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English Language Learners in U.S. College Classrooms

Supporting the academic success of English Language Learners in U.S. universities.

Understanding English Language Learners

This guide provides an overview of the knowledge and skills that English Language Learners bring with them into the college classroom and the issues that they face based on cultural or linguistic differences between their home culture and that of U.S. universities. The resources presented here should help readers to better understand the experiences of  international students and other English Language Learners at Otterbein and to develop ways of supporting their academic success. To get started, we recommend that you view the videos below, then review other guide contents as needed.

For more information about this topic or to request pedagogical or intstructional technology support, contact the Center for Teaching & Learning ( | 614-823-1035).

Writing Across Borders

Writing Across Borders was written and directed by Wayne Robertson and funded by the Oregon State University’s Center for Writing and Learning.  According to the film's Web site, this 3-year documentary project was created "to help faculty, writing assistants, and other professionals work more productively with international students in writing environments". 

The videos below feature the full documentary film split in three sections for easy viewing. They take a look at the experiences of international students and other English language learners from multiple perspectives and show the profound effects of culture and language on the academic performance of students for whom English is a second language.

For more information about this project, visit the Writing Across Borders Web site.



Special thanks to Jane Wu for sharing some of the resources featured in this LibGuide. For more information, see Jane's guide on Teaching and Serving International Students at Otterbein.