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Communication Skills for the U.S Classroom September 19, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Communication Skills for the U.S Classroom September 19, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communication Skills for the U.S Classroom September 19, 2013

2 Overview Learning outcomes Expressing concerns about being a GTA Classroom scenarios Discussion and activities Questions Resources on-campus/learning tools

3 Learning Outcomes 1.Identify ways in which you communicate and how these may impact teaching in the US classroom 2.Define appropriate communication with students in the classroom 3.Discuss creative solutions to common communication problems

4 Your concerns about teaching at OSU On a sheet of paper write down Your biggest concerns about communicating in the classroom.

5 Discussion: Teaching Concerns

6 Be alert, but throw your concerns away!

7 Reflection Questions What kind of communication styles exist between teachers and students in your culture? How do you think your students will perceive your communication style?

8 Scenarios for Discussion 1.Students frequently ask you to repeat yourself. 2.Students want to “friend” you on Facebook and want to interact socially outside of class. 3.Students back away from you during one-on-one interaction. 4.Students don't seem to be following your lecture and you notice multiple students looking confused. 5.Students are being disruptive in your classroom, constantly criticizing your teaching methods and talking back during class.

9 Scenario #1 Students frequently ask you to repeat yourself Causes: voice = quiet body language =back towards the students moving too fast through the content Solutions: speak slowly and loud make eye contact write important terms ask for feedback, “Does that make sense?” provide context elicit responses from the students move around the room while speaking

10 Lesson #1- Teaching Styles If you are asked to repeat yourself, ask the class, “Am I speaking too fast or too quiet?” Get more specific information: "Does this make sense?” Make eye contact.

11 Scenario #2 Students want to “friend” you on Facebook and want to interact socially outside of class. Causes: boundaries unclear in U.S culture GTAs more equal to students than professors Solutions: establish your expectations EARLY ON maintain clear, professional boundaries inform the class instructor be always professional, but also not as hierarchical "I do not accept students as friends on FB”

12 Lesson #2- Set Your Boundaries Establish your boundaries early. Decide what works best for you and learn from other GTAs about how they maintain their boundaries. Be consistent. Change your Facebook Privacy settings so that only friends can view your profile.

13 Scenario #3 Students back away from you during one-on-one interaction. Causes: personal space student feels intimidated student doesn’t know the answer Solutions: evaluate the situation related to content of the class appropriate distance consult with peers and/or ask another instructor to observe the discussion

14 Lesson #3 Types of Communication

15 Scenario #4 Students don't seem to be following your lecture slides. During your lecture, you notice multiple students looking confused. Causes: students not engaged slides not connected to lecture difficult content difficult different learning preferences from students Solutions: Ask questions during lecture to assess understanding. Be flexible with your teaching methods. Use examples from real life.

16 Lesson #4 Reflecting on Your Teaching Sessions Reflection Lake at Mt. Rainier from Reflection after every class = critical!!! Unique to each individual, but some techniques…

17 Scenario #5 Students are being rude in your classroom by constantly criticizing your teaching Causes: unclear expectations and consequences of inappropriate classroom behaviors not used to the high level of communication in U.S classrooms (students) underlying emotional or psychological issues Solutions: address the situation immediately and redirect attention; ask students to meet with you after class and inquire about the behavior; clarify expectations via the syllabus; direct student towards resources on campus, if appropriate.

18 Lesson #5 – Set Your Classroom Expectations 1.Define what you expect (behaviorally and academically) from your students early and often throughout the term. 2.Demonstrate confidence: clearly establish your professional boundaries. 3.Document these expectations: A syllabus is a contract between the student and the instructor and can be used as reference throughout the term.

19 Reflection Questions What do you expect from your professors as a student in the classroom? What do you expect (behaviorally and academically) from your students? How could you initially communicate these expectations and remind students of them throughout the term?

20 Resources on-Campus OSU International Programs Office ( Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), 541-737-2804 – look for upcoming seminars on teaching Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), 541-737- 2131 – for apparent mental health issues Student Conduct & Community Standards (SCCS), 541- 737-3656 - for disruptive behavior Student Care Team (SCT), 541-737-3343 - for a personal crisis Academic Care Team (ACT), 541-737-2272 - for academic difficulty OSU Toastmasters

21 Learning Tools Ross, C. and J. Dunphy. 2007. Strategies for teaching assistant and international teaching assistant development: Beyond microteaching. Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint: San Francisco, CA Sarkisian, E. 2006. Teaching American students: A guide for international faculty and teaching assistants in colleges and universities. Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA Smith, J., Meyers, C.M., and A.J. Burkhalter. 1992. Communicate: Strategies for international teaching assistants. Regents/Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. Bailey, K.M., Pialorsi, F., and J. Zukowski/Faust (eds). 1984. Foreign teaching assistants in U.S. universities. National Association for Foreign Student Affairs: Washington, D.C. Hooks, B. 1994. Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom (Vol. 4). New York: Routledge.


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