Autoethnographic Reflections of an International Graduate Teaching Assistant’s Co-Teaching Experiences




autoethnography, co-teaching, higher education, international graduate teaching assistants, professional development, sociocultural theory


This authoethnographic study explores the co-teaching experiences of an international graduate teaching assistant (IGTA) assigned to co-teach an undergraduate course at a U.S. publicly funded university. As a sociocultural theoretical framework, Dewey (1938), Vygotsky (1978), and Schön’s (1983) works regarding experiential learning, interaction, and reflective practice were used to analyze narratives and highlight the IGTA’s co-teaching experiences to provide evidence of reflective and collaborative practices. Five themes emerged from the study: a need for professional development, interdependence, mentoring, improving interpersonal skills, and shifting perspectives. The findings uncovered how the co-teaching experience cultivated and sustained an IGTA’s personal awareness of self and others through guided reflection on instructional practices to improve teaching and learning.

Author Biographies

Kristina Howlett, Rogers Public Schools, USA

KRISTINA M. HOWLETT, PhD, is an Independent Researcher and Community Projects Coordinator/College Advisor for the Rogers Honors Academy, Rogers Public Schools, in Rogers, Arkansas. She also chairs the Scholarship/Awards Committee for ARKTESOL (Arkansas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). Her major research interests include ESOL teacher training and professional development, service-learning, biliteracy, and multiculturalism.

Huong L. Nguyen, University of Arkansas, USA

HUONG L. NGUYEN, MA, is a doctoral candidate and graduate assistant in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her major research interests lie in the areas of teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), international graduate teaching assistant professional development, and technology development in English learner (EL) instruction.


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How to Cite

Howlett, K., & Nguyen, H. (2020). Autoethnographic Reflections of an International Graduate Teaching Assistant’s Co-Teaching Experiences. Journal of International Students, 10(2), 401–419.



Research Articles