Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Keywords: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants, English language Teaching Assistants, Teaching Assistant Training, Teaching Assistant Effectiveness, Servant Leadership, Kotter’s (1996) Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change


The purpose of this Organization Improvement Plan (OIP) is to develop an approach for increasing the effectiveness of Teaching assistants (TAs) working in the English language classrooms of an international university. TAs play an important role in teaching and learning activities of many universities, where they are employed across a variety of academic disciplines. A Japanese university recruits international undergraduate TAs to model the use of English and facilitate group discussions in small-sized classes. However, most TAs are untrained and inexperienced non-native English speakers, and many have expressed not feeling completely effective in their role. To begin to consider this issue, the paper commences with a background on the organization and an exploration of the problem using a combination of Bolman and Deal’s (2017) framework, a PESTLE analysis, and relevant data and literature. Based on findings and the organization’s current readiness for change, a two-pronged solution of developing a guideline for the TA role and providing corresponding training to equip TAs with needed skills, is recommended. Guided by principles of servant, transformational, and shared leadership theories, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and communication will be achieved using David Cooperider’s (2013) Appreciative Inquiry, and Kotter’s (1996) Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change. These approaches will be applied, in addition to the critical and constructivist lenses, to facilitate collaboration on a plan that will address the needs of stakeholders, but most importantly those of TAs – the least powerful, yet the most desirous of and impacted by the change. Lastly, the ethical implications of the initiative will be also considered, to ensure a process which optimizes TA effectiveness, as well as TA, teacher, and student satisfaction levels.