Resources for Non-Native Speakers
One-on-one meetings with ELI staff for language assistance
International students, researchers and professors who need help with English grammar or seek to improve their accent or fluency in English are invited to meet as needed in a one-on-one setting with ELI staff to assist you with individual challenges. For more information or to set up an appointment, email Belinda Braunstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching Resources for Non-Native Speakers:
1. Useful Expressions for Class (for TAs)
How well do you know the appropriate "signal phrases" to use while teaching in English? This handout, from the workshop at each year's TA Orientation, has expressions to use for many purposes (pointing out what's important, getting students' attention, etc.) in the classes you teach.
Writing & Grammar Resources:
Many American universities provide links to this site, which comes from Purdue university. The "General Writing" link has grammar exercises, information about rhetoric, a section for ESL, and much more. OWL stands for Online Writing Lab. It is very well regarded.
2. The UNC Writing Center (Writing/Punctuation)
This page from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has dozens of links to digital "handouts" on many, many aspects of writing, such as audience, paragraph development, and various forms of punctuation. It's useful!
Grammarly Answers is a free service where users can ask and answer any question related to English grammar and writing. Any person can ask for help there and receive an answer. Additionally, users can try to answer questions themselves and improve their English through explaining concepts to others.
Although you might find this site to be too simple for you, it could serve as a review. It contains specific, interactive grammar exercises from "easy" to "difficult" ranging from verb forms to when to use articles (a/an/the).
American Culture and University Culture
Dissertation Help for PhD Students
Individual work with American Speechsounds program (CD-ROM available to borrow)
American Speechsounds software helps you recognize desired pronunciation and practice using your own ear as a guide to what sounds right. Its exercises comprise two steps: 1) teach yourself to distinguish correctly pronounced words with the "Listen and choose" activity, and 2) record your speech and compare it to the model's. Regular daily practice - at least 20 minutes per day - is recommended. A CD-ROM is available for international staff, faculty and students to borrow and use on their own computers. You can request the CD-ROM by emailing Belinda at the address above.
Recommended Books for Writing!
- Scientific Writing & Communication: Papers, Proposals, & Presentations, by Angelika Hofmann (Oxford University Press)
- Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English, by Hilary Glasman-Deal (Imperial College Press)
- Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks & Skills, 3rd ed., by John Swales and Christine Feak (Univ. of Michigan Press)
Each of the books listed above covers areas of scientific writing for publication and communication, and they all include exercises to help you analyze and practice the skills you are learning. New and used versions are available for purchase on various websites. You can also flip through a copy of each in the ELI office (AOA 112) as a preview.
U.S. Classroom Vocabulary for International TAs
Verbs & Meanings
“All set?” – Are you ready? Is everybody ready?
be graded down - receive a grade that is lowered by an undetermined amount
drop a course grade – lower a grade, for example, from B to B-
fill in – write information in blank spaces of a document/quiz/exam/text
get back / give back - return work to students
get back to – return to a previous topic; reply to a person after a period of time
go over - review
grade on a curve - assigning grades designed to yield a predetermined distribution of grades
hand in / turn in - submits work (to the instructor)
hand out / pass out – distribute to students
lose points – receive less than full credit for an assignment for specific reasons
make (obj.) up – (academic meaning) receive credit for doing an alternative on a curve - move on – continue on to the next topic
pass back - return work to students; also, to pass documents toward the back of the room
skip – pass over an item without reading, completing the problem, etc.
turn to – go to a specific page in a text
Nouns & Meanings
cheat sheet – an approved or non-approved paper with course content to use for reference during an exam
credit – points or recognition of work done toward a course/exam/assignment grade
“easy A” – a class or assignment for which it is easy to do well
extra credit – points for doing work beyond what is required for a course
full credit – maximum points available for an assignment
make-up test – a test taken to replace one that has been missed for a legitimate reason
make-up policy – rules regarding alternative work done to replace something that was missed
partial credit – getting some of the possible points available for an assignment instead of an “all or nothing” approach (commonly used for problems in which students have to show work done to arrive at an answer)
prerequisite – a course required before another (e.g. Math 05 before Math 18)
review session – a formal or informal class meeting to review exam items before an exam
study guide – a guide provided by an instructor/TA to help students prepare for an exam
take-home exam – an exam that students can complete off campus
used textbook – a previously owned/used textbook, usually cheaper than new
Below are answers to the cloze exercise from "Communicating with Your Students," part of CETL's TA Orientation. The sentences are not related to each other.
1. TA: I will give back (pass back) homework within one week of receiving it.
2. Student: Will we lose points if we miss a lab?
3. Student: If I don’t understand a homework problem, can I just skip it and do the next one? Or should I try anyway?
4. TA: Okay, everyone. Please turn to page 113 and look at #4.
5. Student: Will there be a review session (or study guide available) before the midterm?
Last update: 12/22/16
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