Understanding and supporting international students learning: Perspective of teachers



International students are an important source to create a multicultural learning environment in the host countries. However, the Australian school section is an under-research section with more than 25,000 international students. This paper focuses on how international students in Australian independent schools have contributed to their school culture and what kind of assistance they get. By interviewing 13 Australian teachers who teach international students in a number of subjects, this paper reports on the importance of international students to school culture and ways of helping international students. They include improving cultural awareness and competence; Culturally responsive teaching strategies; Multiple learning styles; Diversified teaching materials and methods.  Supporting services include Language support; Academic support; Cultural and social support and designated international students’ EAL teachers. This paper argues that in the course of practising international education, Australian teachers need to recognise and acknowledge international students’ contributions to the internationalisation and support them by respecting their unique educational subjectivities. As such, the practice of school education could be promoted on an international level. 

Author Biography

Hongzhi Zhang, Monash University

Hongzhi Zhang has completed his PhD at the Faculty of Education, Monash University in 2013. He was a journalist with the Journal of China’s Higher Education in China’s Ministry of Education between 2006-2008. Hongzhi was a Research Fellow (part-time) and leading the Dragon’s Den Project in the Faculty of Education, Monash University in 2015. Hongzhi is currently a Teaching Associate and Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education, Monash University.

Hongzhi has published broadly in the areas of education policy, education equity, higher education and Asia study. His recent edited book is ‘Asia as Method in Education Studies: A Defiant Imagination’ (with Philip Chan and Jane Kenway) (Routledge, 2015). Hongzhi also has recently worked together with Dr. Chan and Dr. Boylein one of his recent edited books - Equality in Education: Fairness and inclusion (Sense Publisher, 2014).