The Linguistics Program has a minimum of 25 units [as of academic year 2015-16] to offer to students to teach LING2100 The Study of Language, our introduction to linguistics course at UGA. Students who wish to receive these units must fulfill the requirements laid out in the sections titled “Prerequisites” and “Offers and Renewal” (in the Handbook and replicated below).
LING2100 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.
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. Unfortunately, though many of our students feel that they have a background suitably excusing them from the TA training program, the CTL requires that all TAs who enter the classroom be trained in this way. There are no exceptions.
International students whose native language is not English must prove their English-language proficiency in one of three ways:
- Have previously earned a degree from a University at which the language of instructor is English.
- Earn a speaking score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT or a speaking score of 7.5 or higher on the IELTS.
- 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 LLED7769 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 assistantships from the Linguistics Program.
Linguistics TAs must not be on academic warning or probation, thus students 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, 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 LING7000, LING7300, LING8100, LING8101, LING9000, or LING9300 will count toward this requirement.
The apprenticeship is a component of LING8100 Proseminar, which is taken during a student’s first semester in the Program. 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 Office Manager will pair an Apprentice with a Mentor TA whose class time is convenient. 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 LING2100; the focus should be on learning how to teach 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 where 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 lesson-plan, revise, 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 TAs 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 Program Director, who consults with the Office Manager, TA Supervisor, Mentor TAs and other faculty.
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 limited units.
Offers are made to students late during spring semesters (likely April) for appointments the following academic year. Due to the timing of this, students who have not completed the apprenticeship and do not possess a 3.0 GPA by the end of the immediately preceding fall semester cannot be considered for funding for the following year. Occasionally, single-semester offers can be made to students just prior to that semester’s beginning. The precise nature of any offer is laid out in an offer letter that must be signed (as a contract) accepting the units. The language of the offer letter is generated by the University’s Business Services Department.
Because of the rolling nature of offers, if a student objectively qualifies for an assistantship, they may never be told they will not receive funding. As such, students seeking a definitive answer to the question of whether they will have funding during any given future semester should seek funding elsewhere.
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 to assistantships, assuming they remain in good-standing. This implies that MA students should not expect to receive a Linguistics Program teaching assistantship after the second year of their degree program, and PhD students should not expect to receive a teaching assistantship after the fourth year of their degree program.
Naturally, we wish a higher level of funding were possible and regret that not every request for funding can be fulfilled every year.
Should students remain on track and in good-standing, there are other methods to reduce tuition beyond funding. Please consult the Office Manager for ideas.