Challenges posed by diversity: looking at language and assessment

Kari Smith


It is common in many institutions of higher education to have a diverse student population with respect to language and culture in addition to diversity in ability and talent. For many students the language of instruction is not their first language, a situation which offers numerous challenges for the students as well as for the hosting universities. Students have different reasons to undertake an education in a foreign language, a fact which requires higher education institutions to be flexible in addressing the needs of these students. Thus assessment becomes a major challenge. This presentation discusses gains and losses related to studying in an additional language with a special focus on assessment issues. A small study carried out in Israel among Arab and Jewish students of English as a foreign language is presented to illustrate issues discussed. The presentation concludes with a few recommendations.


Copyright (c) 2011 Kari Smith

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University of Bergen Library

ISSN: 1890-5900