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Teaching in the Australian classroom

Allan Goody
The University of Western Australia
The dilemma: How can we best assist new academic staff and tutors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to adjust to teaching in the Australian classroom?

At UWA, as at many other universities, new academic staff participate in an introductory program or workshop to prepare them for teaching. Foundations of University Teaching and Learning is the main program for new academic staff while Seminars and Tutorials for Postgraduate Tutors is offered for tutors, the majority of whom are doctoral students. If new academic staff or tutors come to Australia having taught in or been a student in a culture that is different to Australia, or English is not their first language, do these introductory programs prepare them for teaching in the Australian classroom? Anecdotal evidence from a number of new academics who have completed these introductory programs report that they are not prepared for the 'cultural' differences in the classroom. At UWA, a program for tutors from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds has been piloted to assist the tutors with cultural issues and communication and teaching strategies in the Australian classroom.

In this session the pilot program will be described and through discussion of the dilemma, input will be sought to further develop the program and seek additional ways of providing resources for these new academics and tutors.

Author: Allan Goody, Lecturer in Higher Education Development, Centre for Staff Development, The University of Western Australia. agoody@csd.uwa.edu.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Goody, A. (2002). Teaching in the Australian classroom. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/goody-abs.html

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