ERIC Number: ED047304
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-Feb-15
Interference in Language Learning; Some Comments on Designing a Course in English for Foreign Instructors.
Paulston, Christina Bratt; Schnapper, Melvin
The language problems described here concerned undergraduate college science courses taught by foreign Teaching Assistants, whose students claimed they could not understand their instructors' English. Upon investigation it was clear that a standard course in English was not sufficient to deal with the communication problems caused not only by linguistic difficulties but also by intercultural conflicts. A special course for TA's now emcompasses linguistic practice, intercultural communication workshops, and an introduction to American classroom methods. Many of the assignments are structured to necessitate some form of interaction, as it is felt that social interaction with Americans, even more than class work, effects the greatest progress in fluency. The program has evidenced increased understanding of intercultural interactions and changed classroom behavior on the part of the TA's. An improvement in English proficiency, however, has not been realized as the TA's "see no need and no reward for extensive work in English." Unless language learning is seen, the author points out, not as an end in itself, but as a means to achievement within integral parts of life and work, there will be no significant language learning. (A discussion of some of the materials and techniques used in the program is included.) (AMM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA.