ERIC Number: ED351730
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
A Descriptive Study of Communication and Teaching Strategies Used by Two Types of International Teaching Assistants at the University of Minnesota, and Their Cultural Perceptions of Teaching and Teachers.
A two-part study examined the use of communication strategies by two types of international teaching assistants (ITA) in the classroom, and cultural perceptions of teaching and teachers. Two representative kinds of ITAs were hypothesized to exist: (1) a type "X" ITA who has tight control of discussion in class, calls on students instead of asking them to volunteer, and likes to lecture; and (2) a type "Y" ITA who encourages students to ask questions in class, stimulates students to talk, and waits for students to volunteer to answer questions. Two type "X" and three type "Y" ITAs were chosen based on recommendations of instructors in the TA English program. The ITAs' classes were audiotaped and transcribed. Results indicated that although there was not much difference in the teaching strategies used by the two types of ITAs, type "Y" ITAs asked more comprehension questions and used elaboration more frequently than type "X" ITAs. In the second part of the study, a semantic differential questionnaire designed to evaluate cultural perceptions of teachers was administered to 18 ITAs and 19 undergraduate students. Results indicated that ITAs and undergraduates think reliability and encouragement are the two most important concepts in defining a good teacher. Findings suggest that the ITA English Program at the University of Minnesota has noticeably influenced what ITAs think of how they should teach in an American university. (Three tables of data are included; ITA and undergraduate questionnaires are attached. (Contains 12 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Strategies; University of Minnesota
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on the Training and Employment of Teaching Assistants (2nd, Seattle, WA, November 15-18, 1989).