ERIC Number: ED225373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Improving the Communication Skills of Foreign Teaching Assistants.
Cake, Cathy; Menasche, Lionel
A program was developed at the University of Pittsburgh to improve the English language proficiency of foreign teaching assistants (TA's) in order to alleviate communication problems between them and the undergraduates in their classes. Three aspects of the program are described: (1) interdepartmental procedures, (2) testing procedures, and (3) objectives of the special speaking class. First, the program is coordinated by the dean, and carried out by the English Language Institute. The final decisions are made by the department in which the TA is majoring. Secondly, the testing process is a structured oral interview in which the major criterion of assessment is pragmatic effectiveness. The interview is taped and rated by several persons including an undergraduate in a manner similar to the Foreign Service Institute oral interview. Finally, the special speaking course, offered once a year, has two objectives, namely, to improve comprehensibility and fluency as well as listening comprehension, and to provide the TA's with a cultural orientation to the American college classroom and the typical undergraduate. The program includes pronunciation work, a variety of speaking activities, and some instruction in effective classroom techniques. Appendices include the oral-English rating sheet and several speaking activities. (AMH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association for Foreign Student Affairs (34th, Seattle, WA, May 24-27, 1982).