Karpenko-Seccombe, Tatyana (2013) Supporting international PhD researchers – are pastoral duties part of the package? In: BALEAP Professional Issues Meeting (PIM): Supporting Masters Dissertation and PhD Thesis Writing: Where EAP Meets Research Skills Training, June 2013, University of Essex. (Unpublished)

International PhD students constitute a particular group of learners for several reasons – academic, language, social, and psychological. Academically, PhD students often have significant experience of research work in their own country. Experience gained in a different academic culture may sometimes be counterproductive: students may have different preconceptions about academic writing from academic conventions in British universities. Also, when academic writing skills of an accomplished academic are challenged, it can lead to psychological difficulties involving loss of face. This, in its turn, can lead to loss of confidence which might undermine the student’s ability to carry on working productively.
Socially, PhD students also constitute a distinct group characterised by very limited student-peer or student-lecturer interaction, which is sometimes counter to the cultural expectations of students. Living away from their families, PhD researchers miss their loved ones and worry about them particularly if they are coming from the countries with on-going unrest. The paper discusses the particular needs of PhD students and the related pastoral role of the EAP tutor.

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email