Trouble with English courses?

With an increasing reputation in many parts of the world and its very own International Student Programs, Bellevue College has a growing community of international students. The ease of the admission and the quality of the education has attracted a lot of students from around the world.

Without a doubt, English is a subject every student has to go through in the USA, especially in order to gain any type of certifiable degree. Bellevue College offers its very own English courses of various levels and needs. These courses can be highly beneficial in improving the skills of students. However, some international students are finding it difficult to cope.

How would you feel if you come all the way to another country, spent a great deal of money, time and effort to study in an English class but do badly in it and be told you are not good enough? Although this is not common and is not something I personally went through, some international students are experiencing it or have experienced it. They may feel disrespected, neglected, lost and even feel they are giving out money in vain.

A fresh newcomer of the college will be recommended to take an English assessment test, then closely analyze the results with an adviser to determine the student’s appropriate level of English. BC provides an explanation of the course’s description and outcomes, made accessible to anyone. Bellevue College even has its own English as a second language program (ESL) to prepare those still weak in the language. There are also lower classes that target specific and more basic language skills.

Despite such measures, there are still struggling students who find the tasks and workload unexpectedly overwhelming. What some students say they need are more detailed descriptions that clearly and concisely convey what is expected from them, such as more specific outcomes and how materials will be utilized by the different teachers themselves. Longer registration times for classes could also be beneficial to provide students more time to drop and move classes without facing fines. Another issue is misplacing students in the wrong level of English, although this is a more global issue regarding English assessment tests.

However, the students themselves could have been at fault as well. Some may be too passive and not take the initiative to find more information about the courses through the course description or through advisers and other sources. Students may also have failed to put in sufficient effort in their classes or forced themselves into classes beyond their capabilities.

Improvements that could be made include making international students more aware of this issue, both before and during the school orientations. I would also advise all international students to honestly asses their levels of English and be willing to take lower classes if necessary. Students finding difficulties in class should also take the initiative to seek help from the professor or other sources. Be proactive by contacting other people and even professors. Observing classes beforehand could also be beneficial. These suggestions can also apply to other subjects. Remember to be active and inquisitive.