General academic difficulties and reading and writing difficulties among Asian ESL postgraduate students in TESOL at an Australian University

  • Phakiti A
  • Li L
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This article reports on an empirical study that examines general academic difficulties, and academic reading and writing difficulties among Asian ESL (English as a Second Language) international postgraduate students who are completing a Master’s Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at an Australian university. The data were collected through the use of a Likert-scale questionnaire from 51 students and a follow-up, semi-structured interview technique with 11 participants who took part in the questionnaire survey. It was found that: (1) students reported different types of academic difficulties including reading and writing such as synthesizing information and academic writing; (2) there were strong associations among general academic difficulties, academic reading and writing difficulties; and (3) factors such as academic English proficiency, self-regulation, motivation, self-efficacy, former learning experience and academic adjustment had an impact on their academic difficulties. This article will articulate the implications for second language teacher education research and future research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Asian
  • Australia
  • Postgraduate TESOL
  • difficulty
  • reading
  • writing

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  • Aek Phakiti

  • Lulu Li

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