Supporting Second Language Learners in Higher Education

Supporting Second Language Learners in Higher Education

Brenda Wambua (Daystar University, Kenya), Regina Gachari (Daystar University, Kenya) and Jane Kinuthia (Pan Africa Christian University, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5268-1.ch013

Abstract

The concepts discussed in this chapter were conceptualized out of the experiences of lecturers and researchers who have from time to time found themselves in situations where their learners require extra support for them to navigate through the academic rigor expected of them. Linguistic competence of the language of instruction has been proven to contribute significantly to a learner's success since through this medium, knowledge is acquired and disseminated. Language can thus be a facilitator or impediment of knowledge acquisition. Thus, institutions of higher learning must strive to put in place strategic mechanisms to support learners especially in a time when higher education is experiencing greater internationalization with diverse learners. The chapter discusses strategies that would support such learners, with a view of encouraging the players in higher education to explore opportunities for such support which may be available both inside and outside the classroom.
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Strategies For Supporting English Language Learners

The discussions in this section are derived from views by lecturers and faculty members who have been involved in teaching and training of students from diverse linguistic backgrounds yet they find themselves in contexts of higher education where English is the language of instruction. The discussions demonstrate that this kind of support create opportunities for language learners, where language becomes a tool for advancing cultural competence, perspectives and trends in diversity as well as provision of social justice in higher education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multilingualism: The ability of an individual to effectively communicate in more than two languages.

English Language Learners: Refers to those learning in English yet they have different language backgrounds.

Supporting: Refers to the provision of extra mentoring outside what the curriculum stipulates.

Higher Education: Education at university or institutions of equal rank.

Social Justice: Refers to equal educational opportunities that lead to fairness for all.

Diversity: Refers to the uniqueness of each learner with reference to language competences.

Strategies: Methods or actions that are designed to achieve a long-term goal.

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