Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results

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Socio-Demographic Characteristics

Thirty (30) participants took part in the survey to assess the coping strategies of international students at Flinders University who experience language barriers. 16(53.3%) of the participants were aged between 25 and 30 years, while over one-third (36.7%) were between 21 and 25 years. The rest of the students were aged 31-35 years. Two-thirds (66.7%) of the respondents were male. In educational status, 10(33.3%) were high school graduates, while the rest comprised undergraduate students. All participants were married, came from Saudi Arabia, and were fluent in the Arabic language.

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Main Findings

A 5-point Likert-type scale was used to evaluate how international students with language difficulties faired on a number of key issues. In the scale, 1 represents strongly agree while 5 represents strongly disagree. From the analysis, it is important to note that the significance of the normality test for all the variables is less than 0.05, implying that the data is not normally distributed. Many of the standard deviations for the variables demonstrate that the spread of values in the data set is large, implying that the mean score of most variables cannot be taken as representative of the data. It is therefore imperative to use the median and the interquartile range in variables that have a standard deviation of more than 1. The descriptive statistics for the issues are presented in Table 1 next page.

The presentation below demonstrates that most respondents strongly agree that: 1) they are satisfied with the extent of their intellectual development at the university given the language barriers they experience, and 2) they made the right decision by attending this university.

Table 1: Descriptive Statistics for Key Issues facing International Students with Language Barriers.

Variables (n=30) Mean Std. dev. Median Interquartile range
I have developed close personal relationships with other students 2.3333 1.42232 2.0000 2.25
I have heard a hard time speaking with other students 2.0333 1.09807 2.0000 2.00
Language barriers experienced have had a positive influence on my personal growth, attitude and values 2.9333 1.22990 3.0000 2.00
Language barriers experienced have had a positive influence on my intellectual growth and educational interest 3.0000 1.31306 3.0000 2.00
Due to language barriers, few of the students I know would be willing to listen to me and help me if I had personal problems 1.9667 0.85029 2.0000 2.00
My classroom interaction with teachers have had a positive influence on my personal growth, attitudes and values 2.9667 0.99943 3.0000 2.00
My classroom interactions with teachers have had a positive influence on my intellectual growth and educational interest 3.1000 1.21343 3.0000 2.00
Satisfied with the extent of my intellectual development at this university given the language barriers I experience 1.5667 0.77385 1.0000 1.00
I have performed academically as well as I anticipated I would 3.0667 1.33735 3.0000 2.00
I am confident that I made the right decision by attending this university 1.5333 1.04166 1.0000 1.00
I feel that I would have performed better if I attended a university in my own country where I will not be having problems with language 2.6333 1.47352 2.0000 3.0000

Additionally, most respondents agree that they have been able to develop close personal relationships with other students despite the language difficulties. To drive the point home, most respondents also agree to the point that the language difficulties experienced have had a positive influence on their personal growth, attitudes and values, and that their classroom interactions with teachers have had a positive influence on their personal growth, attitudes and values. These observations prove the hypothesis that students who cope with language barriers are happy.

A major finding of the study is that 24 (80%) of the respondents reported suffering from academic stress as a direct consequence of the language barrier problem. However, all respondents reported receiving some form of support from family, friends, and colleagues to deal with the academic stress. When asked what coping mechanisms they employed to deal with the stress triggered by language barrier, almost a third of the respondents (30%) said they smoked or consumed alcohol, while 2 (6.7%) asked for assistance from a friend. The rest of the distribution is demonstrated in the figure below.

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What coping Mechanism do you employ to deal with Stress from Language Barrier.
Figure 1: What coping Mechanism do you employ to deal with Stress from Language Barrier.

Lastly, 16 (53.3%) of the respondents felt that the problem of language barrier had a direct effect on their academic performance in the university. Going by the interquartile range scores in Table 1, many respondents agree that the language barriers experienced have had a positive influence on their intellectual growth and educational interest. Most respondents also agree that few of the students they know would be willing to listen to them and help them if they had academic or personal problems due to language barrier. Equally, most respondents strongly agree that they are satisfied with the extent of their intellectual development at the university given the language barriers they experience. These observations prove the hypothesis that there is a direct positive correlation between the language barrier and educational level of students living abroad.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, April 22). Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results. Retrieved from https://chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, April 22). Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results. https://chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/

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"Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results." ChalkyPapers, 22 Apr. 2022, chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results'. 22 April.

References

ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results." April 22, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results." April 22, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/.


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ChalkyPapers. "Coping With Language Barriers: Descriptive Statistics & Preliminary Results." April 22, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/coping-with-language-barriers-descriptive-statistics-and-amp-preliminary-results/.