Proposal for a Pre-Program Workshop for International Students from China

Previous studies (Weiping & Juan, 2005; Li, 2011) focusing on the difficulties Chinese students face when learning English show that the test-based teaching in China leads to students' low motivation and lack of ability in oral skills. This paper focuses on helping those students who are seeking a higher education in the U.S. from China or students who have similar difficulties in English learning. Based on the needs analysis findings and the difficulties of the students in English learning, this paper suggests a pre-program workshop that will prepare the students with general communication needs in a language classroom setting. The needs analysis shows that the students did not have a lot of opportunities to use listening and speaking skills in English, and they lack basic communication skills because they learned the oral English through the use of the audio-lingual method; hence, they cannot express themselves well in different types of situations with flexibility. Another finding of the needs analysis is that the students are not motivated to listen nor speak in English because these two skills are not part of the test, and students would rather spend time on reading, writing and grammar in order to improve their scores, rather than practice English as a language skill. This proposed workshop would help the students with the basic communication skills and motivate them to practice the communication skills to better prepare them for language classes.