I work in a university and do my phd there. In our office is another phd student which seems to struggle a lot with essentially everything and I am wondering if there is anything I can do about it without doing everything for him.
The workers in our office are from various cultural backgrounds and have different first languages. We thus use English as main language. This is where the problem starts, his English is quite bad and it is not like he is much better in reading/understanding things. If it is programming, writing papers or figuring out conceptual flaws/challenges he makes no progress. By now he has fallen far behind in producing research results not to mention making publications.
At a first glance it looks like he doesn't care although I don't quite believe that anymore. His difficulties with programming are surprising though because he studied computer science. So, he does not have just one problem but rather several ones which are all more or less strongly coupled to his poor language ability. Another issue might be that he is coming from a different technical subject and was given the opportunity to do a phd in Europa as a support for this home country (3rd world country). He probably does not even care much about our technical subject and really only came for the "fancy" degree.
Conversations with him end quite quickly because he cannot follow you for long when things get abstract i.e. you hit the language barrier and end up all the time adapting to him in the sense of simplifying your language e.g. slowing doing and avoiding complicated words.
He has been with us for almost 18 month now and the mood in the office became quite awkward while he is around or you at least notice a huge difference when he is not around.
In the end I couldn't care less about him, but I though I ask the crowd bevor I give him up for good. Are there any thoughts or ideas how to do something for him? I think he is very unhappy with his situation, but no help provided seems to help.
Thanks for opinions on that.