What is it about?

This paper interviewed 14 students who studied introductory accounting in English as an additional language. The listening, reading, speaking and writing experiences of students who were academically successful versus those who were not, were compared. The findings indicate that students exposure to meaningful opportunities to interact verbally (listen and speak) in both formal and informal situations may have contributed to their academic success. Students who were academically successful were also more likely to interact deeply with their study material while reading.

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Why is it important?

It is anticipated that the results will contribute towards building a bridge between accounting education and Second Language Acquisition Research and provide a more informed linguistic foundation for incorporating language skills into the accounting curriculum.

Perspectives

As an accounting lecturer who has spent more than 20 years teaching and mentoring students who speak an African first-language, I believe that the main challenge these students face is having to deal with the social and cultural practices of communicating in English on a sustained basis, as well as coping with the language of accounting. My perception is that in the context of accounting education, language learning is mainly viewed as a neutral instrument of communication that students with EAL are expected to master through remedial academic literacy courses. I believe that because language is a socially embedded practice in the discipline of accounting, a social-contextual view of learning should be integrated with individual learning perspectives.

Sonnette Smith
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

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This page is a summary of: Student experiences studying accounting in English as an additional language, Meditari Accountancy Research, December 2020, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/medar-09-2019-0557.
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