ERIC Number: ED481001
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
New Paradigms, Old Practices: Disciplinary Tensions in TA Training.
Foreign language teaching assistant (TA) training is affected by structures and hierarchies at all institutional levels, but it is most immediately influenced by the discipline-specific practices of departments of national languages and literatures, practices that are rooted both in the broader history of TA education and in the tension between literary/cultural studies and the teaching of language. The ideological and disciplinary orientations that dominated the field during the time when teaching assistants became a standard form of financial aid had a great impact on assumptions about the purposes of language study and teacher training, the role of language teachers, including TAs, and the relationship between language study and other areas of inquiry housed within departments of national languages and literatures. To help graduate students achieve productive integration in their research with their teaching and to bring academic substance to the teaching of languages, it is essential to address the ways in which formal structures surrounding the field reflect and reproduce long-standing tensions in language teaching--tensions that can only undermine efforts to go beyond reductive "skills and drills" in efforts to build congruent, intellectually-grounded curricula and teacher education programs. (Contains 35 references.) (Author/VWL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Mentoring Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, Lecturers, and Adjunct Faculty. Issues in Language Program Direction: A Series in Annual Volumes; see FL 027 839.