Proposal Title

What Teachers Should Know about Chinese Students’ Writing Challenges

Presentation Type

Short (15 minute) synchronous

Start Date

16-2-2021 2:50 PM

End Date

16-2-2021 3:10 PM

Proposal Abstract

Although Canadian university instructors have been trying to help Chinese students master academic writing as well as learn course content, many Chinese students are still not comfortable with Western writing due to differences in culture and education systems between China and Western countries; however, many of the instructors are not aware of the situation. Chinese instructors tend to emphasize reading comprehension skills over production skills in English teaching, spoon feed in lectures with limited interaction with and between students. Teaching is oriented to exams with closed questions, providing students limited opportunities to write papers, whereas Canadian university instructors tend to ask students to complete several essays, papers, and/or projects over a semester. Furthermore, Chinese instructors usually do not require students to follow a certain style format such as APA or MLA in writing, whereas Canadian instructors expect students to follow specific paper structures and style formats including citation conventions, such as the APA 7th edition. Given the above differences, many Chinese students beginning studies in Canada are unfamiliar with how to structure an essay, cite sources properly, or even present ideas logically and idiomatically. These are some of the issues about which Chinese students want their teachers to teach them, but some Canadian instructors assume that the students have already mastered them. Therefore, understanding these knowledge gaps between students and teachers can help Canadian instructors better understand Chinese students’ needs and provide the students with necessary assistance.

Statement

By displaying differences between Chinese and Western cultures and education systems, the presentation helps break down the walls between Canadian teachers and Chinese students. The presentation also contributes to anti-racism, inclusivity, and sustainability by helping Canadian teachers understand what Chinese students need to learn to write successfully for academic purposes.

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Feb 16th, 2:50 PM Feb 16th, 3:10 PM

What Teachers Should Know about Chinese Students’ Writing Challenges

Although Canadian university instructors have been trying to help Chinese students master academic writing as well as learn course content, many Chinese students are still not comfortable with Western writing due to differences in culture and education systems between China and Western countries; however, many of the instructors are not aware of the situation. Chinese instructors tend to emphasize reading comprehension skills over production skills in English teaching, spoon feed in lectures with limited interaction with and between students. Teaching is oriented to exams with closed questions, providing students limited opportunities to write papers, whereas Canadian university instructors tend to ask students to complete several essays, papers, and/or projects over a semester. Furthermore, Chinese instructors usually do not require students to follow a certain style format such as APA or MLA in writing, whereas Canadian instructors expect students to follow specific paper structures and style formats including citation conventions, such as the APA 7th edition. Given the above differences, many Chinese students beginning studies in Canada are unfamiliar with how to structure an essay, cite sources properly, or even present ideas logically and idiomatically. These are some of the issues about which Chinese students want their teachers to teach them, but some Canadian instructors assume that the students have already mastered them. Therefore, understanding these knowledge gaps between students and teachers can help Canadian instructors better understand Chinese students’ needs and provide the students with necessary assistance.