International Teaching Assistants’ Experiences in the U.S. Classrooms: Implications for Practice

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Ekaterina Arshavskaya


Recently, a number of studies have examined the lived experiences of the international teaching assistants (ITAs) in the U.S. classrooms. The findings show that the ITAs face many challenges such as classroom management, instructional, linguistic, cultural and social challenges. Following this line of research, this interview-based study examined the lived experiences of a group of ITAs using a qualitative methodology. The qualitative approach was intentionally selected to add an interpretive stance to the quantitative analyses prevalent in the current research on the ITAs. The paper aims to: (1) to provide insights into the ITAs’ perspectives on their first semester of teaching in the U.S. including determining the challenges they face and (2) to consider possible revisions to existing ITAs’ preparation programs based on the ITAs’ own perspectives and a review of the available literature. This study contributes to the field by presenting information that has the potential to prompt future empirical investigations into educational cultures as they apply to novice instructors in international contexts and to inform and renew curricula for ITAs’ preparation programs at the U.S. universities.


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Arshavskaya, E. (2015). International Teaching Assistants’ Experiences in the U.S. Classrooms: Implications for Practice. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(2), 56–69.


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