Using Reflective Dialogic Blogs with International Teaching Assistants
Writing & Pedagogy
Equinox Publishing Ltd.
Given the growing number of international teaching assistants (ITAs) on US campuses, ITAs have become critical members of US academic communities. Research related to ITAs’ experiences in US classrooms reveals certain challenges that ITAs encounter as instructors in this new educational context. These challenges can be instructional, social, linguistic, or cultural in nature. In response to the need to provide incoming ITAs with both ongoing institutional and personal support, this pilot action research study investigates the impact of the use of reflective dialogic blogs on the ITAs in terms of their development of teaching expertise, cross-cultural awareness, and language skills at the completion of the ITA training course offered at a southwestern US university. The study involved a group of ITAs in online interactions via blogs with the ITA-training course instructor for the duration of one academic semester. Data collection focused on the content of the ITAs’ writing and their perceptions of the effectiveness of reflective dialogic blogs in regard to their development as instructors. The results suggest that more attempts to use tools such as reflective dialogic blogs should be made in the future. The article also suggests possible modifications for the use of reflective dialogic blogs with prospective students.
Arshavskaya, E. (2016). Using reflective dialogic blogs with international teaching assistants. Writing and Pedagogy, 8(2), 333–359. doi: 10.1558/wap.26725