AAE 453 – Support for In-Service ITA Teaching

This seminar-style course is designed for international teaching assistants who have already met the university English proficiency requirement for international teaching assistants but who seek additional language and pedagogy support concurrent with their teaching assignment.  Students meet once per week to discuss topics such as the language of classroom management, fielding questions, student/teacher interaction, etc.  Students are expected to bring their own experiences of teaching in English to group discussions and to explore together how language may be facilitating or hindering the learning environment they seek to establish for their students.  In addition, students will have the opportunity to be observed in their classrooms/labs and meet with the course instructor in post-observation conferences for feedback on their classroom communication.  Students will reflect on their progress and set individual goals for their own improvement and record the successes and obstacles they encounter as well as the strategies and solutions they employ over the course of the semester. 

AAE 453 meets once per week for 1.5 hours for 10 weeks.

This course is a non-credit bearing course, but tuition is calculated at the rate of a one-credit course.

Students in AAE 453 will work to achieve the following student learning outcomes:

  • Identify characteristics of communication that facilitate the effective conveyance of information in the classroom 
  • Identify gaps between their linguistic needs in the classroom and their current abilities
  • Recognize their own classroom communication strengths and challenges and utilize a number of communicative and compensatory strategies to enhance their teaching effectiveness
  • Analyze their own student/instructor interactions for communicative effectiveness and sociolinguistic appropriateness
  • Implement instructor and peer feedback in classroom and student/instructor interactions
  • Identify ways in which teacher and student roles in American universities are similar to and/or different from teacher and student roles in their own cultures.
  • Demonstrate sociolinguistic competence/knowledge in the handling of student/teacher interactions.
  • List common qualities associated with effective teaching in the U.S. and ways these qualities are manifest in the structure and language of the classroom
  • Effectively perform teaching tasks typical in their field, such as defining terms, explaining graphics, explaining a process, giving instructions, making announcements, etc.
  • Employ effective presentation skills to deliver intended messages clearly and coherently

AAE 453 Eligibility

Students must have already met the university English proficiency requirement for international teaching assistants or have permission from the ITA Program Coordinator to enroll in AAE 453. Students with conditional waivers as the result of an appeal should contact the ITA Coordinator to discuss eligibility.

Registration & Tuition

Students do not enroll directly into ITA support courses.  To request an ITA support course, eligible students must first initiate a request online through the MSU Speaking Test System. Prospective students in the course will then be contacted by the ITA Program coordinators with further information and instructions.  In most cases, students will be invited to attend an ITA advising session where ITA Coordinators will gather information in order to make the most appropriate course recommendation.

AAE 453 meets one time per week for 1.5 hours for ten weeks.  Tuition is calculated at the rate of a 1-credit course and students may use part of their tuition waiver if they have one.

ITA Program Course Policies

  • Students in ITA support courses will be assigned grades for coursework on the 4.0 MSU scale.  However, AAE 451, 452, and 453 are in the university Pass/No Grade system, which means that the final semester grade that appears on students’ transcripts will be a P (Pass) or an N (No Grade).
  • Students in any  ITA language support courses are required to maintain at least 90% attendance and 80% satisfactory completion of all coursework. If students are absent more than 10% of the course, including time missed due to coming late or leaving early, they will not be able to achieve a score of P (Pass) in the course.  Similarly, if they fail to complete course assignments or do not do so satisfactorily, they will not be able to achieve a final semester score of P (Pass).
  • Successful completion of AAE 451 and 452 makes a student eligible to take the ITAOI (International Teaching Assistant Oral Interaction).  This test is administered and scored by the ELC Testing Office.  Students will receive information about this test directly from the testing office toward the end of the semester.  For more information about the test or testing policies, please visit the ELC Testing Office ITAOI website or email the office at testing@elc.msu.edu.
  • Achieving a P (Pass) in an ITA support course does not clear a student to teach at MSU.  In order to teach at MSU, students must demonstrate adequate proficiency on one of the oral proficiency exams administered by the ELC Testing Office.  For more information on these policies, please see the MSU Policy page for ITAs at https://grad.msu.edu/tap/speak or the ITA Program home page.

For questions about ITA support courses AAE 451, 452, or 453, contact ITA Program Coordinators Alissa Cohen and Laura Ramm at ITAprogram@elc.msu.edu.

For questions about the MSU Speaking Test or ITAOI, contact the ELC Testing Office at testing@elc.msu.edu.