TA Training

The TA training program in the UBC Department of Linguistics is a professional development program for undergraduate and graduate students working as teaching assistants in Linguistics. Each year, we run a series of workshops to introduce skills and strategies for effective TAing, including an orientation for new TAs, a pedagogical skills workshop, a grading workshop, an equity workshop, a First Nations workshop, and several informal sessions to discuss TA-related issues and potential solutions to them.


Contact Information

For more information about the Linguistics TA training program, contact the current Linguistics TA training coordinator, Avery Ozburn, or the current Linguistics graduate advisor, Gunnar Hansson.


TA Resources

The Linguistics Department maintains a Canvas page for department-related TA resources. For information about getting access to this page, contact the TA training coordinator or graduate advisor.


Letter of Commendation

As part of our TA training program, we offer a Letter of Commendation program, which participating TAs can list on their CVs. The program has three levels for TAs who participate in certain aspects of TA training, all of which are offered yearly. TAs are encouraged but not required to complete all three levels during their time as a TA in the department; only TAs in the Linguistics Department are eligible for this program. Level 1 is designed for beginning TAs, while Levels 2 and 3 are opportunities for returning TAs to maintain their involvement in the department’s TA training program. Once a TA has completed a level, they should apply to the TA training coordinator and graduate advisor for recognition of their achievement.


Level 1: Basic skills development letter of commendation

To obtain this commendation, a TA must have attended all of the following departmental TA training workshops:

  • Orientation (on Imagine Day; for returning TAs: can be from a previous year)
  • Pedagogical skills workshop (on Imagine Day)
  • Grading workshop (on Imagine Day)
  • Equity and inclusion workshop (on Imagine Day)
  • First Nations and Indigenous engagement workshop (in Term 2)


Level 2: Mentorship commendation

To obtain a mentorship commendation, a TA must participate in a CTLT peer evaluation training workshop, and then participate in peer mentorship by providing feedback for another TA. Examples include observing another TA’s teaching in tutorials or advising another TA on TA-related issues outside of tutorials (e.g. conflicts with students/instructor, time management issues, objectivity in marking, confidence in answering students’ questions, etc.). Both the mentor and mentee TA must sign a document with a short summary of the observation/discussion (a general description of the mentoring activity, which can keep the specific issues confidential) and the way that the feedback was shared (i.e. the date, the course, whether written comments were given or the TAs met or both).


Level 3: Leadership commendation

To obtain a leadership commendation, a TA must demonstrate teaching-related leadership. This can be accomplished by both co-facilitating a TA training workshop and contributing to the development of department-related TA resources (either course-specific or about general TA training). TAs must do both of these in order to receive this commendation.