From IELTS to University: Writing the Debate

  From IELTS to University: Write the Debate! This summer I have had a fresh encounter with a perennial problem for international students entering university. It is a common issue which is often absent from the writing component of academic skills and pre-sessional courses. Also, the problem is one of …

From IELTS to University: Working with Assessment Criteria

International students face many new challenges at university. One of the most significant is the variety of assessment forms: coursework essays, coursework reports, group presentations, individual presentations as well as final exams, both seen and unseen. Each of these assessment forms has a criteria which examines 3-6 areas such as …

From IELTS to University: Working with Theory

One area where international students often struggle is academic theory and models. For example, in the first year of a business and management degree students are introduced to new models and theories almost every week. In these circumstances developing a basic understanding of each theory is a challenge, no matter …

From IELTS to University: Introduction to critical thinking for international students

Critical thinking is a standard feature of Western university assessment. It is referred to by lecturers from time to time but is rarely explained fully to students. Also, understanding critical thinking in relation to essay or report writing, as well as individual or group presentations, is fundamental to achieving the …

The uses of an iterative approach in learning

The verb ‘to iterate’ is one of my favourite in the English language. It describes a series of successive operations or cycles, with each one advancing an overall process another step towards a final objective. For example, a scientist may solve a research problem through a series of hypotheses and …

Tips for reading academic journal articles

Academic journal articles are perhaps the most difficult pieces of text university students are required to read. They tend to feature the most challenging characteristics of academic text: their density of argument, frequent use of specialist research and references to other studies all combine to form significant barriers to understanding. …