McMillan (2008) Changing identities: Intercultural dimensions in Scottish educational contexts


McMillan (2008) highlights the potential problem face by some bilingual ethnic minority learners upon commencing higher education. Challenges originate from learners’ level of English acquisition during their prior education. The author finds that for some students, the consequences of their past experience of English language learning impacts negatively on their ability to acquire academic literacies at university level. This, in turn, may explain a tendency to superficial approaches to learning. The study found that academic writing and reading comprehension was self identified by students as an area of weakness, while on the other hand, respondents were more able to express their knowledge and understanding orally. The study suggests that failure to fully meet and support these learners’ needs throughout their education may negatively impact their ability to fulfil their academic potential. The study therefore carries implications for both mainstream and university practice.

Bibliographic reference:

McMillan, K. (2008) Changing identities: Intercultural dimensions in Scottish educational contexts. Language and Intercultural Communication, Vol.8(2), pp.119-135.







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