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Did you know that best practices in teaching international students align with principles of good teaching for all UAB students?
Click here to read "Engaging in Teaching that Reaches All Students," by Melissa Hawkins, the CTL's International Teaching and Learning Specialist.


Global Awareness Series


The Center for Teaching and Learning is committed to supporting faculty in developing learning environments that include diverse perspectives and viewpoints from other world cultures, as well as promoting the development of intercultural competence among all UAB students. The CTL also endeavors to empower faculty in welcoming international students to our campus by creating inviting, inclusive classrooms that demonstrate an appreciation for the rich vitality they bring to campus life and learning. 

To accomplish this goal, the CTL presents the Global Awareness workshop series, providing strategies and tips for working with and teaching international students, as well as topics related to cross-cultural communication and developing intercultural competence. Earning the CTL Global Awareness Certificate includes attending 6-8 Global Awareness workshops. Descriptions of Global Awareness workshops are below. In addition, the certificate includes attendance at 2-4 workshops presented by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. See below for DEI workshop descriptions.  More details about earning the Global Awareness Certificate are on the CTL Certifications page, including specifics about DEI requirements and applying DEI workshops taken elsewhere to this certification.

For more information about this workshop series, to request that one of the workshops be taught on-site in your unit, or for consultation, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the CTL's International Teaching and Learning Specialist.

Click on a workshop title below to view more information and to register.
If no upcoming events are listed, check out more upcoming events from other CTL workshop series.


Workshop Descriptions:

View workshop descriptions below by clicking the + sign next to each workshop title.

Teaching Practices for [International] Student Success

  • Establishing Expectations for the U.S. Academic Environment
    Because of cross-cultural differences in educational systems around the world, many of our international students enter a very different context when they arrive at UAB. In this workshop, learn about several of these significant differences, and explore how you can empower your students to be successful by communicating explicitly about expectations for your course, many of which we sometimes assume that students already know.
  • Tweaking Lectures for Optimal Comprehensibility
    Acquiring advanced listening skills in another language is challenging. Learn what makes English, in particular, a difficult language to comprehend orally, and apply this information in specific ways to help make your spoken English more comprehensible to multilingual speakers of English. In addition, discover and prioritize strategic steps you can take to help your lectures be more effective in communicating course content to all students.
  • Helping [International] Students Avoid Plagiarism
    Notions of textual borrowing and sharing intellectual ideas are different across cultures. In addition, paraphrasing, and knowing what must be paraphrased versus what does not, is a rather complicated skill to master for any novice writer. With all of the difficulties intrinsic in accurately using sources and in writing with an authoritative voice, employing AI generated text in composition may appear inviting. Explore practical ways to help all of your students navigate academic honesty in the American academic environment.
  • Managing Group Work with Cross-cultural Savvy
    Carefully-designed, cross-cultural group work provides the most promising opportunity for intercultural learning to occur on an American university campus. In this workshop, examine the most common reasons for group work failure, both generally and for culturally diverse groups. Then, learn specific actions you can take to facilitate successful cross-cultural learning while students dynamically engage with course content at the same time.
  • Please Talk! Promoting Class Participation
    International students from certain educational backgrounds are naturally reticent to speak out in class, simply due to cultural differences, and many American students are as well. Review ideas you can use to help students understand why our educational culture values classroom discussion and how to participate effectively and appropriately. Learn ways to spur on involvement spontaneously during class.
  • Supporting the Development of Critical Thinking Skills
    International students are clearly not the only students on campus who sometimes need help developing critical thinking skills. However, it is also true that international students from some backgrounds do not have an expectation of critical thinking in the early years of their education and must learn those skills upon arrival in the U.S. academic environment. In this workshop, discuss ways to help all UAB students build their ability to think critically in the ways we construct our classes.
  • Engaging in Teaching that Reaches All Students
    UAB has an incredibly diverse student body profile, in both visible and invisible categories of difference. Because we want to create environments throughout campus in which all students have a chance to learn content from our courses and be successful, this workshop provides techniques we can incorporate to make our instruction more effective for all types of learners--ideas that are not difficult to implement but will make a significant difference.

Exploring International Student Backgrounds

Our early educational experiences shape what we bring to the university classroom. Investigate the educational cultures of our most common international student populations at UAB, with a particular focus on how those backgrounds might pose cross-cultural complexities to work through upon arrival in a U.S. educational context. Discover the key ways that you can be a “cultural broker” to your students in their adjustment to studies at UAB. Presentations will focus on the countries currently represented in the “top ten” student groups at UAB from the following regions:

Growing in Intercultural Awareness

  • Understanding the Impact of Cross-cultural Values
    Join this interactive session to learn about the most common values differences that cause conflict across global cultures. Since values are so deeply oriented within us, they affect our behavior in profound, often unconscious, ways. Learn how several general U.S. cultural values differ from the cultures of some of our most populous international student groups and consider the impact of this information on the classroom.
  • Addressing Student Concerns with Cross-cultural Sensitivity
    Often, communication breakdowns between instructors and students occur in the outside-of-class environment. Discover the reasons behind the most typical situations in which cross-cultural communication incidents occur, including conversations about attendance, grades, grievances, classroom performance, and health. After exploring values differences that can bring about misunderstandings, gather intercultural skills to turn these incidences around for everyone involved.
  • Communicating Across Cultures and Languages
    When interacting with students from diverse backgrounds, differences in cross-cultural communication styles can be at the root of potential communication issues. Learn about communication differences around the globe in this practical workshop, and experience for yourself some of the challenges of speaking in a “different” language. Participants will also learn how to be a better listener to speakers from different language backgrounds and discuss tools for maximizing effective communication in English.
  • Adjusting to Living and Studying in a Different Culture
    Especially designed for counselors, advisors, mentors, or first year experience instructors, participants will develop a deeper understanding of the processes of acculturation that international individuals experience as they adjust to life on an American university campus. Learn ways to talk about acculturation stress and cultural differences, and review sound recommendations that can help students and scholars cope with the transition.

Teaching for Global Learning

  • Infusing your Course with Intercultural and International Learning
    Preparing our students for engagement in our global community is supported when we include international and intercultural content in our courses. Whether you want to forward an international emphasis in a unit or assignment, build a new course on an international topic, or add intercultural learning activities to a course, this workshop will review the possibilities for promoting international learning and intercultural growth throughout the disciplines.
  • Guiding Growth in Intercultural Skills and Attitudes
    Developing the ability to successfully navigate intercultural encounters is a lifelong learning process, because differences in people, cultures, and situations are infinite in variability. In this workshop, investigate salient models of intercultural development that help shed light on the elements of successful intercultural exchange. Explore ideas for teaching the critical importance of growing in cultural humility and in an understanding of one’s own culture.

Reserve CTL Space

The UAB Center for Teaching and Learning promotes educational and professional development that leads to innovation in the classroom and meaningful student learning. Our offerings and space is available to any UAB faculty, student facing staff, or individuals teaching a course currently that is interested in professional and educational development. If you are in need of space for a faculty meeting, training, and or retreat we would love to host you. Contact us today at uabctl@uab.edu to check availability. Please include the dates of interest, time, purpose of reservation, and those who will be in attendance.

CTL Workshops

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Global awareness   Global Awareness

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