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ERIC Number: EJ975114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1072-4303
International Teaching Assistants' Experiences in Educational Cultures and Their Teaching Beliefs
Gorsuch, Greta
TESL-EJ, v16 n1 Jun 2012
In the early heyday of ITA education, English as a second language (ESL) educators played a key role in defining three basic learning needs for ITAs: Language, teaching, and culture. Of this model, culture is the most broadly defined and least developed component. It was predicted by some, apparently on the basis of nationality, that ITAs would have trouble interacting with U.S. undergraduates because of different ideas about teacher and student roles, and unfamiliarity with "interactive" teaching styles. The current study revisited an earlier study by the author on the intersections between educational cultures of ITAs, with the purpose of further investigating salient aspects of individual ITAs' educational experiences (teaching experience, etc.), and how these experiences mediated ITAs' teaching beliefs at the outset of their teaching careers at the university where the study took place. The current study went further by conceptualizing ITA "nationality" as a context for possible educational experiences, and by exploring this variable with a larger sample size (N = 202) in which questionnaire responses of ITAs who had earned their bachelor's degrees in China, India, Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey, or the U.S.A. (international students earning their degrees in the U.S.A.) could be considered. Results suggested that these differences might be partly explained by whether ITAs had opportunities, either in the L1s or L2s, to develop procedural knowledge with teaching. This research supports proposes a central role for development of language and procedural knowledge for ITA adaptation to their professional roles in U.S. higher education. (Contains 3 tables.)
TESL-EJ. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; India; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Turkey; United States