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Quick Chat: How Many Words Do You Know?

September 28,2015

Immigrants, English, and post-secondary studies

In this quick chat, Hetty Roessingh talks about academic challenges faced by students who are learning with English as a second or additional language

September 28, 2015 - September means back-to-school, for both thousands of students in elementary, junior and senior high as well as those either beginning or returning to college or university programs across the country.

Many of these university-bound students are young adults, fresh out of high school, embarking on their post-secondary university careers at the University of Calgary.  For some, the transition will be an easy one; for others, the rigors of university study may come as a surprise, as the pace and level of expectation sharply increases over their time in secondary studies.

One group—the students for whom English is not their first language--may find this transition particularly challenging.  In fact, many students who are learning with English as a second or additional language have struggled throughout their academic studies. And according to Hetty Roessingh, a professor in the Werklund School of Education who has studied language acquisition, this is a problem that will continue to grow as Canada’s immigrant population grows.