NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1059552
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
How IELTS Preparation Courses Support Students: IELTS and Academic Socialisation
Yang, Yanxian; Badger, Richard
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v39 n4 p438-465 2015
IELTS scores are widely used in combination with academic results as a way of judging whether non-English background students should be admitted to degree-level courses in Anglophone contexts. However, successful study at university requires more than language competence and intellectual ability and international students often seem to start from a different place from similarly qualified local students. This study investigated how an IELTS preparation course helped Chinese students taking an Economics A-level course to achieve a similar level of academic socialisation to local students. The participants were six students on the programme, their Economics teacher and their English teacher. The data sets were field notes of the Economics and IELTS classes, interviews with the students and teachers, teaching materials and students' writing. We found that the IELTS classes helped expand the students' vocabulary and developed their confidence in speaking. Other features of the courses such as the use of local accents, colloquial language, the ability to use sources, extensive reading and, more generally, independent study were less obviously addressed. Despite these gaps, the students completed their pre-university and university studies successfully, at least partly because of three factors unrelated to the IELTS course: (1) interaction with a range of groups that supported academic socialisation, (2) the Economics teacher's attitude to the students' participation and (3) the students' resources, which meant they were aware of what was needed for academic success, had a desire to succeed and had, or could develop, the appropriate skills for appropriate academic socialisation.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: International English Language Testing System