Disabilities, Academic language skills, ESL, ESOL, English as a second language, English language skills, International students, Peer advising, Peer assistance, University language skills


A review of the related literature revealed that international students face specific academic challenges. The goal of this research was to investigate the effect of international student peer advising sessions on English as a Second Language (ESL) international students' perceptions of their language skills and strategies for dealing with academic tasks. The research design included a control and an experimental group with a pretest and a posttest administration of the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) and the Xu International Student Academic Language Needs Assessment (ISALNA-2) instruments. Qualitative data was also collected. The participants in the study were upper-intermediate level international students in an intensive English program at a large metropolitan university. Scores (n = 23) on the SILL and the ISALNA-2 were used to investigate the changing perspectives of students receiving similar information from different sources, classroom teachers and peer advisors or only classroom teachers. Peer advising sessions were provided to the experimental group of students. The focus of the sessions was advice and direction in language skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) for university academic tasks. A split-plot analysis of variance was employed to analyze the quantitative data obtained from pre- and posttest administrations of the instruments. Analysis of the data did not reveal a statistically significant effect of the peer advising sessions as regards the improvement of scores on the SILL and ISALNA-2. Qualitative data (n = 29) indicated that the experimental participants were positively impacted in understanding the necessary language skills necessary for academic success. Interviews with the peer advisors revealed that they had enhanced their understanding of university expectations and had developed a higher level of confidence as a result of their participation in the advising sessions. Qualitative data revealed positive attitudes by the peer advisors in giving language skills information and by the ESL international students involved in receiving that information. The study format could contribute to future studies and may have implications for the development of international peer advising for English language instruction, foreign student orientation programs, host family programs, and programs linking foreign students with American student study partners.


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Graduation Date





Allen, Kay


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Graduate Studies and Research

Degree Program

Graduate Studies and Research








Release Date

January 2009

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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