LINGUIST List 11.1347

Fri Jun 16 2000

Qs: Ling Grad Students as Foreign Lang Instructors

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Stanley Dubinsky, Using linguistics graduate students to teach language

Message 1: Using linguistics graduate students to teach language

Date: Wed, 14 Jun 00 11:30:27 EDT
From: Stanley Dubinsky <DUBINSKVM.SC.EDU>
Subject: Using linguistics graduate students to teach language


I direct this query primarily to colleagues in U.S. institutions. Our
accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, requires
that a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) must have at least 18 graduate credit
hours in a field in order to be the instructor of record in that field.
Thus, a GTA teaching a section of first year history must have 18+ graduate
hours in history. In the case of foreign language instruction, this means
that a GTA teaching first year Spanish must have 18+ graduate hours in
Spanish courses (typically literature). I would like to make the case
that a student who has (1) 18+ hours in Linguistics, and (2) native or
near-native fluency in a language should be allowed to teach that language.

My questions:

1. Are linguistics graduate students in your school allowed to teach foreign
 languages as the instructor of record (that is, having full responsibility
 for the course including grading)?

2. If so, what standards must they meet before they are allowed to have their
 own class?

I appreciate your help, and will post a summary of responses if there is
sufficient interest.

Thank you,
Stan Dubinsky

Stanley Dubinsky e-mail:
Director phone: 803-777-2063
Linguistics Program phax: 803-777-7514
U of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
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