Helping international postgraduate students to think: the role of reusable phrases in written assignments

Mary Davis

Internationalisation of the curriculum needs to address international students’ needs in terms of language, as many struggle to manipulate it at a phraseological level. Therefore, research into their ability to recognise, use and respond to teaching about standard re-usable phrases is important. Using the online resource, Academic Phrasebank (Morley, 2005), this study looks at these phrases in the context of a pre-Master’s academic writing module and in subsequent postgraduate writing. Interviews with postgraduate students demonstrate the importance with which they regard the phrases, particularly since they report using them as starting points, helping them to think and structure their writing.