High School
Cross-Curricular

Exchange Students in Your Classroom

It's so exciting to have the first exchange student in your classroom. Not only do your students get to learn about world cultures, you get to see how children around the world learn as well. Here are some fantastic resources so you can offer the exchange student a most welcome and accommodating experience!
A Collection By Sian Babish
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Exchange Students in Your Classroom
  • Sian Babish says:
    If you're nervous about having an exchange student in your class, read these 7 ways you are going to become a better teacher from the experience. It's a reassuring and inspiring read for sure. It might inspire your students to travel abroad themselves, or you may motivated to teach abroad one day!
  • Sian Babish says:
    University of Toronto has a fantastic guide for educators new to grading papers written by ELL and ESL students. It offers ways to distinguish major versus minor mistakes, and the best ways to explain them to students. It also has a subsection to address cultural differences that may affect the language of a student's paper.
  • Sian Babish says:
    You'll meet two sets of high school students in Nevada: exchange students from Europe, and current students preparing to study abroad. The exchange students talk cultural differences, positive experiences, and the excitement to bring back what they learned to their home countries. The American students take the lead from their international peers, it seems!
  • Sian Babish says:
    A.C.E. Language Institute details everything teachers need to know about working through language barriers and linguistic issues with international students. It also addresses different cultural perspectives on a range of subjects, from plagiarism to disagreeing with a professor. It's a great resource that offers very specific advice and guidance on common issues.
  • Sian Babish says:
    The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (Ann Arbor, Michigan) offers these resources for adapting pedagogies to students with different foreknowledge. Since international students have a different background in some subjects, not every pedagogy will be successful in class. These readings will help to clarify the best ways for students and teachers to learn from one another.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Alis Reid is a British exchange student spending time at an American school. In her short YouTube video, she gives a funny account on her expectations of America. Sometime it's accurate, but sometimes it's not!
  • Sian Babish says:
    The 3rd page of this information pamphlet offers 10 ways teachers can have the most success when teaching international students. The tips focus on making expectations clear from the teacher's end while still respecting the student's needs and support in the classroom.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Some teachers actually host exchange students themselves. Not only does it give both the student and teacher a chance to really develop second language proficiency, it is a fantastic full-immersion experience for the teacher. The Council on International Educational Exchange has a series of question you should ask yourself if you're considering hosting.
  • Sian Babish says:
    Diane Holtam discusses how she works with other educators to avoid cultural stereotypes of Asian-American students' abilities. In a video, Holtam also discusses how to bridge language gaps with international students. This page is jam-packed with cultural sensitivity resources, including recommended reading, professional development activities, and links to other webinars.
  • greatschools.org
    greatschools.org

    How Cultural Differences May Affect Student Performance | GreatKids

    5 minute read
    Sian Babish says:
    This 2016 article written by the staff at GreatSchool.com makes the important point that some student rely on the connection between verbal and non-verbal cues for effective understanding. It points out how commonplace practices by American students would seem strange to international students. On the other hand, the article points out that cultural norms in the classroom differ for everyone, and being sensitive to that an educator is a tremendously important quality.
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BloomBoard Asks:How can our class make the most of our experience with an exchange student?