Recommend international TAs for summer oral skills workshop by June 2

By GradPost Staff
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:35 PM

Last year, the Graduate Division piloted a new Summer Oral Skills Workshop for prospective international Teaching Assistants and due to its great success, it will be offered again this summer. We encourage departments to recommend candidates who could benefit from a thirteen-day intensive training workshop in oral academic English.

We are seeking candidates who are:

  • Newly accepted to a Ph.D. program
  • Non-native speakers of English
  • Under consideration for a TA position in 2017-2018, and thus needing to take the TA English Language Evaluation in mid-September
  • Available to arrive between August 24 through 27 and participate  August 28 through September 14
  • Highly motivated to learn and improve their oral English skills to prepare to be a TA

The class is limited to 15 students. Preference will be given to students who have spoken to department faculty or staff member (for example, by phone or Skype) and demonstrated sufficient skills to participate in the workshop, but also a need to improve their oral English fluency, pronunciation, or language accuracy for better overall comprehensibility.

Students will need to be recommended by their departments and will be required to:

  • submit a one-page “learner self-introduction” statement (found here)
  • attend Monday through Friday mornings (three hours per day) for group meetings
  • prepare presentations and undertake daily independent study
  • consult individually with the instructor, approximately one hour per week

Participating students will receive an $800 stipend for completing the three week workshop. The stipend will be paid following conclusion of the workshop under the conditions that students regularly attend and complete the workshop.

The workshop will be led by Randy Rightmire, a continuing lecturer in UCSB’s English for Multilingual Students (EMS) Program. He has previously taught courses in oral English for academic purposes and other courses for international graduate students, and he has served as an evaluator for the TA English Language Exam.

Application and Nomination Process: Departments should send their recommendations to by June 2. Recommendations must be accompanied by a Learner Self Introduction (see attached), completed by each recommended student. The Department should also include a memo, briefly describing their reasons for nominating each student, including any opportunity the Department faculty or staff have had to assess the student’s oral English (e.g. in phone or Skype conversations). Departments who wish to nominate more than one student, should rank the students in terms of their potential to benefit from this program.

Additional details about the workshop can be found here. For more information, contact Randy Rightmire, English for Multilingual Students Program,