English Language Proficiency and Learning among Australian International Postgraduate Accounting Students

By Suzanne Ryan, Asit Bhattacharyya, Katerina Stratilas and Neelam Goela.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Among OECD countries, Australia has the highest percentage of international students studying in its higher education institutions. Many of these students are motivated to study in Australia in order to find employment and immigrate. However, poor English language proficiency is the major barrier to employment outcomes despite labour shortages in many occupations. The Master of Professional Accounting Program (MPA) is an example of a program developed to attract international students to help meet the deficit of practising accountants, yet its graduates are failing to find employment. This paper reports on a survey of MPA students to investigate the role of English language proficiency on perceived learning experiences and outcomes. Findings reveal a significant relationship between language ability and engagement in learning. The paper concludes that English language development among international students is lacking both inside and outside the classroom.

Keywords: English Language Proficiency, Accounting Education, International Students

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp.237-254. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.175MB).

Dr. Suzanne Ryan

Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Dr Asit Bhattacharyya

Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Asit Bhattacharyya is a lecturer of Accounting at the University of Newcastle. He joined the University of Newcastle in 2008. Asit previously taught at the Monash University (Singapore) and University of New England for over 9 years. His main research areas are (i) Corporate social and environment reporting and accountability, and (ii) Teaching and Learning Issues: Accounting Learning of the International Students, Chinese learners, Learning approaches, Learning experiences of the International Students.

Katerina Stratilas

Learning Adviser, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Katerina Stratilas is a Learning Adviser at the University of Newcastle. She has worked with Culturally and Linguistic Diverse (CLD) students for more than ten years within the Australian and international context. In previous positions, Katerina was a coordinator of a bilingual program and has had extensive experience in teaching tertiary students, secondary students and primary students. In her current role, Katerina works individually and collaboratively with lecturers to support students with the development of their academic language and learning skills throughout their degree programs. She is likewise a member of the English Language Support team that developed the Diagnostic Academic English Language Tool (DAELT) and is undertaking research in this area.

Neelam Goela

Lecturer, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Neelam Goela has 23 years’ teaching experience at the University level. She is a Fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a member of CPA Australia.

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