Bogdan Banu and Rod Foreman
When international students attend BYU, it is clear that they lack the English skills that the American students already have. This puts them at a disadvantage and raises the question: Should there be separate standards for foreign students in English classes?
International students are more likely to perform poorly and take a less active role in the classroom because they have “listening difficulties, lack of understanding of differences in cultural background, poor oral and communication skills, insufficient vocabulary and poor writing skills” (Lee, 96). International students have not had the opportunity of going through a predominantly English speaking school, and are thus at a disadvantage when compared to native speakers.
On the other hand, although it is true that foreign students do not know English as well as the native students, it was their choice to attend college here. Foreign students need to stop arguing the negative side of not being able to speak English well, and look at the positive side of being a foreign student. International students are able to speak English as well as their native language. This gives them a better chance of getting a job. If a teacher lowers his or her standards for an international student, the students will will not prepare as they should.
After looking at both sides of the argument, we conclude that foreign students do face some challenges when coming to school in the United States. We believe that there should be a preparation class that would get international students ready for English 115. This solution would allow international students to get further preparation for the English 115 class and bring them to a level close to that of the students in other classes. There would be no need for double standards in the regular English 115 class.
Finally, it would be easier for the teachers as well, since they wouldn’t have to make different assignments and grading scales for the international students.