English Proficiency Evaluation for International Teaching Assistants
- International students who are offered a graduate assistantship in which they will be teaching must take the TSE/SPEAK exam prior to the beginning of the first summer session or semester in which they will be teaching. Student should ask that the TSE/SPEAK score be reported to the Graduate School and the department appointing the student to the assistantship.
- Students who receive a score of 50 or above on the TSE/SPEAK exam will be allowed to teach without further English language evaluation.
- Students who receive a score of 40 or 45 on the TSE/SPEAK exam may be assigned to a position which does not require contact with students. Alternatively, the Department (not the student) may contact the Associate Dean of the Graduate School to schedule an alternative English language proficiency evaluation.
- The basic format of the alternative English language proficiency evaluation will be a 5-10 minute lesson, with a question and answer period following, in the candidate’s field, in front of a panel of judges. The topic for the lesson will be given to the student 24 hours in advance of the evaluation.
- The panel of judges will be appointed by the Associate Dean of the Graduate School and will be composed of students and faculty, chosen to avoid conflicts of interest. Thus, the panel may be different for different departments. However, there will be one member common to all panels, chosen by the Associate Dean.
- Several weeks before the beginning of the fall semester, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School will identify a pool of faculty members and undergraduate students who are willing to serve on the panel for the academic year. This pool will be given some basic instruction on how to evaluate English language proficiency. In addition, the committee will have sessions on “norming” to ensure inter-rater reliability. The criteria for evaluating the student’s English language proficiency will be published on the web-site of the Graduate School.
- When a panel is needed, the Associate Dean will choose two faculty members and one student from this pool. A representative from SILC will complete the panel.
- For the alternative English proficiency evaluation, the Associate Dean or designee will provide the ITA with an appropriate lesson topic, which will be given to the ITA 24 hours in advance of the scheduled evaluation. The ITA will prepare a very short (5-10 minute) presentation and will answer questions from the panel. Following the presentation, each member of the panel will make a separate recommendation to the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will notify the department that the ITA will be allowed to:
The panel may also make recommendations for ITA training or EASL 0041 (Pronunciation) and/or EASL 0053 (Advanced English Listening and Speaking Skills), after which the student will be re-evaluated with either the TSE/SPEAK exam or the alternative evaluation.
- Have no instructional responsibility until English language skills are improved
- Teach labs or engage in one-on-one instruction (e.g. learning labs)
- Lecture or lead discussion groups.