Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Vol.2 No. 4 December 2011                                                                                                 pp.194-218

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Composition Teachers from Different Cultures: Where is Pedagogy?

Dr. Asaad Al-Saleh
University of Utah, USA

This paper combines pedagogical reflection and composition theory research to offer new knowledge and advance the discussion of a significant multidisciplinary issue related to international teaching assistants (ITAs). It highlights the challenging experience of teaching composition in the United States upon these teachers‟ new entry to the country and its culture. It argues that there are teaching experiences that merit more attention as fresh, international teachers are increasingly joining US institutions and making it to the composition classroom, without having already been engaged in a pedagogical dialogue that facilitates their task. By sharing his personal experience and surveying other teachers, the author opens a forum to listen to these teachers as they express anxiety, embarrassment, and pressure due to facing cultural differences without having enough exposure to their students‟ prior knowledge. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to call attention to similar (global) situations and to receive scholarly evaluation and solutions from experts in the field. The proposed solution is to start a pedagogical dialogue that responds to these cultural issues by providing creative support to make differences a source of empowerment to teachers and students alike.

Keywords: International Teaching Assistants, Cultural Literacy, Composition Theory, Pedagogy