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Academic Buddy Programme

Tasks, time investment & motivation

What will be my tasks and what is my role as a Language Assistant?

As Language Assistant it is possible to provide peer feedback on oral and/or written tasks.

Example of an oral feedback scenario:

– A student gets in touch with you to rehearse an oral presentation: you can correct the pronunciation, enrich the student’s vocabulary, and offer advice on how to improve the student’s fluency or level of academic speech. You also revise the Ppt presentation as it often contains many language mistakes.

Example of a written feedback scenario:

  1. The student mails a digital version in Word of her/his work directly to you (2 to 3 pages max.) – she/he has gotten your contact information via her/his teacher.
  2. You evaluate the work according to the criteria handed to you by the teacher (max. 30 min work) – see Symbols for Correction below
  3. Be careful not to evaluate negatively, i.e. that you do not issue a judgment on the overall value of work.
  4. You return the essay to the student with your feedback for her/him to correct. In the same mail, propose a meeting appointment with the student.

Please add a cc. to the programme coordinator: languageassistants@uu.nl (Michèle Kremers-Ammouche)

  1. Before the meeting, the student returns a correction made according to the feedback you gave. Sometimes the student does not return the work. It’s OK but she/he always needs to try and correct it before the meeting. If you feel the student has put no effort in correcting, grant him 5 or 10 minutes to do so during the meeting before you go on revising the work together.
  2. Before the meeting, and if necessary, prepare yourself and try finding strategies that will support the explanation for the issues. For instance, try gathering links or websites that explain the problems and/ or where the student may improve his/ her writing skills.
  3. The appointment lasts up to 30 minutes. If at that time the issues are not fully solved, the student makes a second appointment with you. Try to discuss in the target language during the meeting.
  4. Do not forget to keep a logbook or document in which you register the time you are spending on the Peerfeedback: revising, preparing, meeting etc…

How much time will it cost me?

Whenever you are available; this internship is à la carte. Sometimes, there is a high demand for feedback and you will have to tell a student you do not have the time; the student will then approach another Language Assistant. Teachers can also ask you to intervene at certain moments.

Why is it interesting for you?

  • You learn how to practice teaching/coaching skills and how to give appropriate feedback;
  • You enrich your curriculum with this educational experience at university level;
  • It gives you more insight in your own writing skills;
  • It offers you a more challenging study programme;
  • You get in touch with exchange students and local students;
  • You may benefit from the feedback yourself!