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Theme: Transition and Adjustment

Enhancing chances of academic success amongst First Year Undergraduates from diverse language backgrounds

Associate Professor Cathie Elder, Rosemary Erlam & Janet von Randow
Dept. of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics
University of Auckland

It is generally agreed that language skills play a key role in academic study (Criper & Davies, Elder, Gravatt et al) and that students with inadequate language proficiency may be disadvantaged. Nevertheless at most universities in New Zealand there is no English language requirement for admission to the University (excepting international students who are required to achieve a given level on IELTS or TOEFL). This paper describes an initiative developed at the University of Auckland, namely DELNA (Diagnostic English Language Needs Assessment), designed to build a language profile of students (whether native or non native speakers of English) who cannot show evidence of English proficiency. Students complete the assessment procedure following University admission and those �at risk� are advised of appropriate sources of English language support. The paper reports on results gathered thus far and on plans to evaluate the impact of this initiative on the first year undergraduate population.

Full Paper in MS Word

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