Title: Can international students agencies that sell English courses provide a better service for their students with a local representative in Ireland?
Research proposal Student: Mayra Yemen
Student number: 22004285
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background to Research Problem 1
1.2 Justification 1
1.3 Recipients of the Research 2
1.4 Research Objectives 2
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 3
2.1 International students 3
2.2 Globalization and demand for the English language 3
2.3 English Language barrier in international school agencies 4
2.4 Learning style in international schools In Ireland 4
2.5 Cultural Context in Ireland international students 5
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 5
3.1 Research Questions 6
3.2 Data Collection Method 6
3.3 Sampling Selection 6
3.4 Data analysis procedures 6
3.5 Research Limitations 6
CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS 6
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to Research Problem
The expansion of teaching English as a foreign language to learners as a unique area within the English Language Teaching profession throughout the last two decades has raised some worries about who would educate such students through a sector that has historically concentrated on adults. Currently, “there are over 32,000 international students studying in Ireland, (Association, 2022)” and international student agencies play an essential role in recruiting international students. Even though some schools claim to have International Offices on campus to provide support to International Students, the reality is that there are schools that don’t offer this service. If they do, it’s not on a high level so that it genuinely represents support for the students, leaving a gap in the services they offer to their students before their travel as the reality does not meet the expectations. Unfortunately, these agencies can do little as they don’t have a local representation to act on it (Lynch, Tony, 2014).
1.3 Recipients of the Research
International students are essential for the institutions, the government, which according to “Operators of English as a foreign language (EFL) schools and services the industry is worth €1.2bn to the Irish economy and most importantly, the student agencies worldwide that work as partners with these institutions which are expecting their students a high-quality service. International student agencies will benefit from this research along with the schools and, more importantly, the students themselves who “invest much time and financial resources into their study, and it is important to understand whether they appraise their education experience in a positive light, (Education, 2021)”, and even if they do, it will be of use to understand how can this industry improve their students/customers experience.
1.4 Research Objectives
The main objectives of this research project are to investigate if there are any gaps in the quality of services provided by international student agencies, whereby not only service quality in the sector will be objectively measured, but also this study seeks to identify the gaps or opportunities in the student sector in Ireland that could generate an extra income for the research agency Go Mundial. With this in mind, the following objectives have been produced:
To identify the factors that international student agencies consider when defining the services they offer to international students.
To determine which strategies international student agencies should take to have a local representative.
To recommend what type of services they should offer their students to provide a better service.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 International students
The advantages of studying abroad for international students seem to be numerous, with studies indicating that students can gain a fresh and amazing opportunity to combine with a diverse variety of nationalities, boost one’s confidence but rather obligation in learning, have one’s mind changed, but also encounter self-improvement when they become free thinkers and change agents. This is all while accumulating intercultural understanding and competency experience. Per Campbell (2010), as a result of all of this, students acquire globally marketable graduates, increase overall career prospects, or in some circumstances, upon coming back home, become successful leaders, almost always in leadership positions (John, 2015). The encounter can also help them change their minds about engaging with the world, challenge their sense of self, and improve overall language skills. Many students’ experiences are beneficial and can have a lasting impact on their worldview.
2.2 Globalization and demand for the English language
Although attitudes regarding English’s dominance vary significantly, the rise of English to be the dominant global language could be understood with more comprehensive terms of worldwide significance and the working system of international capitalism. Teaching English is… imbued with democratic relevance because of the ability it has to be freely accessible to commerce, technology, traveling, science, academic study, research, and economic achievement, according to McKay (1992). Communication using English is now required for involvement in various activities. The worldwide village is currently being built in English, like the information highways, which are used to obtain entry to scientific and technological discoveries. “English used as a lingua franca by multinational corporations intercontinental non-governmental institutions including the Un System, the Monetary Fund, the World Bank, as well as the WHO, and it is becoming the language of an ‘Anglophone’ popular culture thanks to the global distribution of television shows like Companions and film franchises like Harry Potter, especially compared to the rise of the Internet.” (Golombek, 1998) Languages may no longer be considered cultural expressions and modern technologies, or rather techniques of gaining trade and social benefit and political influence. Where globalized national borders ‘porous,’ English neocolonialism’s’soft power’ is placed to communicate telepathically even more entirely through the World wide web, satellite communication, and the evident triumph of the capitalist system as a socio-economic prototype through Internet, satellite communication, and the apparent triumph of capitalistic as a socio-economic model. Another cause for concern is the likelihood that English anglo-Americanizes non-native speakers. As English is such a powerful force globally, there is a risk that it may suffocate the distinctive features of other languages and civilizations (Clarke, Marie, 2011).
2.3 English Language barrier in international school agencies
This language barrier is indeed a big worry among students studying abroad. That importance for English in the school career of international students cannot be overstated. International students from non-English traditionally referred to (NESB), particularly those with less English language experience, face difficulty in both spoken written English (sam, 2018). Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that a lack of English language abilities directly impacts overseas students’ academic achievement and social lives. According to (Clarke, Marie, 2011), “If international students cannot communicate together in a new context, they may suffer linguistic stress. Because they would pursue better professional qualifications, international study students encounter a bigger language knowledge difficulty”. If overseas research students have poor academic English writing skills, they will have difficulty drafting their dissertation and communicating effectively with their supervisors. This directly impacts student-supervisor interactions and students’ research confidence (States, United, 2019).
2.4 Learning style in international schools In Ireland
Another issue raised by international students in their significant study contexts is that the teaching process is frequently different from that they are accustomed to in their native countries. “The Irish learning differs significantly from that of the Western world. It emphasizes a surface learning strategy that emphasizes memorization and reproduction and high levels of performance.” (Goodson, Hargreaves 1996). Contrary to the student-centered strategy, that teacher-centered approach is very prevalent in Irish educational institutions. The teacher-centered process would be another conventional teaching and learning strategy that involves spoon-feeding’ content to students. As a result, children may become overly reliant on professors to deliver all their information. For a regular class context, Ireland students are more likely will surpass pupils from Developed nations in terms of academic performance (Aydinol, Ayse Begum, 2013).
“However, there is a stereotypical impression of international students as individual observers in Society. This stereotype can be prevalent in some scholarly papers and many professors.” (Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. 1967) Despite this, Wong shows that international students prefer student-centered learning strategies to the spoon-fed methods used in their own countries (Hsu, Chung-hsien, 2011). Nonetheless, this change from teacher-centered towards student-centered teaching has a significant impact on international research students. To undertake study, they must be more identity and analytical in their approach. As both results, international research students require adjusting to an independent learning approach in a new location.
2.5 Cultural Context in Ireland international students
Finally, international students’ diverse cultural origins may impact their learning patterns in a new country. Wong’s research just on the teaching processes of Asian overseas students emphasizes the notion because students’ teaching strategies are influenced by culture. Some international students, for example, are typically labeled as passive learners. According to exam-oriented mentality from many home countries, participants tend to memorize facts for exams. Meanwhile, citizenship is inextricably linked. Language, learning, and comprehension are all influenced by cultural variances. For example, throughout Fan’s study, some students were perplexed by using articles in English vocabulary since they did not have an article in their language. As a result, international research students find adjusting to new and unfamiliar cultures difficult (Wang, 2020).
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
The third chapter of this dissertation is devoted to explaining the applied research methodology, which includes all of the information on the study design, sampling, data collecting and analysis, research ethics, and methodological limits. In light of this, the research process is critical to ensuring that the thesis is valuable and correct. To address the study question and aims, the author used a research approach. Furthermore, the researcher arranged his time for study, data gathering, and data analysis by following a research approach. According to Somekh et al. (2005), research methodology includes “principles, beliefs, and ideals that drive a specific approach to research as well as the collection of procedures or rules by which a given piece of research is performed.” “Qualitative research is an approach that allows you to examine people’s experiences in detail by using specific set of research methods such as in-depth interviews, focus group 9 duscissions, observation, content analysis, visual methods, and life histories or biographies, (Hutter, et al., 2002)”, therefore, this qualitative study design was used to explore the experiences of international students and obtain a deeper insight into their overall experience in Ireland as international students.
Figure 3. 1 Flowchart
“Research philosophy is an overarching concept referring to the generation of knowledge and the nature of that knowledge,” according to Saunders et al. (2009). Furthermore, research philosophy “contains crucial presumptions, these presumptions will support your research plan and the methodologies you choose as a fundamental component of the approach,” according to Saunders et al. (2009). The philosophy is primarily distinguished by three basic concepts: positivism, interpretivism, Pragmatism, and realism.
Ontology is described as “the science or study of being” in a research study, focusing on the nature of existence. Ontology is a thinking system that represents an individual’s understanding of what makes a fact. Ontology, to put it simply, is concerned with what we regard to be reality (Good, 2016).
The philosophy of knowing, epistemology, is concerned with how and from what sources information is gained. In terms of research, your philosophical viewpoint on the universe and information has a significant impact on how you interpret evidence, thus it’s important to state it upfront.
It arose from criticism of positivism’s determinism and interpretivism’s contextualism and is thus a hybrid of the two ideologies. It is based on both facts and emotions.
Relativism is the opinion or claim that human thoughts, behaviors, including ethics have no ultimate reference. Humans can comprehend and assess beliefs in terms of their historic context, according to relativists.
3.2 Research Questions
● What factors do international student agencies take into consideration to define good services? The reasoning behind this question is to allow the researcher to determine what type of services international student agencies consider a good quality.
● What type of strategies could international student agencies take to have a local representative? With this question, the research seeks information related to business strategies to prove the hypothesis that with a local representation, student agencies can provide a much better quality service that could provide them with a competitive advantage.
● What type of services should they offer their students for a better service? This question helps the research to formulate improvement in the current service student
3.3 Data Collection Method
The research expects to collect data through an online questionnaire because it is a fast and easy method to reach current and past international students in Ireland to understand if they feel that their expectations are completely satisfied or if there’s a gap within the industry.
3.4 Sampling Selection
A variety of sample strategies would be used in the research study. This can result in a more diversified, richer sample than, say, cluster sampling, which selects a group from inside the same institution Tsui (2003), among others, used cluster sampling in research research, where all of their subjects worked in the same school and shared a common context, potentially limiting their perspectives and insights. This researcher may require a broader variety of work situations, however the sampling approach may not be used. One advantage of adopting a geographically varied sample is that participants can describe a wide range of circumstances and experiences, allowing the researcher to look at topics from many viewpoints and traditions. If emails, Web discussion forums, and personal contacts are the distribution system methods, there is a disadvantage in securing adequate amounts of visitors. As a consequence, only the most precise type of survey could introduce a random element.
3.5 Research Limitations
The research identifies that the most likely limitation is time management due to the research’s busy schedule. Another limitation could be the lack of availability of students to participate in the questionnaire to collect data.
3.6 Ethical issues
Dörnyei (2007) claims that certain studies create user information that could lead to participant identification. In such cases, the researcher must determine how much of this information should be shared in a study or thesis, as well as obtain informed consent to use it. One could claim that by consenting to supply data, the participant has granted tacit consent to its usage. However, explicit agreement is already required, with participants being informed of the research and thesis’ objective, how their data will be used stored, who will have access to it, and what will happen to it after the project is completed. Respondent anonymity appears to be an important aspect of ethical research. As a result, in compliance with university norms, an Ethical Issues Assessment will be done and presented to the ethics board, which approved the research. Following that, an informed consent will be created.
CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS
After information is obtained, all data will be analysed. Ethnic heritage, gender, educational background, occupation, marital status, and the length of time the student had been studying in Ireland were all independent variables in this study. The student’s academic progress and attitude towards their experience instructing English courses at international education agencies, including introduction, useful benefits, school grounds expertise, and usual impression at international education agencies, were the dependent variables. According to Richards (2003), data analysis entails detecting links between data having three components: description, or describing what is occurring, analysis, meaning explaining why someone is happening, and interpretations, or what it means. Data analysis is divided into three components. The first, feature extraction, necessitates the researcher selecting, focusing, simplifying, or transforming original data using written notes to summarize, code, partition, and cluster emergent themes. The data display step entails organizing the information as tables or graphs because it can be displayed logically and understandably. The researcher notes regularities, patterns, explanations, probable configurations, causal flows, and propositions, as well as irregularities and inconsistencies, in the third stage, conclusion (Saubert, Shanna Beth, 2014).
Google would compute the online questionnaire results and then display them in Google-generated spreadsheets plus figures. The pilot Word Document questionnaires, on either hand, would be uploaded but also copied as hard copies into password-protected files just on the laptop. The sheets will be shuffled and numbered sequentially with prefix P for Pilot to maintain responder anonymity. Throughout the study’s notebook, a list and emails would be preserved. Because the computer merely reported tallies in figures, the electronic version proved easier, faster, and retained participant privacy. Each interview annotation will be transcribed into question-by-question summaries and printed in hard copy (In, 2009). Following this data-processing step, documents would be examined for content using a continual comparative approach, which would involve going over the data repeatedly, analyzing every piece – phrase, sentence, paragraph… from which arise themes that encapsulate and summarise all data’s contents. Categories were created, and links were made based on the themes. This method was chosen because it is an interpretative researcher’s core analytic method and looked ideal for a phenomenological, constructivist-interpreter approach. Tally sheets were handwritten on basic A4 paper to capture the data. SubSubcategoriesre is statistically recorded, and subsubcategoriesre are labeled (Almurideef, Raja, 2016).
The research will require 30 days to collect the data from the questionnaire. The questionaries questions will be done once the present research proposal is approved.
Almurideef, Raja. (2016). Rowan Digital Works The challenges that international students face when integrating into higher education in the United States.
Aydinol, Ayse Begum. (2013). Understanding the international student experience.
Clarke, Marie. (2011). The Internationalisation of Irish Higher Education.
Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Chicago: Aldine.
Golombek, P. R. (1998). A study of language teachers’ personal practical knowledge. TESOL Quarterly, 32(3), 447-464. DOI: 10.2307/3588117.
Good, D. (2016). and NATIONAL TRAINING.
Goodson, I., & Hargreaves, A. (Eds.). (1996). Teachers’ Professional Lives. London: Falmer Press.
Hsu, Chung-hsien. (2011). Factors Influencing International Students ‘ Academic and Sociocultural Transition in an Increasingly Globalized Society.
In, I. N. (2009). Good good practice practice.
John. (2015). International qualifications.
Lynch, Tony. (2014). Writing up your PhD Independent Study version.
sam. (2018). Impact of international students in the UK.
Saubert, Shanna Beth. (2014). A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experiences of International Students.
States, United. (2019). ACADEMIC CATALOG Academic Catalog 2017-18.
Wang, S. (. (2020). English in international school agencies.
APPENDIX A: Gantt chart
Presentation of project titles
Submission of report on dissertation proposal
Presentation of dissertation proposal
Preparation on dissertation
Presentation of final dissertation