Challenges to Brand Australia

International students and the problem with speaking

Lynda Yates*, Ridwan Wahid

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Although communication skills in English are important for both their career prospects and the success of their overall study experience, many international students find their spoken English a barrier to employment after graduation. In this paper, we draw on longitudinal interview data from international postgraduates to investigate the individual and social factors that impacted on the development of their speaking skills as they studied in Australia. Our findings suggest that, despite high levels of motivation to improve, they received little instruction in such skills on their English for Academic Purposes programs and had little access to them in the community. We argue that for compelling moral as well as economic reasons universities urgently need to address these issues through both instruction and social integration initiatives if they are to safeguard their lucrative but vulnerable overseas markets.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1037-1050
    Number of pages14
    JournalHigher Education Research and Development
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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