The impact of a peer-facilitated discussion initiative on international student's learning experience in the context of internationalisation at home - Université de La Réunion Access content directly
Journal Articles Language Learning in Higher Education Year : 2020

The impact of a peer-facilitated discussion initiative on international student's learning experience in the context of internationalisation at home

Abstract

Fostering skills development is one of the tenets of education. For a long time, the traditional binary teacher-student interaction was used as the sole approach to teaching and learning but it is now overwhelmingly regarded as insufficient. The present paper reports on an initiative based on the principles of peer learning. The discussion groups and one-to-one sessions in languages, facilitated by native speakers (NS) who are international students in the institution, were set-up to enable language learners to develop their oral skills. While the advantages of the activity for language learners are clear, it is not as easy to determine the benefits for the NS peer-facilitators. The study presents findings from questionnaires and interviews conducted with some of these NS peer-facilitators and discuss the reported impact of the initiative on these students. While personal growth and development of intercultural awareness feature strongly in the data analysis, an enhanced language learning experience and an influential factor in some participants’ educational and career paths are also revealed. These findings are explained with reference to relevant developments in the study abroad, volunteering and peer learning literature. We will conclude that the initiative is a positive tool for international student's integration into the host institution and offers a novel way for them to socialise and engage in their new learning environment.

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Education
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Dates and versions

hal-04430642 , version 1 (01-02-2024)

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Catherine Jeanneau, Stéphanie O’riordan. The impact of a peer-facilitated discussion initiative on international student's learning experience in the context of internationalisation at home. Language Learning in Higher Education, 2020, 10 (1), pp.1-24. ⟨10.1515/cercles-2020-2011⟩. ⟨hal-04430642⟩
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