Evaluation of an Integrated Bridging Course on Academic Writing for Overseas Postgraduate Students

Uschi Felix, Michael Lawson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    This study. supported by the Flinders University Research Budget. evaluated the effects of an integrated four-week bridging course for postgraduate overseas students. It was funded by the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau and focused on the students’ academic writing skills in terms of English grammar, expression and spelling as well as on structure, argument and critical analysis. Quantitative data was gathered from the training group and two control groups, one made up of overseas peers, the other of local postgraduate students. Further qualitative data were gathered from the training group through Journal entries and regular discussions. Results showed a significant improvement in expression and structure in the training group's writing from pre- to post-training, with a significantly higher mark awarded by independent raters to post-training writing. While significant differences between the two overseas groups and the local control group had been recorded on most variables before training, some of these were reduced between the training group and the local group after training. Although results were positive overall, students continued to produce high rates of errors in grammar and to display weaknesses in developing an argument. Journal entries suggested that students began their studies in a state of gross over-confidence and moved through doubt and concern before reaching a more accurate estimate of their abilities at the end of the bridging course.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-69
    Number of pages11
    JournalHigher Education Research & Development
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994


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