U.S. Classroom Culture: Difficult Situations as a TA

As a teaching assistant, you may find yourself in challenging situations that may be made more difficult if you have not familiar with cultural norms in US universities. In this workshop, we discuss common challenges you may have with your students, how to handle them, and how to potentially avoid them in the future.

When English is your second language

  • Be honest about your English, but never apologize for it.
  • Create an environment in which students feel comfortable asking you to repeat or rephrase what you have said when they don’t understand you.
  • Speak slowly

Difficult Situations as a TA. notes

English Pronunciation Strategies and Techniques

Even when you use a word correctly, your audience may not understand you if you mispronounce it.  This post will provide international students with strategies and techniques for improving their English pronunciation.

Pronunciation Strategies

When making and studying with Word Note Cards, follow these steps: Using Word Note Cards


Practice every day for 10-20 minutes, in a quiet environment.  Maximize your listening by listening to others’ speech for both content and pronunciation, and self-monitor by recording yourself speaking and listening to it immediately and again 24 hours later.

How to Improve Your Academic English

This workshop presents several techniques non-native speakers can utilize to maximize their success when speaking and writing in English. Participants learn how to identify and overcome the most common mistakes and problem areas encountered by international students.

Features of Academic English

?  Rich detail and description

?  Combine and link sentences:  paragraph length discourse

?  Narrate and describe using major time frames

?  Handle challenges presented by complications

?  Paraphrasing

?  Multiple examples

?  Consistent accuracy, clarity, and precision

?  Without misrepresentation or confusion

?  Can be understood by people unaccustomed to dealing with non-native speakers

?  Variety of communicative tasks

How to Improve Your Academic English Notes

Academic CVs for International Students

Crafting the perfect CV for a variety of academic job can be a challenge.  What information should you include? How should it be organized? How do you present yourself in the best possible light?  This post will cover writing an academic CV, with a particular eye to the expectations of the American academic job market.
For more advice, as well as sample CVs, see the Graduate Career Services website.
The Professor Is In also offers some excellent advice on crafting an academic CV.
If you are also considering careers outside of academia, you will need a résumé as well.  Your résumé should be a short document–no more than 2 pages!–that offers a snapshot of your skills and experiences.
The basic differences between a CV and a résumé:
The Graduate Career Services website offers more advice and some sample résumés.