Preparing International Teaching Assistants: Intercultural Training from a Genetics Perspective.Report as inadecuate

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The variety of cultures represented by international teaching assistants (ITAs) demands a skillful accommodation of intercultural information to assist effective adaptation for the American classroom. The literature on intercultural communication often provides a simple illustration of persons representing different cultures interacting to create a "third culture" or negotiated social reality which becomes the new milieu for their interaction. This illustration is analogous to the genetic process in the combination of chromosomes. The genetic model helps to chart the evolutionary process of birth and/or rebirth of the culturally sensitive person. A consulting interview model serves as a framework for a distinctive profiling technique based on the model drawn from genetics. This approach can guide the consultant/trainer in the allocation of time and topics to accommodate the diversity of clients; such an approach has been used in a program at the University of Oklahoma. The potential increase in effectiveness and efficiency render this approach distinctly superior to its generic-orientation alternative. Two figures representing aspects of the genetics analogue are included. (Contains 19 references.) (RS)

Descriptors: Foreign Students, Genetics, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Intercultural Communication, Models, Professional Training, Teaching Assistants

Author: Hill, L. Brooks; Lakey, Paul N.



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