Tasks, time investment & motivation
What is my role as a Language Assistant and what will my tasks be?
As a 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 their 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 their presentation to correct any language mistakes.
Example of a written feedback scenario:
- The student emails you a digital version of their work (2 to 3 pages max.) – they have received your contact information through their teacher.
- You evaluate the work according to the criteria handed to you by the teacher (max. 30 min work) – see Symbols for Correction below.
- Be careful not to evaluate negatively, i.e. do not issue a judgment on the overall value of work.
- You return the essay to the student with your feedback for them to consider. In the same email, you will propose a meeting appointment with the student. Please add a cc. to the programme coordinator: email@example.com (Michèle Kremers-Ammouche)
- Before the meeting, the student returns a correction made according to the feedback you gave. If you recognise that the student has not put in the necessary amount of effort into correcting, grant them 5 or 10 minutes to do so during the meeting before you continue revising the work together.
- If necessary, prepare yourself before your meetings and try to find strategies that will support the explanation for the students’ issues. For instance, try gathering links or websites that explain the problems and/or identify which areas the student may improve their writing skills.
- The appointment lasts up to 30 minutes and mostly takes place in the target language. If the issues are not fully solved by that point, the student should make a second appointment with you.
- Do not forget to fill a logbook or document to register the time you spend on the peer feedback (this includes time spent revising, preparing, participating in the meeting, etc…).
How much time will it cost me?
This depends on your availability, as this internship is “à la carte”. Sometimes, there is a high demand for feedback. You are permitted to inform a student that you cannot assist them due to time constraints; the student will then approach another Language Assistant. Teachers can also ask you to intervene at certain moments.
Why can you gain from this role?
- You can practice teaching/coaching skills and how to give appropriate feedback.
- You can enrich your curriculum with this educational experience at university level.
- You can gain more insights into your own written and oral comprehension.
- It offers you a more challenging academic activity apart from your study programme.
- You can meet students from different backgrounds (local or international).
- You may even benefit from the feedback yourself!