Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA)
Advice from Former FLTAs


Advice from Former FLTAs

Advice on Teaching

  • Preparation: Always be prepared! Preparation is important in maintaining a good learning environment.
  • Teaching materials: Bring authentic materials with you to share with your students.
  • Promote your culture: Be proud of your culture and your country and be willing to share your experiences with your students.
  • Have fun in class: Enjoy teaching and students will enjoy learning. Don't expect students to be perfect right away. Also keep in mind that American students are outspoken and will ask questions.
  • ASK!: Do not hesitate to ask about anything you might not understand. Asking is also important during the FLTA orientation. Your supervisor, colleagues, classmates, and other FLTAs may be able to help you clarify any doubts.

Advice on Enjoying your Time

  • Friendship and community building: Be open and willing to make friends with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • International offices: Visit the International Office at your institution. They are often a great source of information and may provide opportunities to network with other international scholars.
  • Explore: If you have time, travel to and explore new places. You can learn more about the United States if you travel and don't stay in one place. Also, try to explore your institution and learn about events, seminars, lectures, and services offered. Check out this website from the US Embassy for more information about the regions/cultures in the US.
  • Volunteer! It's a great way to make friends while you help communities.
  • Positive attitude: Many different cultures are represented in the United States, especially on large campuses. It is important to respect and appreciate them. Treat others as you want to be treated and maintain a positive attitude even when you see and encounter new/different things.
  • Life in the U.S.: Differences in foods are part of the cultural shock you might experience. You will notice that food is sometimes served in large portions. At most institutions and in the surrounding areas, you will find many sports facilities. It's fun to participate in sports and it is also a great way to meet people. Many Americans use credit and debit cards. You may be able to obtain one through your local bank. Make sure to pay attention to the fees being charged by your bank if you use your card. Get a state identification card (ID) so you won't need to carry your passport all the time. Be aware that public transportation on some campuses and in some towns are slow.
  • ASK!: Do not hesitate to ask about anything you might not understand. Asking is also important during the FLTA orientation. Your supervisor, colleagues, classmates, and other FLTAs may be able to help you clarify any doubts.