Cutting Edge > Manage Your Career > Early Career > International Faculty > Challenges in Teaching > Advice from Heike Alberts

Advice for International Instructors

from Heike Alberts, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Heike Alberts is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. In 2007, she presented the following information (published here with her permission) at a session for international faculty at the Association of American Geographers conference. She has also published a paper on this topic: Alberts, Heike (2008): "The Challenges and Opportunities of Foreign-Born Instructors in the Classroom," Journal of Geography in Higher Education 32(2), 189-203.
Bereket Haileab discussing geology with students on a field trip to the Black Hills.

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Differences in Academic Preparation

Background

Advice

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Language Issues

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Advice

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Interacting with Students

Background

Advice

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Teaching Styles

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Advice

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Classroom Behavior

Background

Advice

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Avoiding Confrontation

Background

While most students appreciate hearing a different perspective and are open towards critical statements about the United States, some students get easily offended about anything that they consider "anti-American".

Some students feel very strongly that international instructors should not be criticizing the United States.

Some students accuse international instructors of not having adjusted well to the United States and not understanding American culture (including student life).

Advice

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Assignments and Grading

Background

Advice

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Taking Advantage of Your "Foreignness"

Background

Advice

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Compiled from:

Alberts, Heike (2008): "The Challenges and Opportunities of Foreign-Born Instructors in the Classroom," Journal of Geography in Higher Education 32(2), 189-203.

Center for Teaching Excellence. International Teaching Assistants: Communication Strategies. ILLINI Instructor Series, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kuhn, Elisabeth. 1996. "Cross-Cultural Stumbling Blocks for International Teachers," College Teaching 44(3). 96-99.

Sarkisian, Ellen. 2000. Teaching American Students. A Guide for International Faculty and Teaching Assistants in Colleges and Universities. Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

"Teaching American Students (for International TAs)", in: Teaching at the University of Virginia. A Handbook for Faculty and Teaching Assistants.

University of California. Bridging the gap: approaching your students and helping them approach you, in: Teaching Resources Guide.


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