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Two sides of the same story: staff and student perceptions of the non-native speakers experience of the British academic systemThis paper draws on a research and materials development project undertaken at the University of Leicester. The project’s aims were to identify problems encountered by non-native speaking students (NNS) and to offer academic departments a toolkit for overcoming these problems. The paper will discuss the student and staff experience of dealing with linguistic and cultural difficulties and suggest pedagogic and institutional strategies for improving in-sessional support. The paper will suggest that academics frequently have difficulty in diagnosing the nature of the problems that their NNS students have and that a greater focus on language is necessary. The paper will go on to argue that the high number of NNS studying at British universities creates an imperative for academic departments to mainstream the support that they offer for international students. As many of the recommendations for support for NNS are essentially ‘best practice’ teaching and learning they also are likely to have positive knock-on effects for other students.