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CLASS PARTICIPATION

Joining in class discussions is very important in your learning process. You may need to answer the instructor's question, answer another student's question, ask your own question, give your opinion, comment on videos that are shown in class or on previous readings; you may even have to disagree with another student’s comments.

However, getting involved in these discussions may be a challenge for some international students as participating in class often feels strange or even disrespectful to the professor.

RAISING YOUR HAND IN CLASS

I Am Worried About My Accent

All students, even students whose first language is English, experience anxiety when speaking in front of a group of people. your confidence will grow the more you participate.

I Don’t Want To Give A Wrong Answer

Don’t be afraid of giving the wrong answer. Participating in class is not about giving the right answer, it is about your willingness to learn and share your knowledge.

What If My Opinion Upsets My Professor?

you may see things differently and your contribution will bring diversity to the discussion. You can disagree with the instructor, textbook, or another student, do so respectfully and be prepared to explain the reasons why.

I Am Not Sure I Understand

Ask questions is class. A question can be just as valuable as an opinion. Questions will often open up the class to further discussion. Other students may be thankful as they may have the same questions as you.  

I Am Too Nervous

Talk to the instructor about what specifically makes you nervous. the instructor will appreciate your concern and will probably help you become more comfortable participating in discussions.     

HOW TO GET STARTED 

Prepare

Do the required class reading. These readings most likely are the basis of the discussions for the next class.

As you are reviewing the chapter readings, try to find ideas or concepts that you have an opinion on. Share it with the class.

Prepare questions - make a note of concepts you do not fully understand and ask questions in class.

 

Start small

Simply agree or disagree with what the instructor, textbook or what someone else said and explain the reasons why.  

Link your comments to your personal experience

You may see things differently and your contribution will bring diversity to the discussion. Being the expert in your experience will give you the confidence to share it with the class!

 

Make friends with your fellow classmates

It is always easier to speak to friends than it is to strangers.  

Practice

Discuss course topics outside of the classroom. Start with one student and move onto a small group of students. Ask for their opinions or advice on the course.

Often instructors will break the class up into group discussion. 
Be an active participant while you have a smaller audience. Volunteer to be the group spokesperson when it is time to present answers to the class. You can feel confident in the answer knowing that the group worked on it together.