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Presentation on theme: "ANDREA KEVECH, MA CONNIE RYLANCE, MA ENGLISH FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS LANGUAGE CENTER STANFORD UNIVERSITY FLTA Orientation Program 2012 Cross-Cultural Understanding."— Presentation transcript:


2 Agenda 1. Introductions 2. Identifying values and playing by the rules 3. Tips for Living with Americans 4. Political Humor 5. Problem Situations and Roleplays 6. Wrap up

3 Identifying Social Values FRIENDLINESS Where: In offices, restaurants, supermarkets… With whom: Students, colleagues, advisors, and passers-by How: Show friendliness on the fly.

4 Play by the Rules! Nonverbal Make direct eye contact. Smile! Wave to acquaintances on campus. Give a firm handshake when introduced.

5 Identifying Social Values Verbal Greet acquaintances and passers-by with “Hi” or “Hey.” Get used to using first names. Use colloquial greetings. Hey, how’s it goin’?/How you doin’? Hey, not bad/pretty good/great! What’s up? (sup) Not much/What’s up? ( sup )

6 Identifying Social Values Situation Anna has been trying to set up her computer and settle into her office before classes start. It hasn’t been easy. As she heads to yet another orientation meeting, Anna happens to run into her advisor/head instructor whom she has met with previously. What comments do you have about this interaction?

7 Identifying Social Values So, what’s behind the friendliness?

8 Identifying Social Values So, what’s behind the friendliness? Acknowledges the individual.

9 Identifying Social Values What does friendliness mean? Acknowledges the individual. Shows willingness to be open to friendship.

10 Identifying Social Values What does friendliness mean? Acknowledges the individual. Shows willingness to be open to friendship. Does not extend to a committed friendship.

11 Identifying Social Values Situation Following the department orientation for TAs, you find yourself sharing pizza and talking with two US graduate students—all of you have just met. Very quickly, the conversation has turned to the romantic relationships of the two Americans. What comments do you have about their interaction?

12 Identifying Social Values Directness Americans tend to be direct, straightforward. “Don’t beat around the bush.” “Get to the point!” BUT…

13 Identifying Social Values EMAIL from TA to Supervising Instructor Hi Susan, I’ve learned so much from our meetings! Your comments are always very precious to me. Now I’m preparing my grad school application, and your comments will be very helpful. Attached please find my statement of purpose. The deadline is in two days, so I must get your corrections/comments by tomorrow night. By the way, I hope you can write a letter of recommendation for me as well. Thanks! Aly

14 Identifying Social Values Play by the Rules! Identify the appropriate person to handle your requests.  I need XXX. Who would be the best person to ask? Keep the other person’s workload in mind.  I realize that you may not have time, but could you…? Consider the timing of your request.

15 Identifying Social Values Ask, don’t demand—avoid imperatives. Please edit this for me  Would you be able to give me some comments on this? Use modals. Please edit this for me  Could you, would you be able to …? Give a way out. I need it by tomorrow  I know you’re busy, so I understand if you don’t have time.

16 Identifying Social Values Revised Email Hi Susan, I’ve been working on grad school applications--this is a very different process in my country, so I hope I’m on the right track. If you have time for a quick look in the next two days, I’d love to get your feedback on my one-page statement of purpose. Of course I understand if the timing is bad for you, but if you have time for a look, it’s attached. I also need to think about my recommendation letters, though they aren’t due for a couple of weeks. Would you be willing to write one for me? I’d be very appreciative! Many thanks, Aly

17 Tips for Living with Americans Excerpted from “Twelve Rules for Living with Americans” 1. Shower every day, whether you need it or not. Use soap, deodorant, and your own towel. Wear clean clothes everyday. Less is more when it comes to scented products.

18 Tips for Living with Americans Supermarket Display

19 Tips for Living with Americans 2. Don’t assume ANYTHING about a North American. They are proud to claim diverse ethnicity and value individuality. 3. Politics are not “off limits.” Americans love to “diss” the government. The President in particular, is “fair game.” You probably shouldn’t join in in the dissing, but you can laugh along.

20 Identifying More Values Your turn! 1. Come up with one or two values you believe are characteristic of North Americans that could impact your life in the classroom or on campus. 2. Extrapolate the rule for social appropriateness.

21 Political Humor

22 Political Humor

23 Political Humor

24 Political Humor

25 Political Humor George W. Bush and Condi RiceGeorge W. Bush and Condi Rice Conversation

26 Problem Situations 1. Read the situations and decide on your response. 2. Compare your answers with those of your partner. Reconsider your answer if necessary. 3. Be ready to share how you would enact your choice for each situation. In other words, you and your partner will be asked to ROLEPLAY the situation using your answer.

27 SITUATION 1 You misplaced your computer cable for projecting from your laptop. Your office mate readily lent you his. The next week you realize you must have a cable for your class, but you still haven’t found yours. His cable is lying right on top of his desk. What do you do? a. Take his cable. He didn’t mind before, so it should be fine. b. Risk being a little late to your class so that you can go to the department office to see if they have one to spare. c. Your supervisor has said, “Don’t hesitate to ask me for help on anything.” Text your supervisor asking what you should do. d. Other

28 SITUATION 2 At midterm, you meet with the FLTA supervisor to get feedback. You’re looking forward to this meeting because you feel that you have been thorough in your teaching and diligent in keeping up with the very full curriculum, though sometimes at the expense of having to miss a few office hours and some teacher meetings. Much to your surprise, the supervisor says, “We’re going to put you on probation because you’re not fulfilling the terms of your contract. You’re missing office hours, coming to our meetings unprepared, and not submitting required reports on time. a. Clearly there has been a misunderstanding. Defend and justify your hard- working performance. b. Apologize and say you’ll try to do better for the rest of the year. c. Accept the criticism as stated. Open a discussion to clarify expectations and criteria for future performance evaluations. d. Other

29 SITUATION 3 During a departmental social gathering, you hit it off with a colleague with whom you seem to have a lot it common. Before leaving, your new colleague says, “We should get together for coffee or lunch. How about I email you sometime next week?” Two weeks pass without a message. On your way back from class, you see this colleague who gives a friendly wave and smile. a. Pretend you didn’t notice. b. Return the wave and keep walking. c. Approach your colleague and politely ask when the coffee or lunch will take place. d. Approach your colleague and say that you’d like to get together for coffee or lunch and set a time. e. Other

30 SITUATION 4 You share an office with several colleagues; all of you have posted office hours to avoid crowding. However, one of your fellow instructors enjoys drop-in office hours, which the students regularly use, in addition to the posted hours. The extra office traffic and conversation is becoming increasingly distracting and disturbing. Your other officemates don’t seem to be bothered. a. Be indirect: re-post a larger office hour schedule and hope it does the trick. b. Talk about the problem to your other colleagues and try to get them on your side. c. Talk with your colleague privately and explain that you can’t get your work done. d. Other

31 SITUATION 5 One of your students has come to your office to ask for a re-grading of a quiz. According to her, she deserves 4 additional points, which would move her from a C+ to a B. You have the authority to change the grade, but you’re not convinced that her work deserves the four points. The student becomes very insistent, explaining that her midterm GPA is under scrutiny and her financial aid could be in jeopardy. She has to discuss grades with her advisor the next day. a. Four points is not a big deal; it’s only a quiz. Give in and get her out of your office. b. Outright refuse to re-grade the test because you would need to re-grade everyone’s to be fair. After all, it’s only four points and only a quiz. c. Listen sympathetically but do not deviate from the policy as stated on the class syllabus. d. Listen sympathetically. Inform the student you will talk with the head instructor and will email the final decision within 48 hours.

32 Situation 6 One of your students has been a hard worker all term and does well on vocabulary, grammar and writing. Despite your efforts, she has been unable to improve her nearly unintelligible pronunciation. Even her classmates cringe when she speaks. The final exam includes an oral interview in which pronunciation is scored along with fluency. You know this will lower her grade. When you ask how she’s been preparing for the final, she confidently says, “Oh, I think the interview will be easy.” How do you respond? a. “I’m glad you feel ready. Remember to speak slowly and do your best.” b. “I’m glad you feel ready. But I must remind you that your pronunciation has been as issue throughout the term. So you should know that it will be hard to get an A on the final. For example, you’ve never mastered the … or the … and you completely miss the ….” c. Other

33 SITUATION 7 You and your roommates get along well and until recently ran the household smoothly. Now it’s midterms with a much busier schedule for everyone. You realize that much of the cleaning, cooking and shopping has fallen on you. You didn’t mind at first, but are now feeling exploited and finding it hard to work in disorganization. You’ve tried hinting that you’d like some help and that you are also very busy, but have been met with comments like, “Oh, but you’re so good at this stuff, and I’m not,” or “A little mess never hurt anyone; we’ll get around to cleaning up eventually.” What do you do? a. Complain bitterly to your other friends and suffer in silence with your roommates. Spend as much time as possible out of your apartment. b. Announce that you refuse to be the maid any longer and that you are requesting a new housing assignment. c. Get everyone together to discuss the issue. d. Post a work schedule on which you have assigned everyone equal responsibilities. Use it as a tracking device. e. Other

34 SITUATION 8 In the middle of a grammatical explanation, a student questions one of your examples. The question is a complex one that you hadn’t anticipated and you have no ready answer. You also feel that the student is challenging you. What do you do? a. Refer student to office hours and move on. b. Insist on the validity of your example. You don’t want to spend more time on this anyway. c. Acknowledge that the student’s point is well taken. Say that you will think about the best answer for the next class. d. Ask other students how they would respond to the question. e. Other

35 Situation 9 It’s the first day of your class. You’ve arrived early and are watching your students file in. You are unpleasantly surprised at their appearance and behavior. Despite the NO FOOD OR DRINKS sign, many students are entering with coffee and snacks. Some of the women seem barely dressed, and one young man has his feet on the chair in front of him. What do you do? a. Begin the class by setting out your expectations of classroom behavior. b. Set your feelings aside and proceed with class. c. Talk to some of the worst offenders after class. d. Other

36 Wrap-Up Keep an open mind. Ask questions—”No such thing as a stupid question!” Share your own values with your students and colleagues.

37 Wrap-Up And most importantly, … Keep a sense of humor! Be ready to laugh at yourself.

38 Keep Laughing!


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