A post from Tunu Sodhi, LTO English Language Specialist:
With the new school year approaching, we at the Learning and Teaching Office are preparing for the New Faculty Orientation. This is a two day event which held on Tuesday, August 19 and Wednesday August 20. Last year, our former Director Maureen Reed wrote that it was an opportunity “to make new friends, learn new stories, and create new research collaborations.” These are very true words. I remember last year’s event when a couple of the early birds sat down at different tables and sat quietly. That was until they were introduced and they couldn’t stop sharing stories of teaching and their particular subjects. It was fascinating to watch. Another time, I remember a new faculty member walking in somewhat timidly and sat down. He then met someone from his native country. He quickly started to relax. From where I sat, it wasn’t as much that these two shared a citizenship that seemed to matter as they didn’t really speak much, but more that there was someone else who was not a native speaker. These stories from the New Faculty Orientation are part of what makes the conference so exciting. You learn, make new friends and, most importantly, get to know the university.
For me, the New Faculty Orientation marks when the school starts to get busy. With faculty returning, I will begin having more one-on-one meetings and will begin my conversation groups toward the end of September. I hope to introduce new programs this year as well. If you are a non-native speaking faculty member and feel you would like assistance with your English please email me or come to see me at the New Faculty Orientation.
I look forward to seeing you there!