Veteran Drill Instructors are excused from Orientation. They are, however, required to come to all practice sessions to assist in the training of new candidates.
Introduced in 1967, The Apprentice Teacher-AT/Drill Instructor Program has become an integral part of foreign language instruction at Dartmouth. In the Department of Spanish & Portuguese where all beginning and introductory language courses consist of master classes, drill sessions and the use of digitized video-based language materials, the AT/Drill Instructor spends an hour a day drilling students on the points they have learned in their master classes, and two hours in preparation, whether it be in correcting workbooks or preparing for drill sessions. Working closely throughout the term with the Master Teacher, the AT/Drill Instructor is responsible for leading students in pattern drills in order to practice and reinforce the grammatical points they have studied in class.
The AT/Drill Instructor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese are Dartmouth undergraduates currently enrolled in courses, but not necessarily language majors. They are students with established linguistic skills who attend an orientation, participate in a three-day training workshop prior to the commencement of each term, and "try-out" in a faculty-led jury. Participation as an AT/Drill Instructor is limited to three terms a year; as it is a very intensive job we require that you have no other employment.
Applicants for the AT/Drill Instructor position are not expected to be fluent in Spanish or Portuguese but should have linguistic competence at the level of Spanish/Portuguese 10 or above and have a very good accent. All interested parties need to participate in all of the AT/Drill Instructor workshops offered at the beginning of each term, whether you are a veteran or a novice. At the conclusion of the workshops, candidates participate in a jury where they are judged on: their ability to successfully perform the drill techniques; pronunciation and intonation; creativity and animation. Enthusiasm, technique and commitment, then, are all are important requirements. In addition, your attitude during the workshops will be taken into consideration during the jury and AT/Drill Instructor selection process.
The number of AT/Drill Instructor selected each term varies according to the number of language sections the department is offering, but each term the Department of Spanish & Portuguese employs between 17 and 26 students in Spanish and 1 to 3 students in Portuguese.
There are three types of exercises which you will present during "drill": mechanical, meaningful and communicative. These broad divisions represent a graduated progression from purely imitative exercises to others which more closely resemble a spontaneous conversation in Spanish. To be able to converse spontaneously in grammatically correct Spanish is the goal of our overall instruction. The AT/Drill Instructor should be aware of this goal and the different roles that each exercise plays in language development when she/he is planning each lesson. Remember that part of the student's grade is based on his/her performance in drill class.
Last Updated: 9/2/14