Faculty Evaluation and Coaching Department
415.618.3855 |

Tips for Working with International Students

1. Establish a community of trust and cooperation in the classroom.

  • Allow students to use their experiences.
  • Acknowledge student diversity & learning styles.
  • Learn and use students’ names.

2. Identify clear learning outcomes.


3. Encourage student interaction and active participation.

  • Use partner, small group, and whole class discussions.
  • Balance the amount of teacher talk versus student talk.

4. Let students know how they can succeed in your class.

  • Emphasize the importance of using support services available at the Academy of Art.

5. Provide support materials in writing.

  • Write key words, assignments and directions on the blackboard or on handouts to back up your oral explanations.

6. Check for comprehension using a variety of questioning techniques.

  • Wait 10–12 seconds before calling on students to respond.
  • Avoid asking, "Do you understand?" (The answer will always be "Yes.") Instead, ask students to do something that shows they understand.

7. Rephrase main points or difficult concepts.


8. Beware of cultural references or slang phrases.

  • Idioms, humor, and negative statements may be unfamiliar to the international student, and don’t translate well, if at all.

9. Assess the English skills of the students.

  • Find out what English classes students have taken or are taking.
  • Find out how they best express themselves in English and what their language strengths are: Writing? Reading? Listening? Speaking?
  • Allow them to use their strengths to succeed in your class.

10. Elicit feedback and provide appropriate evaluation.