Teachers and Curriculum


Academic support
informal learning
international students


Research on international students for whom English is an additional language (EAL) tend to focus on their lack of language proficiency and active participation in the classroom. However, examining their informal learning practices such as brokering provides an opportunity to understand how international EAL students respond to academic demands on their own terms. This article reports on first-year international university students’ informal help-seeking interactions with brokers, many of whom who were able to bridge both language and knowledge gaps. Language brokering, literacy brokering, and resource brokering are highlighted as different types of brokering which deal with different aspects of academic learning. Among the range of brokering practices, peer brokering stands out as an important form of academic support. Thus, educators and administrators alike should consider enhancing opportunities for international students to build social connections with potential brokers.


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