The Department of Linguistics typically has at least 8 assistantships per year (1/3-time, or 3 courses, which qualifies students for a tuition waiver) to offer to students to teach LING2100 The Study of Language, our introduction to linguistics course at UGA. Students who wish to receive a LING 2100 teaching assistantship must fulfill the requirements laid out in the sections titled “Prerequisites” and “Offers and Renewal” (in the TA Handbook and replicated below).

We also nominate highly qualified students for research assistantships funded by the Graduate School, but these are very competitive. Individual faculty members may have grant-funded research assistantships available.

TA Handbook

LING 2100 TAs and apprentices should carefully read the TA Handbook and use it as a constant reference during assistantships and apprenticeships. TAs and apprentices will be held to the standards within the handbook.

Prerequisites

The following requirements ensure that our graduate students are well-prepared to take on the responsibility of serving as the instructor of record for courses offered by the Linguistics Program. Even if you already have teaching experience that you feel should excuse you from the TA training program, the university requires that all TAs complete an approved training program at UGA prior to (or in exceptional cases, concomitant with) teaching. There are no exceptions.

Language Requirement

International students whose native language is not English must prove their English-language proficiency in one of three ways:

  1. Have previously earned a degree from a university at which the language of instruction is English.
  2. Earn a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or a speaking score of 7.5 or higher on the IELTS.
  3. Students with a speaking score of 24 on the TOEFL iBT or a speaking score of 7.0 on the IELTS may complete the course LLED 7769 and receive a recommendation from that course’s instructor.

Students who have not achieved 1, 2, or 3 cannot teach independently and are thus ineligible for LING 2100 assistantships from the Linguistics Program.

Coursework

Linguistics TAs must not be on academic warning or probation; they must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA during their entire program of study. TAs must also have earned at least 18 hours of graduate-level LING credit prior to teaching, including:

  • LING8150 Generative Syntax (3 hours)
  • LING6021 Phonetics and Phonology (3 hours)

No course with a grade less than a C and no sections of LING 7000, LING 7300, LING 8100, LING 8101, LING 9000, or LING 9300 will count toward this requirement.

Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship is a component of LING 8100 Proseminar, which is taken during a student’s first semester in the department. The apprenticeship is not meant to be an undue burden to those wishing to receive an assistantship; the process is meant to prepare students to become teachers.

During students’ first year and while attending LING8100, the TA Supervisor will pair student apprentices with a mentor TA whose class time is convenient for their schedule. The mentor TA and apprentice should work closely together to complete the apprenticeship process.

The focus in the apprenticeship should not be on learning the material in LING 2100; the focus should be on learning how to teach linguistic topics to undergraduate students and becoming comfortable doing so. Apprentices should use this as an opportunity to take teaching notes and gather suggestions from their mentor TA with regard to lesson-planning and classroom exercises. Any apprentice who has little to no background in linguistics should take course notes to catch up with their cohort and be a better-prepared TA and student.

Apprentices will attend every lecture the mentor TA holds, including test days, when the apprentice will serve as an extra pair of eyes to monitor students’ behavior and reduce the risk of academic dishonesty. Attendance will be taken, and a maximum of one week's worth of absences is allowed for apprentices.

Apprentices will complete six Activity Reports (see the Handbook link above) to be turned in to the TA Supervisor throughout the semester. These reports are due at the end of each of the first six sections covered, which should be every two weeks for the first 12 weeks.

Apprentices will work together with their mentor TA to create and revise a lesson plan and teach at least one day’s lecture. This lesson should be scheduled with the mentor TA by the end of the first week. The apprentice will be evaluated by the mentor TA using the Observation Evaluation Form (see the Handbook link above). The mentor TA and apprentice will meet to discuss the evaluation, and the form will be turned in to the TA Supervisor. Should there be any question about the TA's performance, a special session to teach a lesson in front of the TA Supervisor will be arranged.

Apprentices will work under the mentor TA's supervision to help grade one test and one homework assignment. Apprentices should not do this alone, and mentors should be available to answer questions during the entire grading process.

Offers and Renewal

All funding decisions are ultimately the responsibility of the Department Head, who consults with the TA Supervisor and other faculty in awarding teaching assistantships.

Once a student meets the above requirements and unless that student indicates that they do not wish to be considered for an assistantship, they are considered eligible and will be entered into competition with other eligible students for the available funding. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee assistantships for all students.

Offers are made to students near the end of the spring semester (usually in April) for appointments the following academic year. Due to the timing of this process, students who have not completed the apprenticeship or who have not achieved a 3.0 GPA by the end of the preceding fall semester cannot be considered in the first round of funding decisions for the following year. Occasionally, additional offers can be made to eligible students after the first round of consideration. The precise nature of any offer is laid out in an offer letter that must be signed (as a contract) accepting the terms of the teaching assistantship. 

Additional funding beyond our standard allocation sometimes becomes available to meet enrollment demands; as a result, it is never certain that no funding will be available for eligible students, up to the beginning of the semester in question. However, students are strongly encouraged to pursue all potential avenues for funding; students who are able to secure assistantships in other departments free up funding for other students to teach LING 2100. The department makes every effort to help students in this process, but in general, funding can almost never be guaranteed.

All appointment renewals are contingent upon funding, satisfactory teaching evaluations, and adequate progress toward the completion of degree requirements. No renewals are guaranteed. Students with multi-year funding contracts (such as those who received the Presidential Fellowship) are given priority for assistantships, assuming they remain in good-standing. Due to the limited amount of funding that is typically available, priority is given to M.A. students in their second year, and to Ph.D. students in their second through fifth years. Students who have not completed their degree requirements according to the standard timelines should not expect to receive an assistantship. 

We regret that not all funding requests can be honored. Please keep in mind that all students in good standing who are in the final stages of their degree programs are eligible for reduced tuition. Please consult the Administrative Specialist and individual faculty members to ask about additional sources of funding that may be available.

Updated: 7/27/2017