tional teaching candidates. The members of the TA Proficiency Committee, spon- sored by UNC's Parents Council, want to do more. Using successful language pro- grams from Syracuse and Northwestern universities as blueprints, they have designed a three-pronged course to help international students and the undergrad- uates they teach. This spring, the committee ran a pilot program with a dozen international stu- dents. The course first targeted pronuncia- tion, translation and conversation. Foreign students then worked on their interpreta- tion and discussion skills and, finally, received intensive training on discipline- specific classroom interaction. "Some of these people are so talented, but it doesn't matter how talented they are," said Gibbs, chair of the conlli"uttee. "We're trying to teach them the basics of corru11unication, but we're also trying to teach them the basics of interacting in an funerican classroom." Thanks to grants from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School and the Parents Council, the program will have almost $30,000 to run three of these classes each semester in 2002-03. Although it may take several years to reach all the English-deficient teaching assistants, Gibbs said University officials are committed to the effort. "I really think it can make a huge differ- ence;' Gibbs said. ''I'm so pleased with the nthusiasm of the University personnel. I think they see the need is there. We need it o become an absolute part ofbeing an ITA [international teaching assisant] at Car- olina. These are baby steps." The program won't help Ferreira, who after three semesters at UNC says she has grown more comfortable in the class- room. She has adapted to the University's procedures that differ from those in Brazil, such as more secretive grade post- ing policies and less physical contact with students. And she isn't afraid to ask a stu- dent to repeat a question that she doesn't understand or to have a student ask her to clarify her own instruction. ''I'm always concerned about my English to make the students understand what I'm saying," Ferreira said. "Usually, I ask people to correct me. It's a learning process." - Colleen Jenkins
The woman on the left has a
famous son. The man on the
right has a legendary mother.
~he might not he " a famous as hee son, hut Del",is Jotdan-
mother of Michael- is a legend in her own right.
As an advocate for families and children, Jordan's energy is remark-
able. Whether she's reading to Chicago's underprivileged children,
attending a fund-raising dinner, or promoting positive parenting,
Jordan has one priority: strengthening families.
Key to the establishment of the Jordan Institute for Families-a far-
reaching institute within the School of Social Work-Jordan is a
member of its policy advisory board. "The Institute provides the
research and support that is essential to organizations geared toward
serving families, specifically disadvantaged and underprivileged fami-
lies. It is a tremendous resource," Jordan said.
It might seem that Jordan is trying to accomplish more than one per-
son should rightly handle. But then people said the same thing
of her son.
For more information about how you can support the work of
the School of Social Work and the Jordan Institute, please call
(919) 962-6469 or visit our website at < http://ssw.unc.edu>.
Ii School of Social Work . University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
C A Po. 0 LIN A A L U M NIP... E V lEW