On-Line Tutorial for Spanish Teaching Assistants
The main objective of this work is to give University students in a Canadian University the best learning experience as second language learners. For that reason, it is essential to introduce Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs) to their duties as Second Language Instructors before they begin their teaching role.
In Canadian universities the TAs’ role, in languages departments, is to teach one language course at beginner or intermediate level. Most TAs come directly to teach from another cultural and geographical background and have no experience in the North American university teaching setting and even, maybe, have no experience as teachers at all.
Facing this problem, we have proposed an on-line tutorial to guide Spanish TAs to cope with this important responsibility as Graduate Students by acknowledging their lack of experience and that they have to face their students without previous training or preparation. Our on-line tutorial proposal will help TAs to get familiar in advance with their teaching role, the methodology used at this particular Hispanic Studies department, as well as with all the University facilities available to teach Languages. It also provides them with a wide variety of tools and ideas that TAs can integrate in their lectures, and that in consequence the language students can get the benefits in their learning experience of the Spanish Language.
Furthermore, the on-line tutorial gives to the TAs the opportunity to be in touch with other TAs who have previously been in the same situation and share their concerns and ideas.
Keywords: On-Line Education, SLA, Spanish, Learning to Teach
Maria Eugenia De Luna Villalón
PhD Student, Hispanic Studies, University of Western Ontario
Ana Maria Garcia Allén
Spanish Instructor, Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Western Ontario