Improving Spoken English

Teaching Tip:  Language Consultations for International Faculty and Postdocs

 

languagesWhat are faculty consultations?  Faculty development specialists at UConn’s Institute for Teaching and Learning provide feedback to faculty members seeking advice and support for their teaching.

How can ITL help international faculty and postdocs?  ITL has consultants who specialize in dealing with the unique linguistic and cultural challenges faced by instructors and researchers whose first language is not English or who lived most of their lives outside the USA. Language consultations are currently available on the Storrs campus. There is no charge for the services. As with general consultation services, ITL’s services are not limited to problem resolution; in fact, some of UConn’s most successful teachers have been known to take advantage of consultation services to expand their repertoire and try new teaching techniques.  To request a consultation, simply send an email to ITL@uconn.edu.

What does a typical language consultation involve?  Consultations may range from a single meeting to a series of meetings spanning an entire semester, depending upon the needs and interests of the faculty member or postdoc.  Consultants are able to help in a variety of areas including:

  • Evaluating  pronunciation and listening
  • Working on all aspects of pronunciation, including individual sounds, stress, and intonation
  • Setting up realistic pronunciation goals and a plan to achieve them
  • Surveying cross-cultural differences that might be affecting classroom effectiveness
  • Investigating students’ evaluations to determine what parcel of neutral or negative feedback might be due to pronunciation or cultural issues
  • Developing classroom practices and attitudes that conform to American undergraduate students’ expectations
  • Observing or videotaping classes for feedback
  • Offering guidance on written materials, classroom resources and presentations

All services rendered in consultations are confidential and shared only with the client. ITL does not provide information or evaluation for tenure, promotion, or hiring decisions; clients, however, may use consultation reports as they see fit.

For more information, contact the Institute for Teaching and Learning at itl@uconn.edu.