Updates to Language & Culture Coaching in Winter 2019

student with a coach
Note: In Spring 2019, the EDU 198 Language & Culture Coaching Course will only be offered in the one-unit version. Students may also sign up for ITA seminars separately from coaching or in addition to coaching. 

Updates to Language & Culture Coaching in Winter 2019

For the past two years, IAE has offered oral skills training to current and prospective international TAs (ITAs) through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one coaching. We’re proud to have supported hundreds of students during this time, and we’re delighted to hear success stories from ITAs who are now more confident and competent when using English in their classes.

We’re excited to announce that, starting in Winter 2019, we’re consolidating these options into a single course, allowing us to provide training that is even more personalized and more amenable to graduate students’ busy schedules.

Reasons for the Change

Provide more flexible scheduling

Each quarter, some students are unable to attend the ITA workshops and seminars that are most relevant to them due to schedule conflicts. While we’ve tried adjusting the schedule in various ways, there are always some students who inevitably can’t attend at a particular time. So, instead of asking students to attend scheduled workshops, we’re reformatting that content into online modules that students can access whenever their schedules allow. Each student will be able to work through online modules then practice their skills in one-on-one meetings with their Language & Culture Coach and, when possible, in small group meetings with other students with similar needs, goals, and scheduling availability.

Offer more customized training

IAE’s ITA training content will be divided into short, accessible lessons to not only fit in a student’s schedule more easily but to also enable them to only engage with the content most relevant to and needed by them. Participants will work with their coaches in the beginning of the quarter to set student learning outcomes—goals for what the student will be able to do by the end of the quarter, and these outcomes will be used to create a plan for what lessons and activities the student will do during and outside of their sessions.

Communicate with campus partners

Many students participate in ITA training through IAE because they are working as a TA and have a Conditional Pass on the Test of Oral English Proficiency (TOEP). These students are required by the university to complete  concurrent English instruction. Departments across campus that hire TAs are responsible for making sure that their TAs comply with this policy. However, it can be difficult for departments to see and easily understand what training their TAs are currently participating in since, up until now, IAE’s training has not appeared on students’ transcripts. In the future, all departments will be able to easily check and see if their TAs are enrolled in Language & Culture Coaching.

About EDU 198: Language and Culture Coaching for ITAs

This course will be graded as pass/no pass with 70% or higher being equal to a passing grade. Students must accrue the required number of points (see next section) to receive a passing grade.

Note: This is a variable unit course that can be worth either one or two units. Students who are required to complete English instruction (either because they are working as a TA and have a Conditional Pass on the TOEP OR because they are planning to retake the TOEP) must be enrolled in the two-unit option and complete required IAE workshop/seminar content.

Course Requirements


One-Unit Option
Two-Unit Option

Complete pre-coaching self-assessment exercise

Complete pre-coaching self-assessment exercise


Earn 100 points by completing activities recommended in your coaching plan

Earn 200 points by completing activities recommended in your coaching plan


Complete a final self-assessment and reflection

Complete a final self-assessment and reflection

For more information, please review the course syllabus.

Coaching will be delivered through a combination of one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and/or online coaching. Participation in each of these forms of coaching will count toward the required points.


image of person with one other person, people in a group, and a person at a computer


Student FAQs

How do I schedule to meet with a Language & Culture Coach?

Submit a request from the IAE website. In your request, you will share your scheduling availability and some basic information about yourself. After you submit your request, you will receive a CRN for the EDU 198 course you should register for (Language & Culture Coaching for ITAs) and instructions on your next steps.

How often will I meet with the Language & Culture Coach?

Most students meet with their coach once a week. Each session is 50 minutes.

Who are the Language & Culture Coaches?

The coaches are UCD undergraduate students who are trained to support international graduate students on topics in language and culture. They are friendly, attentive, and dedicated to helping graduate students improve and succeed!

What would I work on with a coach?

After you submit a request to meet with a coach, you will complete a self-assessment exercise that will help us create a tentative plan for you. During your first session with your coach, you will discuss and finalize this plan by setting goals together and developing a plan for how you will meet the goals you set. Topics must be related to your current or future work as a TA and may include pronunciation, vocabulary, U.S. culture, presentation skills, organization, and other related topics.

When should I sign up?

To meet with a coach on an ongoing basis, you must sign up by the third week of the quarter. If you would like to meet with a coach just one or two times, you may submit a request at any time.

Do I have to sign up for the course?

Yes, if you would like to participate in this program, you must enroll in the course. If you would like to meet with a coach for three times or fewer, you can submit a request without being registered for the course, but all coaching assignments are subject to availability.