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/IELTS score (no more than two years old).

It is the responsibility of each department to ensure that all non-native English speaking graduate assistants who serve in instructional capacities receive clearance before beginning their assistantship duties and that all graduate assistants who are required to take ITA classes do so in the appropriate semesters. Departments should refer to the procedures posted on the ESOL Program’s website.

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

TOEFL iBT Speaking Score IELTS Speaking Score SET Score Approved Activities
24+ 7+ 25+ ITAs are cleared to work students in all settings with no ESOL support.
21-23 6.5 18-24

ITAs are allowed to teach/tutor on a probationary status for one semester only if:

  • Concurrently enrolled in ESOL 5050: English for International Teaching Assistants (for ITAs who lead labs or instruct classes), or
  • ESOL 5040: English for International Teaching Assistants I (for ITAs who provide support in labs or tutor students), and/or 
  • CDIS 6000 and/or pronunciation tutoring at the Learning Commons

At the end of the semester, ITAs can demonstrate proficiency and be cleared to teach/tutor in subsequent semesters either by retaking the TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or SET, and achieving the score needed for full clearance to teach without ESOL support.

ITAs 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, IELTS score of 7, or score between 23-30 on the ESOL Program's Spoken English Test.

<21 <6 <18 ITAs are not cleared to teach/work with students:
  • ITAs hoping to teach/tutor in future semesters should enroll in ESOL 5000: English for International Graduate Students.
  • If there is a severe problem with pronunciation, the Prospective ITA 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 ITA's oral proficiency will be evaluated by a minimum of two trained staff members from the ESOL Program. Additionally, undergraduate students and representatives from academic departments may also be present.

SET sessions will correspond with International Programs & Partnerships Orientation in August and January. Departments can request additional testing times for prospective ITAs. Additionally, ITAs enrolled in ESOL 5000, 5040 and 5050 will retake the SET during finals week of the semesters that they are enrolled.

*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.

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

Updated: 08/24/2023 03:04PM