A comparative analysis of student and tutor expectations and experiences within a university tutorial setting : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the degree of Master of Arts in Second Language Teaching at Massey University
The changing face of tertiary education within New Zealand has brought with it new challenges. One of these challenges has been catering for the increasing numbers of international students that choose to study at Massey University. This study focuses on the needs of these students in their first year at university in the context of the university tutorial. The study compares the expectations and experiences of students with English as their second language with those of students with English as their first language. It also draws a comparison between the views of these two groups of students with those of the tutors involved in the course. Information was gathered from the three groups of participants, by a survey, on their expectations and experiences of learning that takes place within the interactive tutorial setting. Additional data was obtained by interviewing a sample of the students with English as a second language. The study reveals that there is a pronounced similarity between the expectations and concerns of both groups of students. All students and their tutors support the need for interactive learning. Despite this acknowledgement, high proportions of the students were dissatisfied with their personal performance within the tutorial. Language limitations were an acknowledged barrier to interaction for L2 students but these difficulties were not confined to international students with many local students having equally strong concerns. Lack of adequate preparation was raised as a major factor in the student's ability to participate successfully within the tutorial. . Tutors need to have skills that provide a positive interactive learning experience the will lead to a higher level of academic achievement for all students regardless of diverse abilities.