Oral Academic Discourse Socialisation: Challenges Faced by International Undergraduate Students in a Malaysian Public University

Omer Hassan Ali Mahfoodh


This paper reports a qualitative study which examines the challenges faced by six international undergraduate students in their socialisation of oral academic discourse in a Malaysian public university. Data were collected employing interviews. Students’ presentations were also collected. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed verbatim and qualitative content analysis was employed to examine the challenges faced by international undergraduate students in their socialisation of oral academic discourse. The results reveal that the major difficulties international undergraduate students face in their oral academic discourse socialisation are related to linguistic knowledge, presentation skills and content-related difficulties. Linguistic difficulties constrain students to express complex concepts and ideas while engaged in oral presentations. Difficulties related to presentation skills are associated with how to prepare PowerPoint slides and how to organise the content of the presentations. This study also reveals that content difficulties may be related to the specific topics the students are asked to prepare presentations on. In this study I argue that understanding the challenges faced by undergraduate international students in their oral academic discourse socialisation can be one of the essential steps to help them overcome the challenges they face.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ies.v7n2p10

International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)

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