Communicating Clearly

Instructors can make language, presentation, and organizational choices that facilitate good communication with all students both in and out of class, but it is especially important to consider effective communication with non-native speaking students. For most students, the more ways information can be presented, the more likely it is to be learned. However, if the information isn't clearly communicated, students can misunderstand what they're expected to do and learn. Universal design (the idea that any lecture, task, assignment, or presentation of material should be understandable and useable by all students), also works well for multilingual students. By keeping some key ideas in mind, instructors can ensure that both verbal and written communication is as clear and direct as possible so that students have the best chance of understanding material and requirements to succeed academically.

This section discusses techniques that can be used when speaking, writing, and designing assignments or assessments that help communicate information to non-native speaking students.