International teaching assistants (ITAs) in multiple roles: The impact of an ITA development program on ITAs' effective learning and teaching performance in the American college class

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/279939
Title:
International teaching assistants (ITAs) in multiple roles: The impact of an ITA development program on ITAs' effective learning and teaching performance in the American college class
Author:
Coimbra, Marcia H.
Issue Date:
2002
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Increasing interest in the quality of undergraduate education has led many U.S. institutions of Higher Education to focus their attention on the qualifications and careful preparation of Teaching Assistants (TAs) in general (Thornburg et al, 2000) and International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) in particular (Tang & Sandell, 2000), especially since the number of nonresident aliens in the graduate population has been rising steadily (Pae, 2001). This dissertation reports the findings of a study which investigated the proposition that when international graduate students are appointed International Teaching Assistants (ITAs), they need specific kinds of mentoring and support that differ from that of their counterparts, American Teaching Assistants (ATAs) because the issues applicable to ITAs encompass more than developing appropriate and efficient teaching behaviors. ITAs must also attend to their competencies regarding the English language, the American culture, and pedagogy, since their ability to communicate their knowledge as both graduate students and teaching assistants is sometimes limited by their competencies in the L2 language, culture, and pedagogy. This multi-case study evaluates the impact of an ITA Program on twenty-three ITAs as graduate students and teaching assistants, and offers an emic perspective on the teaching behaviors and communication skill changes ITAs experienced after participating in the optional semester-long ITA Development Program at the University of Arizona. This research study also provides an emic perspective on how ITAs see themselves in the different roles they perform, and it explores the ITAs' definitions and perceptions of teacher "effectiveness" together with those of their undergraduate students. The results of the analyses of data obtained via quantitative and qualitative methods indicate that the participants received positive benefits from the ITA Development Program and significantly improved their language, cultural and teaching competencies in L2. In addition, the findings show that upon completion of the program, ITAs felt more confident and better prepared to fulfill their multiple roles due to the customized support they received, which provided them with reassurance and encouragement throughout the mentoring process.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Education, Language and Literature.; Education, Teacher Training.; Education, Higher.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Wildner-Bassett, Mary

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleInternational teaching assistants (ITAs) in multiple roles: The impact of an ITA development program on ITAs' effective learning and teaching performance in the American college classen_US
dc.creatorCoimbra, Marcia H.en_US
dc.contributor.authorCoimbra, Marcia H.en_US
dc.date.issued2002en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIncreasing interest in the quality of undergraduate education has led many U.S. institutions of Higher Education to focus their attention on the qualifications and careful preparation of Teaching Assistants (TAs) in general (Thornburg et al, 2000) and International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) in particular (Tang & Sandell, 2000), especially since the number of nonresident aliens in the graduate population has been rising steadily (Pae, 2001). This dissertation reports the findings of a study which investigated the proposition that when international graduate students are appointed International Teaching Assistants (ITAs), they need specific kinds of mentoring and support that differ from that of their counterparts, American Teaching Assistants (ATAs) because the issues applicable to ITAs encompass more than developing appropriate and efficient teaching behaviors. ITAs must also attend to their competencies regarding the English language, the American culture, and pedagogy, since their ability to communicate their knowledge as both graduate students and teaching assistants is sometimes limited by their competencies in the L2 language, culture, and pedagogy. This multi-case study evaluates the impact of an ITA Program on twenty-three ITAs as graduate students and teaching assistants, and offers an emic perspective on the teaching behaviors and communication skill changes ITAs experienced after participating in the optional semester-long ITA Development Program at the University of Arizona. This research study also provides an emic perspective on how ITAs see themselves in the different roles they perform, and it explores the ITAs' definitions and perceptions of teacher "effectiveness" together with those of their undergraduate students. The results of the analyses of data obtained via quantitative and qualitative methods indicate that the participants received positive benefits from the ITA Development Program and significantly improved their language, cultural and teaching competencies in L2. In addition, the findings show that upon completion of the program, ITAs felt more confident and better prepared to fulfill their multiple roles due to the customized support they received, which provided them with reassurance and encouragement throughout the mentoring process.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Language and Literature.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Teacher Training.en_US
dc.subjectEducation, Higher.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition and Teachingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWildner-Bassett, Maryen_US
dc.identifier.proquest3050293en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b4272367xen_US
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