Components of Certificate for International Graduate Students

1) Intercultural Communication

Communication in the Canadian Classroom (CCC) (12 hours)
Effective communication is an essential element of good teaching and learning, good research, and success in a university environment. In this 12-hour seminar series, you will learn to communicate with greater confidence in the Canadian academic environment.

2) TA Training/Microteaching Component

Choose ONE of the following:

Teaching in the Canadian Classroom (16 hours)
Effective teaching is an essential element of being an international teaching assistant and the cornerstone of presentations for all graduate students. In this 16-hour seminar series, you will learn to teach and present with greater confidence in the Canadian classroom.


Advanced Teaching Program (ATP) (24 hours)
ATP is a unique, 20 hour course designed for advanced graduate students who would like to develop the practical skills necessary to teach their own courses. Taught over 6 half-day sessions, the workshop touches on a number of topics including teaching for maximum impact, developing a culture of respect in your classroom and authentically assessing student learning.


The Language of Teaching in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) (20 hours)
Designed for graduate students who lead tutorials and labs in the sciences, this workshop provides TAs with an opportunity to practice describing assignments, defining concepts, explaining lab activities, answering student questions and describing their approach to teaching clearly and concisely.

3) Academic Communication

Complete 10 hours from the following workshops:

Language of Conference Presentations (8 hours)
Presenting at conferences is an essential component of preparing for a career in academe or industry. Join us for four sessions to learn and practice ways to organize your talk, respond to questions, and emphasize the key contributions of your research.


Language of Research Presentations (10 hours)
Communicating your research and its implications to others is a crucial part of learning to be an independent scholar. Join us for four sessions to learn and practice ways to describe your methods, your results, and the implications of your work.


Academic & Professional Communication Series (2 hours each)

4) Professional Communication

Complete 18 hours from the following:

Language of Advanced Discussions (20 hours)
Much of the discussion that takes place in classrooms, meetings with supervisors, and social discussions involves being able to justify why you think what you think. Articulating your opinion successfully requires a familiarity with patterns of reasoning and persuasion in English. In this class, you will learn the language for debating, managing a discussion, and articulating your opinion.


Language of Difficult Conversations (12 hours)
The interpersonal and linguistic skills required to engage in difficult discussions are crucial to success in your academic, professional, and personal lives. Resolving difficulty involves being able to articulate your position appropriately to achieve positive outcomes and enhance relationships. You will learn about the cultural and linguistic components of these skills in this workshop.


Language of Academic Job Interviews (6 hours)
Central to success in job interviews is the ability to sell yourself – to engage in the fine art of self-promotion. Being able to promote yourself involves highlighting your accomplishments, articulating your strengths, and convincing your interviewer that you are the person for the job. All of this requires very specific language which you will learn in this workshop.

5) Written Reflection

The purpose of this Written Project is to reflect on your experiences in Canada through an intercultural lens. To complete this portion of the Certificate, please submit a 500 word reflection on how you have applied the skills you gained through the completion of our workshop series. Think about how the workshops helped you in your academic interactions such as teaching, scholarly presentations, or collaboration with colleagues and peers in the university setting. Use the questions below to guide your reflection. Remember to use the DIA model (Describe, Interpret, Analyze) when discussing your experiences.

Respond to two of the following questions:

  1. How have you used your knowledge of the cultural differences in communication styles to foster and maintain positive relationships with peers, supervisors, or students?
  2. How has your communication style and approach to teaching and learning changed as a result of learning and living in a diverse environment with students from around the world?
  3. How did your knowledge of Canadian teaching culture help you develop your skills as a teacher? (Think about the following scenarios: lecture, lab, or tutorial preparation; interactions with students during office hours; grading and giving/receiving feedback to students.)
  4. What strategies have you used to develop increased confidence during public speaking and to help you communicate your research effectively at conferences?
  5. How did you use your knowledge of cross-cultural communication styles to resolve difficult situations with peers, supervisors, or students?