English for International TAs
The Center for Language Education at JHU offers a program intended specifically to help Hopkins international teaching assistants (ITAs) improve their English skills.
English for ITAs Faculty
Summer 2016 ESL-ITA Workshop
Accent Reduction and Communication Strategies in American Academia
MTWThF 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
We encourage departments in KSAS to send their incoming international graduate students and first-year ITAs to this summer intensive, three-week workshop before they serve as a TA. Departments, through stipends or other means of support, will enable students to pay for living expenses during the month of August. Students must plan to arrive on or before August 2.
Fall/Spring ESL-ITA Program
This program is split into two separate courses during the fall and spring terms for those students who cannot enroll during the summer or wish to continue improving their English skills. Graduate students and postdocs from Johns Hopkins schools of engineering and medicine may enroll in the fall/spring semester courses.
AS.370.602 Accent Reduction
This intensive course is intended for international teaching assistants (TAs) who are not native speakers of English. It focuses on improving students’ perception and pronunciation of American English through learning articulation, phonetics, and phonology. Students learn the basics of anatomy of speech production in order to understand how difficult sounds and sound contrasts are made. Students also learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to help them distinguish sound contrasts that are difficult depending on the individual students’ native languages. Moving beyond individual sounds, students learn how sounds change depending on what word or phrase they appear in and when they appear in fast or colloquial speech. Finally, students learn and practice intonation appropriate for various types of statements and questions. Can be followed by a semester-long version of the course offered in the fall and/or spring.
AS.370.603 Communication Strategies in American Academia
This intensive course is intended for international teaching assistants (TAs) who are not well acquainted with the culture of American universities. It focuses on improving students’ understanding of the culture and communication norms in American academia. Students learn the basics of conversation and email etiquette in America, as well as the norms of interacting with college students they teach, professors, and colleagues in situations such as classes, office hours, lab meetings, and scientific meetings. Students practice designing and presenting lectures, supporting materials, tests, and assignments for classes they TA, as well as scholarly presentations of their research to the scientific community. Can be followed by a semester-long version of the course offered in the fall and/or spring.
AS.370.604 Academic Writing
Students will read and analyze the content, structure, and style of a wide range of academic and professional writing in order to improve their own essays, articles, reports, theses, critiques, and proposals using those features. They will learn to explain, support, compare and argue their ideas effectively through attention to organization, vocabulary, and style. Grammar will be infused into the course as it applies to revision and editing of written work and consistency within various types of writing. Students will use a variety of strategies to improve skills in idea development, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, grammar and mechanics. Writing tasks will be integrated with content, vocabulary, and grammar from various texts.
AS.370.606 Public Speaking and Presentations
This course aims to enable English language learning students to succeed in professional and social discussions and conversations by honing their public speaking skills. This course will focus on strategies for creating, delivering and observing a variety of presentations. Exercises and drills will target specific grammar trouble spots and explicit pronunciation errors. Material will augmented so as to empower students in formal and social speaking situations. Students will be asked to deliver seven short 3-5 minute presentations and one longer 5-8 minute presentation. Extensive practice and feedback from the instructor and classmates will encourage students’ confidence in their public speaking skills. At the end of this course, it is expected that students will be able to deliver cogent and engaging presentations as well be able to provide insightful and educated feedback on others’ presentations.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Academic Writing and Public Speaking and Presentations are also open to applicants who are not JHU students. If you cannot enroll through SIS and wish to apply for either course, you must apply through the ESL website. The tuition per course is $895, with the possibility of tuition remission if eligible.