Immigrant Chinese Students' Adaptation to Studying Mathematics in a New Zealand University

ResearchSpace/Manakin Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Kensington-Miller, B en Liu, Yaming en 2019-11-17T20:15:42Z en 2019 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract The number of international students coming to New Zealand for the purpose of studying at tertiary level has increased dramatically during the last decade. New Zealand has become a popular choice for Chinese students because of its geographical convenience and being English speaking. However, many Chinese international students find it difficult adjusting to Western culture and adapting to teaching pedagogies that are different from what they experience in their own country. Despite these difficulties, many Chinese students achieve high academic grades studying in Western countries, but often do not integrate into the culture or the society successfully due to their persistent preferences for a "spoon-feeding" teaching strategy and for sticking with their co-nationals so that they do not practise their English. This research aims to explore the strategies Chinese students value about the mathematics pedagogy they are accustomed to in China, and how they adapt to a different mathematics pedagogy when studying at a university in New Zealand. This qualitative study with a naturalistic perspective involved observations of six tutorials, and individual semi-structured interviews with ten newly immigrated Chinese students taking a first-year undergraduate mathematics course (MATHS108) at the University of Auckland. A narrative approach was adopted for data collecting and data analysing. It was found that Chinese students were used to exam-oriented teaching methods that consisted of shallow learning, focused on repetitive exercises, step-by-step instructions and "spoon-feeding" in learning mathematics. However, New Zealand teachers highlighted deep learning, with an emphasis on understanding mathematics with clear interpretation of concepts instead of just exercises, and focusing on problem solving and self-study. Chinese students reported that the Chinese pedagogies were better for examinations, while the New Zealand approach was more effective for gaining skills and critical thinking. The challenges they encountered in adapting to the New Zealand pedagogies were cultural differences, language, communication between groups and with instructors, and coping with larger class sizes. In order to overcome these obstacles, Chinese students utilised translating, memorising, working on past exams, reviewing the coursebook, and listening to lecture recordings. In addition, they sought help from classmates, local friends, Chinese friends, homestay families and language schools to adapt gradually. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265185513702091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Immigrant Chinese Students' Adaptation to Studying Mathematics in a New Zealand University en
dc.type Thesis en Education en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 786002 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-11-18 en

Full text options

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as


Search ResearchSpace

Advanced Search