Teaching development for graduate students in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures features a comprehensive and systematic apprenticeship in the theory and practice of teaching Romance languages with ample supervision throughout. The goal of the Teaching Development Program is to prepare excellent teachers for the 21st century. This goal dovetails with the departmental objective of creating excellent scholars and excellent colleagues. The Teaching Development Program includes Master's and Doctoral candidates and is required of all full-time graduate students whose financial support comes from the teaching assistantship.
The Teaching Development Program has 6 phases:
- Teaching Orientation for beginning graduate teaching assistants. This is an intensive one-week program in August prior to the opening of classes.
- Graduate Seminar in Methods of Teaching Romance Languages. A required one-semester course that runs concurrently with supervised lower-level language teaching. Seminar topics may include an overview of second language acquisition theories; historical and contemporary teaching methodologies; integration of technology into curriculum; issues in testing and assessment.
- Supervised lower-level language teaching. All first-year teaching assistants serve a teaching apprenticeship as team members of multi-sectioned courses under faculty supervision. This includes observations, consultations, video filming, and written commentary.
- Teaching Practice. Mid-career graduate students have exposure to teaching at several levels, primarily in multi-sectioned courses. At all times, graduate students work under faculty supervision with frequent consultation. They have opportunities to plan curricular units, develop tests, evaluate students, and begin teaching literary texts.
- Annual Instructional Methods Workshop. The language and literature departments offer a workshop for graduate students, often presented by a national figure in language instructional methods. Recent workshops have featured Sally Magnan (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Robert DiDonato (Miami University of Ohio); and Mari Koda and Galil Walker (Ohio State University).
- Advanced Teaching Preparation. The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with colleagues in German, offers a capstone course, designed exclusively for Ph.D. candidates who have finished all course work. This unique seminar, "Integrating Technology into Language Instruction," provides theoretical and practical training which reflects contemporary efforts to enhance language teaching with technological resources such as CD-ROMS, the Internet, and electronic communication.
Job Market Preparation
Our department holds a series of workshops every year which cover important job-related issues; our students should attend these, and participate actively in discussions there. Topics covered usually include such matters as academic essay writing and publishing, networking within the profession, the current and future job markets, and conference paper preparation and delivery. Over the courses of their studies with us, Graduate Students typically benefit from the generous support offered by the Graduate School and RLL to attend conferences in which they are delivering a paper. Both the Graduate School Request for Travel Reimbursement Form and the RLL Graduate Student Travel Funding Request Form are available here to download.
In addition, mock interviews are scheduled and may be videotaped ahead of time in the department for those advanced students wishing to attend the MLA annual convention and who may already have job interviews scheduled. Such mock interviews allow students to assess their own interviewing skills and to prepare for productive meetings with prospective employers.
Preparation for the job market also entails a pre-MLA briefing about trends in foreign language instructional methods based on recent research, textbooks, and methodologies. Faculty members assist candidates with preparation of a teaching philosophy statement and portfolio and with preparation for the teaching aspect of on-campus interviews. Finally, when hired, graduate students may receive assistance in the initial development of course materials as a new faculty member.