Understanding and supporting Chinese (international) students in Australian schools: Perspective of students
Dr. Hongzhi Zhang, Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University
Yu Tim God, PhD candidate, Faculty of Education, Monash University
In recent years, more and more school-aged Chinese students come to study in Australia. Schools and teachers are committed to facilitating them adjustment to the education system and integration into the learning community. Yet not everything works as expected and educators often wonder how they can do better. Hoping to produce more research evidence in this under-research area, the study takes the perspective of students by investigating how they understand themselves as well as the supports they receive. Via survey (n=51) and focus group interview (n=19), we look at their experience of Australian schooling as English second language speaker, cultural novice, and Confucian-heritage culture (CHC) learner. Findings show that while students are greatly benefited by existing measures, more can be done to help them 1) balance the need of language learner and that of being a competent community member; 2) pick up knowledge and skills shared by local members; and 3) negotiate between different strategies, norms, and values.