The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

February 22 The Teaching and Learning Center: Teaching as an International Student

1-3pm, room 9206

As international graduate students, we often don’t know what to expect when we first step into the classroom as teaching fellows or adjuncts. We might have questions about our students’ lives, their cultural and academic backgrounds, and about the American university system in general and CUNY more specifically. We might be unsure about how to interact with students in the classroom or during office hours or how to give feedback and grade student work. And for many of us, the prospect of teaching as a non-native speaker of English is a daunting one.

The Teaching and Learning Center is offering a workshop that aims to explore what it means to teach in the CUNY classroom as an international student. If you’re an international student teaching, or getting ready to teach, please join us on Wednesday February 22 from 1-3pm in room 9206 of the Graduate Center.

We’ll cover three main areas of potential difference: culture, pedagogy, and language. There is a lot of overlap between these areas, but cultural differences generally involve classroom dynamics and student-teacher relations and communication. Pedagogy concerns the structure of the university system, typical high school preparation, and topics such as feedback and assessment. Questions about language can include strategies for understanding informal speech, improving interactive skills and pronunciation, and asking effective questions.

During this workshop we’ll not only try to understand and find strategies for dealing with these differences, but we’ll also discuss what you can bring to the classroom as an international student. Instead of worrying about not being familiar with some of the conventions of American education, we’ll think about how you can leverage your international experience, language skills, and perspective in your teaching. Rather than seeing your position as a weakness, we’ll discuss how you can see and use it as an asset.

To RSVP, please visit