Teaching Assistant Application

Frequently Asked Questions

This page will be continuously updated with helpful and informative responses to the questions that are commonly asked. If the answer you seek does not appear below please contact the Chinese Studies Program.

Q: What are the duties of a Chinese language TA?
  • TAs are hired to teach Mandarin Chinese to 15 or less students on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in tutorials (a.k.a sections). A grad student working as a TA must have a flexible schedule that permits him or her to lead tutorial sections on those particular weekdays. Teaching as a TA includes but is not limited to practicing pronunciation and answering student questions. The TAs offer quizzes in class, maintain confidential records of the grades, grade homework papers and exams and return these documents to the students in a timely manner. A TA must also spend 60 minutes or more in the assigned TA office to meet with students so that they may practice vocabulary/pronunciation drills or other aspects of tutoring. TAs also prepare their lesson own plans and meet with instructors on a weekly basis. A new TA will be instructed to attend a corresponding lecture on Tuesday/Thursday to shadow a Chinese language instructor and learn his or her teaching method.

Q: When can I apply for a TA position?

  • If you wish to be a TA in the fall you will need to apply during spring quarter, generally around May 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the winter you will need to apply during fall quarter, generally around November 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the spring you will need to apply during winter quarter, generally around February 20th. Deadlines will be posted on the TA page of the Chinese Studies Program webpage.

Q: How many TAs do you hire?

  • Spring quarter in preparation for fall is the best time to apply for a TAship. In preparation for fall we hire a total of approximately 18 TAs. This means we usually hire 5 to 12 new TAs depending on how many of current TAs are graduating. Many TAs will continue to work for (CSP) for the entire academic year or until they actually graduate. So to recap in spring we hire 5-12 new TAs for fall quarter. In winter quarter there is a reduction in enrollments which causes us to cancel some sections. The Chinese Studies Program must reduce the number of TAs by 1 or 2 because fewer students mean a need for fewer sections. The same happens for spring. 

Q: Can a staff person enter my information into the application for me?

  • No, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit his or her own full application in order to be considered for an available TA position.

Q: It is after the deadline date, can I still submit my application? What are my chances of being selected?

  • You may ask. If we are still considering additional applicants the deadline date may be extended. Please be aware that there are many new and continuing grad students who are qualified to apply for the Chinese language Teaching Assistant position. To be considered as an applicant you should follow all instructions and complete your application by the deadline date. Please apply for the following quarter by the deadline.

Q: Can I call or stop to find out the results?

  • Applicants are generally contacted via email or phone call six weeks after the application deadline regarding the results. There may be the possibility that you are invited to come in for an interview. Please be patient.  DO NOT call or send emails to the Chinese Studies Program to inquire about the status of your application prior to the results are available as the program is unable to answer your inquiry. 

Q: Can you print the Confirmation Page for me?

  • This is your responsibility. Be prepared to bring in or mail in the two items requested at the completion of your application. In other word, you need to physically submit your Confirmation Page and the CD with your voice recording.

Q: What do I do with the Confirmation Page and CD recording?

  • Remember to print the Confirmation Page once you have completed the online application, fill in your information and send (mail or deliver) the form and your voice recording on a CD by the deadline to HSS 3086. You can find the address at the bottom of the Confirmation Page.

Q: I'm currently a CHIN TA, do I really need to complete an application again?

  • Yes, anyone who is interested in being considered as a TA for the upcoming quarter MUST apply online. Grad students that are currently working as teaching assistants must finish the online application and MUST drop off the completed CONFIRMATION PAGE at HSS 3086 by the deadline date.

Q: What do I put on the CD?

  • RECORD yourself speaking for a minimum of 3 minutes. You are using this opportunity to introduce yourself in Mandarin to the Selection Committee. Do not read from texts or have background music/noise in your recording. Ensure to speak loudly and clearly and save this recording on a CD.  Before submitting the CD, make sure that the CD works well on a PC computer AND a CD player. Write your full name with a permanent marker on the CD.

Q: Can I send you a mp3 or other sound wave instead of a CD?  What about a thumb drive?

  • The instructions clearly state that we do not want recordings via email or online.  We will listen to your voice recording on a CD or a thumb drive.  You can also submit a video on a CD or thumb drive. We will now accept online videos from potential TAs in which they demonstrate their Mandarin speaking abilities. Once the TA selection process is over you can come by HSS 3086 and pick-up your thumb drive. However, during the selection process, all media needs to remain with your Confirmation Page until the process is over. 

Q: How much will I be compensated as a TA?

  • Any grad hired as a TA at 25% or more is eligible for a TAHI/TAFE fee remission (also known as a G-SHIP) in the amount of $5,021 each quarter of employment based on the 10/1/13 agreement. This amount is based on the 2013-134tuition and fees chart for graduate education at UCSD. In addition a TA will earn a monthly salary that varies  on the percentage of the sections that are assigned. 

Q: When will the Chinese Studies Program give me the fee remission?

  • The Chinese Studies Program does not give or enter fee remissions. It is the grad student's home department that enters the eligibility online and that prompts the Graduate Division to activate the fee remission.

Q: Why am I required to enroll in CHIN 500? Why do I have to select letter grade?

  • In addition to the fee remission and a monthly salary you will be earning 2 or 4 units based on your assigned percentage for being a teaching apprentice. Your work output/response, employee attitude and effectiveness as a TA are measured via a grade. Each grad student will be earning a grade for CHIN 500. 

Q: What do I do with the Confirmation Page?

  • Remember to print the Confirmation Page once you have completed the online application, fill in your information and send (mail or deliver) the form and your voice recording on a CD by the deadline.

Q: Where do I send or take my Confirmation Page and CD?

  • You may deliver your Confirmation Page & CD to Humanities & Social Sciences room 3084 located in Muir College. You may mail your Confirmation Page & CD to the address below:
University of California, San Diego
Chinese Studies Program TA Application
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0104
Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg., Room 3084
La Jolla, CA 92093-0104

Please contact the Chinese Studies Program for further details and assistance.

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