Project Statement Samples V


Ironically, some of my [previous] success in teaching my European students probably reflects what I did in response to my own lack of linguistic skills. I slowed down my delivery, minimized the use of specialized jargon and idiomatic expressions, and begged my students to let me know when my words puzzled them. The students may have also sensed my admiration for their linguistic skills and my gratitude for their willingness to communicate with me in English. They surely sensed my curiosity about their culture, including their nation’s laws and legal system.

I have taught in English to non-native English speakers before, so I have a good sense of how to adapt my teaching style and my courses. I have had many international students come through my classes at US universities over the years, and I also taught non-native speakers in Spain. Generally, in order to aid these students, I speak slowly and try to avoid the use of too much slang. I also try to restate important points in different ways and ask the class to define any unfamiliar words. In [host country], I plan to purposely use a slower rate of speech, particularly in the beginning of the term as students are getting used to my style. I also plan to continue to encourage a great deal of discussion in my courses because this will help students improve their comfort and skill in English. I hope to learn from the students as well, and I hope that we can help each other improve our language skills. I am also willing to give guest lectures in existing courses. I am flexible as to the topic and willing to tailor lectures to the needs of faculty and students in the broader program. I understand that the reading load in graduate courses can be daunting for native speakers as well as non-native English speakers. The attached syllabi show reading loads for two different types of courses. The [first course’s] readings were chosen to be online for ease of access, and I included fewer readings due to the non- native English students. The [second] class represents a typical US-style reading load. I would likely modify these some for the [host country] students. That said, these students are graduate students learning in a primarily English environment, so I would expect that they should be able to handle most of the works I would assign. We have many international students in our graduate program at [home institution], and the reading load is typically challenging, but manageable for them.

I plan to provide digital access to readings as much as possible. My library at [home institution] will be valuable in locating and providing electronic access to many of the journal articles which would be of value in a graduate-level course. I plan to ask the students to write weekly précis on the readings for the week. This will enable me to gauge their level of understanding and clear up any misunderstandings early. I find that the précis works well for American students, and I think that it will work well for [host country] students as well as a tool to synthesize weekly readings and test knowledge and understanding.