Mark, Student: My name is Mark Lyu, my major is accounting finance, and I’m from China.
How can faculty help provide greater support for multilingual students?
Mark: Lots of the professors, they are English native speakers and they often use very native English words or even American slang such as "neck-and-neck" and "out of the blue." Those words are very difficult for international students to understand. I think it would be better for international students to just get more explanation of these words from professors, or professors can just only use plain English. For lots of international students, especially Asian students, they are used to bow to the professor. So in my first term of attending office hours, I just bowed to my professor, and my professor said, "Don't do that again to me. Americans probably don't know how to deal with a bow." So, after that I never bowed to my professor again. It's very useful for professors just to give direct recommendation about what to do and what we can't do, or don't need to do.
How can faculty encourage multilingual students to participate more in class?
Mark: I think for many international students, especially Asia students in their own home culture, I think don't participating in class shows respect to the instructors, but that's not that case in American. In American participation means a part of learning. With participation, the instructors will know which part you haven't understand yet. Those professors who can encourage international students directly, such as just to say the benefits of participation in class directly, that will be great.
What advice do you have for multilingual students?
Mark: There are lots of valuable resources on campus, and just try to take advantage of those resources, such as English language support.