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Job titleGraduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Language and Linguistics Job referenceREQ04597 Application closing date21/05/2021 LocationColchester SalaryGrade 7, SP 27 (£16.49 per hour). GTAs who have achieved AFHEA accreditation before the start of the module will be paid at SP 28 (£16.98 per hour) Employment typeFixed-term, Part-time Job category/typeEducation AttachmentsREQ04597_Job_Description.pdf Job description


The Department of Language and Linguistics is seeking to appoint a number of Graduate Teaching Assistants on a range of first/second year modules, including:

LG110-4-AU, Sounds

LG111-4-AU, Words and Sentences

LG113-4-SP, Understanding Data in Linguistics

LG114-4-SP, Foundations of Sociolinguistics

LG115-4-AU, Child Language Development

LG116-4-SP, Adult Language Development and Processing

LG665-4-AU, Introduction to TEFL Methodology

LG666-5-FY, Initial Teaching Practice

LG667-4-SP, Theory and Practice in English Language Teaching

Information regarding the content of each of these modules is available from the online Module Directory:

Purpose of the role

The Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTAs) post will contribute to the Department’s teaching programme by providing teaching and tuition to help students meet their learning outcomes.

This post also provides a development opportunity for postgraduate students to develop their teaching skills in preparation for more senior teaching posts in future and to achieve professional recognition. GTAs assist academic staff at the University by performing teaching or teaching related duties normally using existing teaching materials.

Graduate Teaching Assistants will receive close supervision and direction from the Module Supervisor, including regular feedback, pastoral support and guidance. The Module Supervisor will give full background on the module and clear direction on the content to be taught and the preparation necessary, and will undertake assessment of teaching. If marking is to be undertaken, it should be in line with the University’s Marking Policy and under the guidance of the Module Supervisor.

Main Duties

The main duties of the post will be:

  • Teaching classes to students, providing them with a thorough knowledge of the subject and enabling them to meet the learning outcomes.
  • Preparation time – lesson planning, reading around the subject
  • Attending the lecture associate with the class
  • Holding academic support hours related to the modules taught and undertaking student liaison (e.g. responding to emails)
  • Additional time to academic support hours to provide feedback to students to support their learning
  • Undertaking related administrative duties, including monitoring attendance.
  • Marking coursework assignments and examinations, including the use of FASER
  • To act as a representative at departmental meetings and events.
  • Essential Requirements

    Applicants for posts as Graduate Teaching Assistant must be registered for a postgraduate degree at the University of Essex during all or part of the academic year 2021-22.

    Knowledge/Qualifications – Essential:

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area
  • Studying for a PhD in a relevant area but not in further completion
  • Good knowledge of the subject area being taught
  • Willing to undertake training to the requirements of the post
  • Knowledge/Qualifications – Desirable:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant subject area
  • Professional recognition e.g. AFHEA or a teaching qualification
  • Skills – Essential:

  • Able to communicate academic and teaching material clearly to both academic staff and a wide range of students
  • Effective organisation skills to manage time and prioritise different duties
  • Able to present work in a well-structured and coherent manner.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Experience – Desirable:

  • Some experience of delivery of academic content to small groups using oral presentation.
  • Previous teaching experience
  • Assessing students’ work and providing feedback
  • GTAs who have previously taught within the Department, should hold CADENZA accreditation in order to be considered.

    General information about the Department

    The Department of Language and Linguistics (DLL) has 37 full-time academic members of staff and provides a broad spectrum of expertise in the study of language and in the practical teaching of modern foreign languages. Its core ambition is to offer students a transformative educational experience in these areas underpinned by high quality research. The majority of research conducted in the department is rated ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, placing us 8th among departments in the UK for research quality (REF 2014). Our linguistics expertise covers Theoretical and Descriptive linguistics, Applied linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, TEFL and Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling. We offer a wide range of languages including French, German, Spanish and Italian that can be taken at degree level from beginners to advanced levels following the Common European Languages Framework. Portuguese can be studied from a pre-A level standard.

    We aim to offer our undergraduate students a firm foundation in all the different areas of linguistics offered in the department and to prepare then adequately for their independent student projects in final year. We thus aim to develop critical thinking, data analysis, lateral thinking and independent thinking skills at the very beginning of students study. We strive to give each student a personal and individual experience in order to boost student engagement and 1st/2nd year tutorials are a crucial aspect of this, apart from also offering a personal mentor and tutor system. Student satisfaction is central to our purpose and we aim to offer a wide range of assessment methods that engage students and help them achieve their full potential while also enhancing their employability skills.

    Contractual Arrangements

    The total number of hours per week is determined by the number of classes undertaken by each Graduate Teaching Assistant.

    The appointment will be made at the University rates for Graduate Teaching Assistants, depending on hours agreed, at Grade 7 SP 27 (currently £16.49 per hour) or at Grade 7 SP 28 (currently £16.98 per hour) for those who hold CADENZA.

    The posts will be offered as fixed-term employment contracts until the post holder completes or withdraws from postgraduate studies or enters further completion or an extension to completion period.

    Although an overarching contract will be in place for the duration of postgraduate studies, GTAs will need to apply for individual posts and will have no entitlement to future engagements beyond their initial post. The reason the contract is fixed-term is that these posts provide an opportunity for postgraduate research students to develop interpersonal, communication and practical skills.

    Support, Mentoring and Monitoring

    GTAs must engage in professional development activity related to teaching, learning and assessment responsibilities. All GTAs are expected to achieve Associate Fellowship of the HEA (CADENZA) at the first possible opportunity and by the end of their first year of teaching (or they will not normally be able to continue teaching as a GTA). GTAs will be paid for all mandatory training. The following training should be undertaken: 

  • Attendance at the two day induction event (September and/or January) (12 hours)
  • Complete the Essential Training (3 hours)
  • Complete the CADENZA application (6 hours).
  • In addition, there will be the following Departmental induction and training. 

  • Attendance at the departmental induction (September – 2 hours)
  • Observation of Teaching (autumn term, wk 7, spring term, wk 22)
  • Attendance at the departmental workshop (week 11 – 1 hour)
  • Graduate teaching assistants are also expected to play a wider citizenship role in the Department. This will include activities including where appropriate involvement in module development and review, and being represented at Departmental meetings and events.

    Please visit for further information regarding CADENZA accreditation.

    How to Apply

    The application and associated documentation should be submitted electronically to the Department Manager, Samantha Durling, by Friday 21st May 2021 ([email protected])

    Applications should be made in writing, enclosing:

  • A covering letter,
  • An up-to date curriculum vitae,
  • A short statement from your Supervisor confirming that, if successful, this employment would not interfere with the requirement that postgraduate research students are expected to submit within four years.
  • Selection Procedure

    Selection of GTAs and decisions about teaching allocations will be made by the Head of Department, in consultation with the GTA Co-ordinator, Department Manager and relevant Module Convenors.

    Interviews will be held approximately two weeks after the closing date or as soon as possible thereafter.

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