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Abstract

There has long been a tradition of international students studying in the United Kingdom. Despite a dip in the most recently published statistics, Indian students continue to make up a high proportion of UK’s international student population. The majority of Indian students are multilingual and this raises potential problems for them with regards to academic writing, such as grammar, structuring and vocabulary. This article presents a largely empirical study which examines the experiences of, and issues faced by, seven postgraduate research students in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Birmingham City University. Samples of academic writing of each participant were analysed and semi structured interviews were also conducted with the participants. Lessons from these experiences, such as the difference between participants’ actual and perceived academic writing ability, and the tendency of some students to think in their native language and then translate their thoughts into English, are discussed and proposals made as to how multilingual students can be better supported in their academic writing within the Faculty.

 

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