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Title:Attitudes of foreign teaching assistants and American students at UIUC and their influence on the students' evaluations of foreign teaching assistants
Author(s):Smyrniou, Georgia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Witz, Klaus
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Teacher Training
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This research reports on foreign teaching assistants' (FTAs') language competence at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by examining the evaluations of language and teaching skills of FTAs' students. It also examines the attitudes of FTAs and their students, and investigates whether students' or FTAs' attitudes have any influence on the students' evaluations of their FTAs. The results determined possible ways for improvement and development of training programs for FTAs.
There were 279 students and approximately 30 FTAs and 30 DTAs (domestic TAs); 136 students had FTAs and 144 (valid 143) students had DTAs. Students were given questionnaires to first; (a) evaluate their TAs' language and teaching skills; (b) to report on their attitudes regarding TAs screening, training, status, prestige, and role importance of the TAs' position; and (c) also to report on their ethnocentrism and cultural openness. The same questionnaires, modified to address the TAs, were given to them to evaluate themselves and report on the same attitudinal variables as their students.
In order to acquire a broader view of the subject, the same questionnaires that were given to the FTAs and their students were given to the DTAs and their students, and comparisons of the scores between the two groups were made.
The results of this research revealed that: (1) There is a Foreign TA problem due to the FTAs' language problems that included most of the language variables; that is, accent, grammar (linguistic competence), knowledge of the social and cultural rules of the language (sociolinguistic), and overall language competence (communicative competence). These findings came as much from the FTAs' students data as from the FTAs'. (2) Students' evaluations can be influenced by students' attitudes and TAs' attitudes that are examined in this research. (3) Factors such as expected grade, type of science (hard/soft), and requiredness of the course (i.e., if students take the course as a requirement for their major) do not influence the students' attitudes or evaluations.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Smyrniou, Georgia
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512554
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512554

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