Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify and evaluate faculty and academic staff perceptions, experiences and expectations with respect to a voluntary, bilingual peer assisted learning (PAL) program, which operates for the benefit of students studying in the Faculty of Business at a regional Australian University.
Design/methodology/approach - A survey instrument and semi-structured interviews were used to faculty executive and academic staff in order to collect information about the perceived benefits of the program and identify opportunities for improvement.
Findings - Based on an analysis of student results, the bilingual PAL program is shown to have a positive effect on performance of students participating in the program. Results from interviews with executive and academic staff indicate a high level of support for this type of student learning program.
Originality/value - Although the value of both bilingual teaching and PAL has been explored in the teaching and learning literature, few studies have examined the integration of these two approaches. This research contributes to the literature by exploring the practical contribution of integrating these approaches. This research also provides valuable information regarding executive and academic perceptions of PAL programs, which is infrequently addressed in the literature. Findings may be used to inform institutions of the value of bilingual PAL programs in relation to international student retention and learning support and provide a starting point for discussions around the practical implications of such programs.