Prior learning experiences and academic life in the USA in different voices: the case of Turkish international dual-diploma students

Ülker N.

RESEARCH IN POST-COMPULSORY EDUCATION, vol.25, no.2, pp.149-170, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13596748.2020.1742983
  • Page Numbers: pp.149-170


International students encounter challenges while transitioning into a new environment with unfamiliar academic and social expectations. The situation is especially complicated for international dual-diploma students, who complete certain parts of their undergraduate education in their home and host countries. Challenges faced in communication in academic and social contexts doubled by meeting the course requirements in the new academic environment creating pressure for international dual-diploma students. This paper explores how Turkish international dual-diploma students' academic experiences are influenced during their first semester of study in the USA by their previous language learning experiences back in their home country. It reports on findings from a qualitative study which employed a case study methodology to explore the influence of prior language learning experiences on academic life in the USA. Data was collected through in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 15 Turkish international dual-diploma students, three American professors, seven American English instructors and four American teaching assistants. Findings indicate that Turkish international dual-diploma students' language learning experiences in primary and secondary education as well as higher education in Turkey have a significant influence on their academic experiences in the USA. This influence is manifested in students' listening, speaking, academic writing and reading skills, respectively.