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March 21, 1988 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-21

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News Features MARCH 1988 *1



Continued From Page 1
The tudntssai isnotShe took the TA English Prog-
The problem, students said, is not When Jeongla Chung began as a
that foreign TAs lack knowledge, but trams class spring quarter. At the
that communication-in either direc- what to expect.
tion-is very difficult.' Chung, a philosophy TA from for one quarter, Chung said he was
For example, a female respondent r a- taught to gesture while teaching and
who took a calculus course said of her versty fall quarter 1986-two quar- tionived hramm r p
foreign TA: "He couldn't teach. He knew t e r s b ef ore a r e d any daonuycation and g asmurema
math but he couldn't relay it under- training. to e s ae
standably." very helpful to me. When I speak
The survey was based on the hypoth- my recitation sometimes," she said. Eng)ish. I a se a cn et Ayr
esis that if there is a widespread prob- "In that case, I try to put my idea on (teac ing) four classes, I can get y
lem with foreign TAs, it is mainly due to the hiacke)ard, sa I think the main MraU. n t vi
language and cultural differences, problem was resolved. CiCes
causing difficulty in communication be-
tween students and foreign teaching pared the responses of 214 students dents taking the same courses in sec-
assistants, taking lower-level courses taught by tions taught by foreign TAs. To avoid
The survey, conducted last year, com- American TAs to responses of 213 stu- bias, students were asked not to com-

pare American and foreign TAs, just
rate their own instructor. The students
were randomly sampled from 130 clas-
ses taught in 14 departments.
The survey did not detect any bias
against foreigners. Almost all students,
whether they had an American or fore-
ign TA, said TAs should be allowed to
teach, but first should receive training.
More than half the respondents inter-
viewed about a course they took from a
foreign TA (55 percent) agreed that
their instructor's English "was often
difficult to understand."
Nearly all of the respondents, howev-
er, agreed that their TA, whether fore-
ign or American, "was knowledgeable."
A male respondent who took a statis-
tics class said of his foreign TA: "I know
she knew her stuff, but I don't think she
knew how to present it."
Continued From Page 1


cluding Jeffrey Ross, campus affairs
director for the Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith.
"The boundaries of civility seem to
have been shattered," he said.
Although most incidents are
directed by whites against blacks,
other minority groups-including
Jews, Hispanics and Asians-are
also affected.
"When in effect it becomes open
season on one minority, all others
will eventually feel the heat. In
effect, you've let the demons loose,"
Ross said.
Howard Ehrlich, research director
of the National Institute Against
Prejudice and Violence, monitors the
trends of violence against ethnic
"We're seeing a normative accept-
ance of low-level prejudice," he said.
"For a good period of time, this kind
of action has been unacceptable.
That has changed."
Also changing is the prevalence of
physical assaults, which now are the
most frequently reported form of vio-
lent attack, Ehrlich said. About one
in four minority students experi-
ences some form of attack in any
academic year, he said.
"Wherever you have a rapid in-
crease of a highly visible minority,
especially with groups that had no
contact with each other, you will
have expression of prejudice,"
Ehrlich said.
He said the upsurge in racial ten-
sions was indicative of economic dis-
parity across the country as well as
on college campuses, and was in part
due to the Reagan Administration's
unwillingness to confront the issue.
As a result of racially-motivated ,
incidents, students said they had be-
come more conscious of racism.
Membership in ethnic and anti-
racist student groups such as North-
western's Students Together
Against Racial Tension has in-
creased dramatically at many uni-
Michael Stoll, a U. of California,
Berkeley (UCB) student and chair-
man of the African Student Associa-
tion, said his group's membership
has increased over the past few
years to encompass half of UCB's
1,500 black students.
"In the last year or so, we've been
through a great deal," Ross said. "My
hope is that there will now be a
period of healing."



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