All international teaching assistants are required to have an assessment of English proficiency for approval to teach in the classroom. As the international graduate student population continues to increase at Texas Tech University, the ITA program under the direction of Linley Melhem has created additional assessment opportunities via pre- ITA workshop Skype, or face-to-face post workshop special interviews. These interviews are designed for international students who demonstrate high levels of English proficiency on their results of English proficiency test scores for admission to Texas Tech University or who have earned a degree from an American institution for approval to teach in the classroom in lieu of participation in the ITA Summer Workshop.
Pre-workshop Skype interviews took place on May 6 & 13 and August 23, 2016 during which forty-nine new international teaching assistants Skyped from either their countries and face-to-face for current Texas Tech students in the Dean's Office Conference Room.
Thirteen international teaching assistants (either late admits or delayed arrivals due to unforeseen visa or personal issues) took part in the post-workshop interviews in anticipation of approval to teach.
In the long semesters, academic support is also available for credit to students who need additional practice on either oral or written English skills through the English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offerings: Spoken English Fluency, Academic Communication, and Advanced Writing.
Raider Red welcomed 105 international graduate students with a Red Raider Guns Up! during check-in to the three week ITA Summer Workshop. From July 25-August 12, 2016, the participants practiced teaching skills, received valuable feedback from the ITA instructors, and were assessed on English proficiency skills for approval to teach in the classroom. A couple of social activities in the evenings: volleyball and watermelon in Urbanovsky Park and an ice cream social and scavenger hunt hosted by the Center for Campus Life encouraged relaxation and laughter, new friendships, and a sense of community in a new country.
The workshop concluded with Dr. Bob Chanda's clinic on non-verbal behavioral communication. He and his team heightened awareness on the subtle non-verbal behaviors one makes that communicate messages one intends or does not intend but impacts the receiver.