Chronicle of Higher Education Features Newell’s Bilingual Course Materials


Associate Professor Jay Newell was featured in an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education for his integration of Chinese translations into his class slides in his Advertising Principles course at Iowa State.

"My job is to make sure students learn this stuff and understand it and engage with it," Newell is quoted as saying in the article. When international students were falling behind, "it was my problem as much as it was theirs."

Newell has been including biliangual course materials — PowerPoint presentations and syllabi — since 2011. Since he began using bilingual materials, the practice has expanded to a theater and a political science course at Iowa State, Newell reports.

Each semester, Newell works with a graduate student with knowledge of written Chinese, as well as advertising and marketing to translate his course materials. Some of the slides carry over from year to year, Newell says, but he credits his current teaching assistant, Jingru Sun, a second-year journalism and mass communication graduate student from Shanghai, China, for the most recent updates to his course materials.

"His knowledge of advertising terminology is essential," Newell says. "As much as we would all like to have machines do our thinking, Google Translate and other automatic programs do poor jobs of translating business terms."

In addition to providing international students with a better understanding of his course materials, Newell says that "for the international students, even those from non-Chinese speaking countries, the translated materials are a symbol of the welcoming nature of Iowa State. US-origin students often see the materials as a demonstration of how to work across borders, a key skill for future media professionals."

Newell’s biligual course materials were one example cited by judges from the American Advertising Federation who chose him as the 2016 Distinguished Advertising Educator.

Read the Chronicle’s full article "Colleges Help the Faculty Adapt Teaching for Foreign Students." (Subscription is required to access this content)