Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

International teaching assistants at universities: A research agenda

  • Greta Gorsuch (a1)
Abstract

International teaching assistants (ITAs) are Indian, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, etc. international students who have been admitted to graduate study at universities in the U.S.A. and Canada, and are being supported as instructors of undergraduate-level classes and labs in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. For the past 30 years, the number of ITAs has been increasing, and many departments at universities have come to rely largely on ITAs to cover their undergraduate teaching needs. As high-intermediate and low-advanced second language learners who must use their second language for professional purposes, ITAs face linguistic, social, professional, and cultural challenges. This is a learner population that deserves more attention, as I hope to establish here with this presentation of six research tasks. I have organized proposed research projects in such a way as to increase readers’ familiarity with this little publicized field, and also to relate the projects to different contexts of inquiry. By ‘contexts’ I mean ‘who is asking what and for what reasons.’ The two contexts of inquiry are: (1) Established areas of ITA program concern, including acquisition of fluency, prosody, and vocabulary; and (2) Working with ‘outside’ theories, such as the Output Hypothesis, and deliberate practice theory.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      International teaching assistants at universities: A research agenda
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      International teaching assistants at universities: A research agenda
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      International teaching assistants at universities: A research agenda
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Anderson-Hsieh & K. Koehler (1988). The effect of foreign accent and speaking rate on native speaker comprehension. Language learning 38.5, 561613.

S. Chiang (2009). Dealing with communication problems in the instructional interactions between international teaching assistants and American college students. Language and Education 23.5, 461478.

R. Ellis (2012). Language teaching research and language pedagogy. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

E. Epperson & G. Yule (1991). Review of the book The international teaching assistant: An annotated bibliography. English for Specific Purposes 10.3, 253255.

K. A. Ericsson (2004). Deliberate practice and the acquisition and maintenance of expert performance and related domains. Academic Medicine 79 (10 Supplement), S70S81.

J. Field (2005). Intelligibility and the listener: The role of lexical stress. TESOL Quarterly 39.3, 399423.

B. Freed (1995). What makes us think that students who study abroad become fluent? In B. Freed (ed.). Second language acquisition in a study abroad context. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 123148.

S. Gass (2003). Input and interaction. In C. Doughty & M. Long (eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 224255.

G. J. Gorsuch (2005). Discipline-specific practica for international teaching assistants. English for Specific Purposes 25, 90108.

L. Hahn (2004). Primary stress and intelligibility: Research to motivate the teaching of suprasegmentals. TESOL Quarterly 38.2, 201223.

L. Hahn & W. Dickerson (1999). Speechcraft: A workbook for academic discourse. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

B. Hoekje & K. Linnell (1994). ‘Authenticity’ in language testing: Evaluating spoken language tests for international teaching assistants. TESOL Quarterly 28.1, 103126.

T. Isaacs (2008). Towards defining a valid assessment criterion of pronunciation proficiency in non-native English-speaking graduate students. The Canadian Modern Language Review 64.4, 555580.

O. Kang (2010). Relative salience of suprasegmental features on judgments of L2 comprehensibility and accentedness. System 38, 301315.

L. Ortega (2005). What do learners plan? In R. Ellis (ed.), Planning and task performance in a second language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 77109.

L. Pickering (2001). The role of tone choice in improving ITA communication in the classroom. TESOL Quarterly 35.2, 233255.

A. Shehadeh (2002). Comprehensible output, from occurrence to acquisition: An agenda for acquisitional research. Language Learning 52.3, 597647.

M. van de Wiel , P. Van den Bossche , S. Jannsen & H. Jossberger (2011). Exploring deliberate practice in medicine: How do physicians learn in the workplace? Advances in Health Science Education 16, 8195.

S. Vasiljevic (2010). Dictogloss as an interactive method of teaching listening comprehension. English Language Teaching 3.1, 4152. Available: ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/elt/article/download/5212/4329.

B. Zimmerman (2006). Development and adaptation of expertise: The role of self-regulatory processes and beliefs. In K. Ericsson , N. Charness , P. Feltovich & R. Hoffman (eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance. New York: Cambridge University Press, 705722.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language Teaching
  • ISSN: 0261-4448
  • EISSN: 1475-3049
  • URL: /core/journals/language-teaching
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 182 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 194 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.