When it comes to integrating an international student into campus life, the focus is usually on his or her language skills. Even though students have likely passed introductory language exams, the day-to-day realities of interacting with native speakers, participating in group activities, and academic writing and testing can pose significant challenges. Increasing students’ fluency is a must, but language training for staff and faculty can also benefit not just the students, but the individuals and university as a whole.
Benefit to Students
Having on-campus support from staff and faculty who are actually conversant in their native languages will help students to better navigate difficulties they may encounter as they further their education in a new country. While they’re learning language fluency in the classroom, they can seek help in their native tongue when dealing with issues like housing, financial aid, and adjusting to cultural differences.
Benefit to Faculty/Staff
Learning a second, third, or even fourth language is a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff, one that will equip them to meet the challenges of a global education system. It will also give them a valuable tool for recruiting and interviewing potential students who are non-native speakers.
Benefit to the University
Being better able to serve the needs of international students helps schools with both recruitment and retention. Plus, offering faculty and staff opportunities for professional growth helps to renew their commitment to the institution as well as move the organization forward as a team.
Rosetta Stone® Solutions for Professional Development
With Rosetta Stone language-learning solutions, staff and faculty at universities can learn new language skills quickly. With the ability to learn anytime, anywhere, instruction is flexible and convenient.
Does your university offer language as a professional development tool? If so, tell us how it helped you or your colleagues. If you’d like to see your university implement a language program for faculty and staff, consider sharing this post with the administration.