“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
I like this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt and wish more international students would take this quote
to heart when it comes to their English language skills: Don’t apologize for your English skills; you
are bright and motivated students, determined to improve your English proficiency. Take advantage
of the ESL classes we offer, use the Oral Skills Lab, and talk to native English speakers as much as possible.
For international students who would like to improve their English, I would recommend that
they watch TV, befriend with students from other countries and be involved with the
When writing in a second (or third or fourth) language, writers have a tendency to be so
concerned about correct grammar and syntax that they forget the other very important
aspects of writing such as the development of ideas, good organization, consideration of
audience and purpose. I suggest to native speakers of English as well as non-native speakers
of English that they focus first on these larger issues before being concerned with grammar
Another suggestion I have for non-native speakers of English attending a US university is that
they become very familiar with the writing expectations of US academies. Other students,
professors, and Writing Center consultants can help them understand these expectations.
Different cultures have different writing expectations so international students need to be
aware that expectations in their home countries may be different than expectations in the US.