ERIC Number: ED194925
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
The Foreign Teaching Assistant in the American University: A Course in Communication Skills.
Franck, Marion R.; DeSousa, Michael A.
A course was developed to provide foreign student teaching assistants (TAs) with improved classroom presentational skills. Class size was kept small and classes were offered once each week for two hours to give students sufficient opportunities to practice speaking. Relying heavily on student oral presentations, the teachers assigned progressively more complex tasks that increasingly emphasized the use of audiovisual aids. The foreign students received feedback on their performance through written reactions from the instructors, oral and written evaluations from classmates, conferences with instructors about videotapes of student presentations, and self-evaluations. Student evaluations of the course gave the highest ratings to the enthusiasm and preparedness of the instructors, and the use of video feedback. The only frequently cited problems were lack of time and occasional misunderstandings between students and instructors. When evaluating their improvements, the TAs cited diminished nervousness and better organization most often, followed by using fewer notes, more audience contact, increased vocal control, and more fluent English. Of 21 students evaluated, the instructors' subjective estimates indicated dramatic improvement in 3 students, improvement in 15, and little or no improvement in 3. (An appendix contains an expanded course description, a course syllabus, the evaluation form used for oral presentations, and sample assignments.) (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).