Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Volume 23, Number 3 (2012)

Articles in this issue:

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PDF fileSupporting Nonnative English-Speaking Instructors to Maximize Student Learning in Their Courses: A Message From the Guest Editors

Kim, S., & Kubota, R.

Internationalization has become a common initiative in higher education with the rise of globalization. Reflecting this trend, more international students are enrolling in institutions of higher education than ever before. In the 2010-2011 academic year, the number of international students in U.S. universities and colleges grew to a record high of 723,277, which was a 32% increase from 2000-2001. This number accounted for 3.5% of the total student enrollment (Institute of International Education, n.d.). A similar trend has occurred in Canada, where the number of international students in institutions of higher education increased from 36,822 in 1992 to 87,798 in 2008--an increase from 4% to almost 8% of all university students (McMullen & Elias, 2011). This change necessitates an increased of international teaching assistants (ITAs) and international faculty members in North America. Indeed, the recruiting, hiring, and retaining of instructors from diverse backgrounds has become a priority on institutional agendas.

PDF fileThe Intersection Between Intercultural Competence and Teaching Behaviors: A Case of International Teaching Assistants

LeGros, N., & Faez, F.

What is considered effective teaching varies across cultures, institutions, and disciplines. Concepts of effective teaching reflect the values and expectations of the educational culture and language in which it occurs. This study examines how participation in a course on intercultural communication affects the observable teaching behaviors of international teaching assistants (ITAs). The participants in this study consisted of 27 ITAs from nine countries enrolled in a research-intensive institution in Canada. Data were collected from videotaped microteaching components and teacher behavior inventories. The findings reveal that the ITAs developed interculturally com- petent teaching behaviors and improved their overall teaching performances, suggesting that intercultural training positively contributes to ITA teaching behaviors.

PDF file"Being Underdog": Supporting Nonnative English-Speaking Teachers (NNESTs) in Claiming and Asserting Professional Legitimacy

Reis, D. S.

The author reports on a case study investigating how one nonnative English-speaking teacher (NNEST) struggled to claim professional legitimacy as a university-level ESL writing instructor. Using Vygotskian sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978, 1986; Wertsch, 1985) and Bucholtz and Hall's (2005) indexicality principle, the author explores the relationship between the participant's professional self-concept and teaching practice as well as how in-service professional development experiences impacted his thinking, discourse, and action. The findings suggest that coursework and professional development addressing the native speaker myth can provide NNESTs with mediational tools through which to reimagine themselves as legitimate speakers and professionals in English Language Teaching (ELT).

PDF filePreparing Nonnative English-Speaking (NNES) Graduate Students for Teaching in Higher Education: A Mentoring Case Study

de Oliveira, L. C., & Lan, S-W.

This article explores an evolving mentor-mentee relationship between a nonnative English-speaking (NNES) advisor and an NNES graduate student by providing recounts of the work in which they engaged to prepare the NNES graduate student for the demands of advanced academic literacy and for teaching in higher education in the context of a Ph.D. program in the United States. The authors show that "teaching" moved beyond the classroom as their mentoring relationship evolved. This mentoring relationship has been central for the NNES graduate student's apprenticeship to advanced academic literacy and learning to teach in higher education.

PDF fileIn Search of Permeable Boundaries: A Case Study of Teacher Background, Student Resistance, and Learning

Mthethwa-Sommers, S.

This article draws from an action research case study undertaken by an African-born faculty member who speaks English with a foreign accent. The study employed co-teaching as an intervention method to (a) test the hypothesis that co-teaching with an instructor born in the United States from the dominant racial and linguistic group might reduce levels of resistance to the content of the social justice in education course and (b) to examine student-instructor interactions on the basis of instructor background. Data were collected from the reflective journals and teaching evaluations of instructors as well as from students' journals and assignments. Critical race theory was utilized as the framework to analyze these documents. Results reveal that the students' judgment of the African-born instructor's teaching efficacy appeared to be closely linked to her background as an African-born faculty member who speaks English with a foreign accent.

PDF fileTeaching Experiences of Native and Nonnative English-Speaking Graduate Teaching Assistants and Their Perceptions of Preservice Teachers

Ates, B., & Eslami, Z. R.

The authors report on a qualitative multiple case study exploring the perceptions of nonnative English-speaking (NNES) and native English-speaking (NES) graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) toward undergraduate preservice teachers at a university located in the Southwestern United States. Three NNES GTAs and one NES GTA participated in the study. Online journal entries and interviews were the data sources that facilitated an in-depth analysis of the GTAs' perspectives. The study underscores major challenges NNES GTAs faced in their efforts to be recognized as legitimate and competent instructors in their classrooms. The authors present the common themes that emerged from the study and provide recommendations for ESL teacher education programs and ITA educators to evaluate the support provided to GTAs before and during their teaching experiences.

PDF fileGoing Beyond the Native-Nonnative English Speaker Divide in College Courses: The Role of Nonnative English-Speaking Educators in Promoting Critical Multiculturalism

Seloni, L.

As the number of international faculty members teaching in U.S. colleges steadily increases, greater attention needs to be given to how 21st-century college classrooms can be shaped by these multilingual teachers' linguistic and sociocultural "funds of knowledge" (Moll, 1990) and how their backgrounds can help native-speaking students to become active participants of global communities. This article reports a case study of a non-native English-speaking (NNES) teacher-scholar's attempts to integrate world literature into a mainstream reading-intensive college classroom through the use of internationally acclaimed multilingual authors. The results illustrate that students establish various intertextual links while making the unfamiliar familiar as they read non-Western texts written by multilingual authors and take up creative roles in their reading of non-Western literature. Aiming to look critically at the discourses surrounding literacy education at the college level, the author argues that building pluriliteracy pedagogical practices through NNES professionals' "funds of knowledge" (Moll, 1990) can not only advance students' notions of multiculturalism in college writing classrooms, but also build a positive NNES teacher identity.

PDF fileIntergroup Contact Exercises as a Tool for Mitigating Undergraduates' Attitudes Toward Nonnative English-Speaking Teaching Assistants

Kang, O., & Rubin, D. L.

International instructors in U.S. institutions of higher education boost the academic quality of education available to U.S. undergraduate students. Many university students, however, regard nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants (NNESTAs) as problematic. Innovative programs for enhancing undergraduates' capacity to understand NNESTAs' speech are warranted. In this report, we describe a simple, structured approach that systematically applies principles of the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954) to interaction between NNESTAs and U.S. undergraduates. U.S. undergraduates solved mystery puzzles with NNESTAs in a verbally rich situation. Following these encounters, the undergraduates judged NNESTAs to be more comprehensible and instructionally competent. Future applications of this intervention might incorporate similar contact exercises in institutionally sanctioned programs.

Editorial Staff, Editorial Board, and Reviewers for this issue:


Milton D. Cox, Miami University

Executive Editor:

Laurie Richlin, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Managing Editor:

Gregg W. Wentzell, Miami University

Editorial Board:

Cynthia Desrochers, California State University, Northridge

Patrick Haney, Miami University

W. Bradley Kincaid, Mesa Community College

Jacquelin McDonald, University of Southern Queensland

Ray Purdom, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Cecilia Shore, Miami University

Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin

Michael Theall, Youngstown State University

W. Alan Wright, University of Windsor

Todd Zakrajsek, International Teaching Learning Cooperative

Reviewers for This Issue:

Gulbahar Beckett, University of Cincinnati

Cheryl Beverly, James Madison University

Laura Border, University of Colorado

Angela Brew, University of Sydney

De Bryant, Indiana University South Bend

Deborah Crusan, Wright State University

Alex Fancy, Mount Allison University

Yan Guo, University of Calgary

Jace Hargis, Higher Colleges of Technology

Cinnamon Hillyard, University of Washington, Bothell

Barbara Hoejke, Drexel University

Norma Holter, Towson University

Jinyan Huang, Niagara University

Kevin Johnston, Michigan State University

Alan Kalish, The Ohio State University

Masataka Kasai, Kansai Gaidai College

James Kelly, Miami University

Dae Jin Kim, Seoul National University of Sciences and Technology

Beverly Knauper, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash

Joanna Labov, New York University

Jeong-Ah Lee, Sungkyunkwan University

Ahmar Maboob, University of Sydney

Mary Madsen, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Robin Morgan, Indiana University Southeast

Norman Muir, Medaille College

Shondel Nero, New York University

Don Rubin, University of Georgia

Cynthia Sanders, Rochester Institute of Technology