International Teaching Assistants/Associates

According to BGSU policy and Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.281, all graduate assistants/associates who serve in instructional capacities (teaching, tutoring, laboratory sessions, etc.) who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate that they are orally proficient in the English language prior to working with students. Prospective graduate assistants can demonstrate this proficiency by either Completing the Spoken English Test (SET) or by providing an appropriate TOEFL iBT score (no more than two years old).

The table below indicates the outcomes for non-native English speaking graduate assistants/associates based on submitted TOEFL iBT or SET scores.


TOEFL iBT Speaking Score

SET Score

Approved Activities



GAs are cleared to work with students in all settings with no ESOL support.




GAs are allowed to teach/tutor on a probationary status for one semester:

·       GAs who lead labs or instruct classes are allowed to teach only if concurrently enrolled in ESOL 5050: English for International Teaching Assistants II and/or CDIS 6000.

·      At the end of the semester, GAs can demonstrate proficiency and be cleared to teach/tutor in subsequent semesters either by retaking the iBT TOEFL and earning a 24 on the speaking portion or by taking the ESOL Program’s ITA Test and receiving a score between 25-30.

·      GAs who are teaching courses in their native languages are cleared to teach with no ESOL support if they have a TOEFL iBT score of 22 or if they have a score between 23-30 on the ESOL Program’s ITA Test.



GAs are not cleared to teach/work with students:

·       GAs hoping to teach/tutor in future semesters should enroll in ESOL 5030: Intermediate Listening and Speaking.

·       If there is a severe problem with pronunciation, the Prospective GA must also enroll in CDIS 6000.


BGSU's Spoken English Test (SET) contains two parts, a short oral interview and a 7-10 minute teaching demonstration. Each prospective graduate assistant's/associates's oral proficiency will be evaluated by a minimum of two staff members from the ESOL Program. Additionally, undergraduate students and a representative from the prospective graduate assistant's/associate's department may also be present.

*Graduate Assistants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents only need to demonstrate English proficiency if they do not have an undergraduate/graduate degree from a U.S. institution.


  • Each semester, departments will notify the ESOL Program ( of all incoming GAs (and GAs who are changing assistantship duties) who will serve in instructional capacities (teaching, tutoring, laboratory sections, etc.) who are not native speakers of English, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
  • The ESOL Program will work with International Student Services to confirm the TOEFL iBT scores for all students designated as having instructional duties and will provide graduate coordinators and secretaries with a list of students’ outcomes.
  • The ESOL Program will provide departments with test instructions and a testing schedule for all students who did not have available TOEFL iBT scores so that departments can notify students who are scheduled to take the SET, and a departmental representative will be invited to attend SET sessions for students from the department.
  • SET Placement Results and course requirements for all students will be sent to the Graduate College and specific departments, and GAs should register for appropriate  ESOL and/or CDIS courses if required.

SET sessions will correspond with International Student Services Orientation in August and January, with additional testing times in June, October, and March.  Additionally, students enrolled in ESOL 5030, 5040 and 5050 can retake the SET during finals week of the semesters that they are enrolled.

For more information about the Spoken English Test, please contact: Kimberly Spallinger