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ENGL 592 A: Graduate English Studies

Meeting Time: 
F 10:30am - 11:20am
ECE 003
Mark Patterson
Mark Patterson

Syllabus Description:

Teaching 200 Level Courses in Language, Rhetoric, Literature & Culture

This is 2-credit pedagogy seminar required for all TAs teaching 200-level ENGL courses in Language, Rhetoric, Literature, or Cultural Studies for the first time. It also includes a 2-day orientation on September 19-20. This orientation is REQUIRED for all TAs teaching 200-level courses for the first time. 

592 Learning objectives


1. TAs will become familiar with policies for teaching at the 200-level: dates, logging hours, registration details, "W" requirements, VLPA requirements, plagiarism, FERPA rules about grades/email.


2. TAs will gain a general perspective on the place of 200-level courses in the curriculum

2.1  Be able to describe the audience for 200-level courses (and compare it to 100-level or 300-level courses).

2.2  Begin to consider differences between teaching 100-level courses and 200-level courses


3. TAs will assess the value and place of learning outcomes in literature/language classes

3.1 Evaluate how their strategies for writing learning outcomes in composition might be adapted.

3.2 Demonstrate ways that the learning goals for the 200-level (approved by the faculty) might be adapted by each of them for their particular courses.

3.3 Describe what learning outcomes look like for a literature class or a writing class.


4. TAs will consider aspects related to planning a course.

4.1 Be able to construct a syllabus and evaluate how the arrangement of assignments and readings creates a trajectory for the course.

4.1.1 Evaluate how their course fits the catalog description and place in the curriculum.

4.1.2 Evaluate the amount and the kind of reading assigned for the course and consider the relationship between reading assignments and writing assignments in their course.

4.1.3 Evaluate whether the course fits curricular requirements: "W" course requirements or "DIV" course requirements.

4.2 Demonstrate awareness of student interests, skills, perspectives, and differences.

4.2.1 Construct course materials that successfully appeal to students and meet them at their appropriate levels.

4.2.2 Be able to approach thoughtfully variation in students and their learning needs, including sociocultural differences, national differences, and differences in language background.  Be familiar with resources for students with special needs and accommodations.

4.3 Hear a range of other TA experience with syllabus organization.


5. TAs will consider strategies for planning in-class time

5.1 Demonstrate familiarity with different organization of in-class time: activities, group work, low-stakes writing, lecture, presentations

5.2 Evaluate strategies for fostering discussion in a class of 40 (whole-class, small group, pair, fish bowl, etc.)

5.3 Consider how class time meets learning objectives for the course and dovetails with out-of-class assignments.

5.4 Hear from other TAs about their successes and challenges.


6. TAs will develop strategies for teaching close reading

6.1 Evaluate how close reading instruction can fit in with writing instruction

6.2 Consider the different lenses through which texts may be approached (words, phrases, sentences, discourse) and the different kinds of contexts (historical, theoretical, cultural) in which texts might be situated.  Develop activities/assignments to approach these.

6.3 Hear from other TAs about their successes and challenges in activities to approach close reading.


7. TAs will begin to reflect on their own teaching styles

7.1 Evaluate themselves as teachers and how they perceive their relationship to students and to student learning

7.2 Draw connections between their teaching in composition and their teaching in literature/culture courses. Consider what will transfer from one pedagogical frame to another.

7.3 Evaluate strategies for approaching workload

7.4 Develop awareness of the pedagogical aspect of their professional persona and consider how their teaching relates to their self-presentation on the job market.



Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 10:50pm