International Students’ Experience of Western Pedagogy in a British University

Linda Katherine Newsome, Paul Cooper


This qualitative study examined international students’ experiences with Western pedagogy using data collected through case studies and semi-structured, in-depth, informant style interviews. Participants were all international students (n=18), mostly postgraduate from Asian and Far Eastern countries studying at a British University. This paper focuses on students’ engagements with Western pedagogy as they struggle to adjust to what they experience as unfamiliar and alien approaches to teaching and learning. Reported here is a detailed case study of the lives of these students as they engage with specific pedagogical demands, including: academic self-expression and critical argumentation, self-directed learning, class discussions, presentations, and English language proficiency. It also exposes students’ perceptions of the value of the instructional methods of their tutors and their impact on approaches to learning.

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