Personal-observing-on-Class-as-a-TA-and-students

What are the course objectives for the ELI class you are observing and participating in ? You might know this off the top of your head, or you might need to consult the syllabus.

Now, think about the international students in the class. What have you observed about them? What are their strong points and what are the areas where you see a need for improvement? What kinds of linguistic issues have you observed? What kinds of academic skills need to be taught or reviewed?

There are three examples of others discussion. They have the same course as I do, which means the principles are similar from each other. Please paraphrase their discussion into mine.

Here are the three examples:

first one

1. The class I am observing and participating in is ELI 205 (advanced listening and speaking comprehension). The course objectives are to improve presentation, communication, listening and pronunciation skills. Typically, academic English listening and speaking abilities are the focus. However, there is also a course objective to work on skills and strategies to assist with one’s academic career at Binghamton University, as well as in the future workplace.

2. I’ve observed that the international students in class have a wide variety of study habits, as well as different issues with their English. Most of the class has a very strong motivation to study and do well in class, as well as improve their English. However, with any class, there are a few students who do the bare minimum. They seem to not really care as much if their English ability improves. As stated before, different students have different issues with their English. For example, many Chinese students struggle with pronouncing “th”. However, the students from other countries (ie. Albania, South Korea, etc) generally have less of an issue (this is not to say they do not have pronunciation issues of their own). However, generally, the students can form mostly proper English sentences. Sometimes the wrong form of a word (ie. tenses) is used, but otherwise correct. However, I noticed that many students have a hard time communicating complex ideas, as well as conveying emotions and feelings. I feel that if the students had idioms or metaphors to use, it may help with this problem of trying to convey emotions. I think that communicating complex ideas will only improve with more time and practice. I think that critical thinking is something that needs to be taught/reviewed. We had a lesson on how to critically think, but maybe there needs to be more practice with it. I think that a lot of the students struggle to fully understand things such as the talks they’re assigned; mostly it’s just restating the information rather than thinking about the information deeper.

Second one

I am in in ELI-205. The objectives for this course are twofold: To improve the students English speaking and presentation skills, and to make the students aware of the various resources and academic strategies they can utilize during their academic career at Binghamton.

One of the major things I notice about the students in my course is that they can all communicate adequately in English, but often they prefer to stay quiet. In my opinion, this is a problem with confidence, and I think that because when I engage a student with a topic they are interested in, they typically communicate much more fluidly and confidently. Another more minor issue which possibly stems from the first, is that the students who communicate more often typically take over class discussions unless they are moderated.

One thing I am happy to see is that I have only seen a student not complete their assignment once. I think the students have a good attitude and willingness to learn. This encourages me to engage with them and improve their English skills because I know that they appreciate my help. Again, the area I would stress for most improvement is confidence building. Through confidence building, I can focus on smaller issues such as pronunciation and tense stressing in a non-threatening environment for the students.

A few issues I commonly see are mispronunciations of the “th” sound, for example, “th” in “thank you” becomes “zthank you.” Vowel pronunciation is also an occasional issue, but usually whenever an example is heard in class it is corrected. Finally usage of the indefinite articles “a” and “an” get either mixed up or not used entirely.

I think that if there was something could be worked on it would be continued practice with discussions, especially with disseminating information about videos or readings. Reviewing these skills would be beneficial because the students will utilize critical thinking and discussion skills for the rest of their academic careers.

Third one

The objectives of ELI 205 are helping student to improve their skills on listen to and speak academic English. In order to do so, we divide them into small discussion groups and ask them to listen to podcast and share what they listened to the group members. This course is also helping students to learn the skills on how to give a formal presentation and how to have a great debate.

Many international students being shy at first class, and they just sit and being quite. But since we have many advanced students this semester, they talked more than the international students would usually do. However while we discussed on the podcast they have listened, summary seems to be the No.1 problem for them. Sometimes they don’t get the main idea of the podcast and include too many details, and sometimes they have the idea, but don’t know how to explain at the right way. I think we could start asking them to repeat what they have heard to create the sense of speaking English, and training them specific on summary.