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Unravelling the differences in attrition and academic performance of international and domestic nursing students with English as an additional language

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: High attrition and academic underperformance have been highlighted among students who speak English as an additional language (EAL) in higher education, and a lack of language skills is often cited as a key explanatory factor. Although the relationship between English-language skills and academic performance among EAL students has been established, group differences between international and domestic EAL nursing students is not known. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare attrition rates and academic performance of international and domestic EAL nursing students, taking into consideration levels of English-language usage and socio-demographic characteristics of these groups. Design: A prospective correlational study. Participants and Methods: From 2010 to 2012, nursing students at a large Australian university, who attended an orientation session before course commencement, were invited to complete a survey to assess their English-language usage. Data collected included students' enrolment status and GPA at 12. months. Findings: Compared with their domestic counterparts, the attrition rate of international EAL students was significantly lower (7.9% versus 13.3%, p = 0.018). Similarly, international students also had higher GPAs (4.1 versus 4.0, p = 0.011). Although the levels of English-language usage were not related to academic performance, recent arrivals in both international (p=0.047) and domestic (p = 0.001) student groups had higher GPAs. Conclusion: This study suggests that language acculturation, indicated by English-language usage and the length of stay in the host country, was not sufficient to ensure successful transition into the academic environment for either international or domestic EAL nursing students.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Zheng, R. X., Everett, B., Glew, P., & Salamonson, Y. (2014). Unravelling the differences in attrition and academic performance of international and domestic nursing students with English as an additional language. Nurse Education Today, 34(12), 1455-1459. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2014.04.021

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84923482823

Start Page


  • 1455

End Page


  • 1459

Volume


  • 34

Issue


  • 12

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Background: High attrition and academic underperformance have been highlighted among students who speak English as an additional language (EAL) in higher education, and a lack of language skills is often cited as a key explanatory factor. Although the relationship between English-language skills and academic performance among EAL students has been established, group differences between international and domestic EAL nursing students is not known. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare attrition rates and academic performance of international and domestic EAL nursing students, taking into consideration levels of English-language usage and socio-demographic characteristics of these groups. Design: A prospective correlational study. Participants and Methods: From 2010 to 2012, nursing students at a large Australian university, who attended an orientation session before course commencement, were invited to complete a survey to assess their English-language usage. Data collected included students' enrolment status and GPA at 12. months. Findings: Compared with their domestic counterparts, the attrition rate of international EAL students was significantly lower (7.9% versus 13.3%, p = 0.018). Similarly, international students also had higher GPAs (4.1 versus 4.0, p = 0.011). Although the levels of English-language usage were not related to academic performance, recent arrivals in both international (p=0.047) and domestic (p = 0.001) student groups had higher GPAs. Conclusion: This study suggests that language acculturation, indicated by English-language usage and the length of stay in the host country, was not sufficient to ensure successful transition into the academic environment for either international or domestic EAL nursing students.

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Zheng, R. X., Everett, B., Glew, P., & Salamonson, Y. (2014). Unravelling the differences in attrition and academic performance of international and domestic nursing students with English as an additional language. Nurse Education Today, 34(12), 1455-1459. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2014.04.021

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84923482823

Start Page


  • 1455

End Page


  • 1459

Volume


  • 34

Issue


  • 12

Place Of Publication