Discuss tips for teaching international students and for international Tas

Highlight similarities between native and non-native learners within the classroom. Both are new to:

  • higher education or grad school.
  • language and concepts of the discipline (field, subject).
  • academic competencies and how to accomplish them.

Strategies to support listening and comprehension:

  • Provide many handouts.
  • Provide lecture notes in advance (WebCT, photocopies).
  • Take extra time to explain or clarify.
  • Encourage students to ask questions, or suggest a slower pace (in writing).
  • Write key terms/concepts on the board, demonstrate pronunciation.
  • Use visual aids (overheads, board-work, diagrams).

Strategies to support speaking:

  • Establish/negotiate ground rules on classroom climate and management.
  • Acknowledge differences.
  • Find balance in images and examples from different cultures.
  • Ask students to provide examples.
  • Give out vocabulary for the day/week’s material.
  • Provide more time to respond to questions.
  • Ask permission to paraphrase.
  • Be prepared to intervene if “culture clashes” happen.

Strategies to support writing:

  • Ask for early drafts and give feedback.
  • Peer review
  • Don’t correct everything.
  • Clarify goals and purpose of writing (e.g., must writing be grammatically perfect? What degree of precision and stylistic control is really necessary?).
  • Be efficient with your time (i.e., if linguistic problems are great, send the student to the writing centre in the Student Development Centre).
  • Focus feedback on one or two important strategies.

Strategies to support reading:

  • Break material into small chunks.
  • Ask students to prepare summaries or short responses.
  • Accompany readings with questions to help focus attention on important material.
  • Provide a glossary of important terms.