Routledge, 2014.