Teaching information literacy skills to international students: Are academic librarians prepared?
Yusuke Ishimura & Joan C. Bartlett @ McGill University
Benefits of international students:
- intellectual contribution to university (i.e. best students)
- financial factor
Students have different:
- academic culture
- language skills
- culture (in general)
- to be understanding
- to be approachable
- to try different teaching approaches
- to try different communication skills
The presenters’ research focused on librarians’ experience and training needs with respect to international students. They surveyed (via listservs) librarians.
Only 51% of respondents offer special services for international students.
Academic expectations differ actross cultures.
Barriers for students:
- lack of research skills
Barriers for librarians:
- lack of teaching techniques
Where would we like to receive training on teaching techniques, sensitivity? Workshops, conferences? Who should provide it? Professional organizations, campus administration? Factors include: content, cost, time.
We need to develop skills via practice with a variety of communication styles, and ask for or look for help. We can build on existing experience.
There is an ACRL interest group on internation students. (I think this is it.)
Idea: A lot of money and effort goes into making prospective international students think they’ll be comfortable with their new university and country. When marketing our university to prospective international students, we could include some information about how our libraries work. E.g., we have open stacks; plagiarism is bad.
Idea: creation of a student ‘survival guide’.
Before instruction: Get students to write questions on cue cards and hand in/
During instruction: Tell them that asking questions is okay, expected. Wait for them to answer. Wait a long time.
After instruction: Ask student what was the most interesting thing about today’s class was.
Idea: provide/arrange for library ‘peer mentors’ (student assistants) from their country.