University of California, Berkeley, Graduate Division and Berkeley Language Center

Linda von Hoene and Rick Kern

Several units outside departments provide a rich array of professionalization opportunities for graduate students to supplement their degree programs. For example, the Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Teaching and Resource Center offers workshops and consultations on teaching and learning and on teaching-related aspects of the academic job search, such as developing a teaching portfolio and preparing a teaching demonstration for an on-campus academic job interview. It also offers a certificate of teaching and learning in higher education (see http://gsi.berkeley.edu/certificate/index.html for details) as a structured way to prepare graduates for teaching in future careers. Certificate requirements are completion of an approved field-specific pedagogy course (most foreign language department pedagogy courses have been approved for this certificate program); a number of required and optional workshops; and classroom observation and feedback by a faculty member. The capstone project for the certificate program is the development of a teaching portfolio, which contains, among other things, a sample course syllabus with learning outcomes (http://gsi.berkeley.edu/programs-services/certificate-program/certificate-faq/#portfolio). Furthermore, in conjunction with Graduate Division Academic Services, the center hosts the Summer Institute for Preparing Future Faculty. The program consists of a core course, From Graduate Student to Faculty Member, which introduces graduate students to the history of higher education; the Carnegie classification system; the hiring and tenure process across the Carnegie classifications; what the lives of new, mid-career, and senior faculty members are like at a range of institutions; and how to apply for academic positions and postdoctoral appointments. In addition to readings and practical assignments, institute fellows benefit from weekly panels of faculty members from local colleges and universities who address these topics from the perspective of their particular institutional context. Fellows also take one elective, either Editing, Academic Writing, and Academic Publishing or Developing a Teaching Portfolio.

The Berkeley Language Center (BLC; blc.berkeley.edu) provides numerous opportunities for doctoral students as part of its mission to support the learning and teaching of heritage and foreign languages. It hosts a monthly lecture series that brings major scholars in applied linguistics, language studies, and language education to address a wide variety of topics of relevance to language teachers. Some of these events are very applied and pedagogical (e.g., workshops on particular approaches or kinds of materials, such as film); others are more theoretical and tend to problematize precepts in the profession. They are well attended by graduate students from language departments and the Graduate School of Education. In addition, the BLC Fellows program brings together lecturers and graduate students who pursue research projects on various aspects of language and culture for one semester (e.g., this semester’s fellows’ projects include creating a database of Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian folklore; creating a Russian humor database; developing a curricular plan for integrating medieval history in the elementary Italian program; and developing an online placement test for Chinese heritage learners). Fellows meet in seminar style with BLC staff members two hours a week and present their project at a public lecture and write an article for the BLC Web site. We encourage fellows to do a more elaborate write-up that they could submit to a professional journal (such as the L2 Journal, which is run out of the BLC), which some have done successfully. Past fellows have found that the experience of doing a BLC fellowship project has helped them significantly on the job market.

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