Spoken English Test (SET) Instructions

Bowling Green State University’s Spoken English Test (SET) is an in-house exam designed to assess the oral proficiency of graduate students who are hoping to serve in instructional capacities (tutoring, teaching, or working in labs) as part of their assistantship duties at BGSU. Designed to meet Ohio Revised Code 3345.281, the test contains two parts: a short oral interview and a 7-10 minute teaching demonstration. Each prospective graduate assistant’s oral proficiency will be evaluated by a minimum of two staff members from the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program. Additionally, undergraduate students and a representative from the prospective graduate assistant’s department may also be present to provide additional feedback and ask questions after the teaching demonstration.

The SET is conducted either in person or via Zoom: details will be communicated directly to incoming students. For Zoom SET, you will need a computer with a webcam and microphone/headset in order to participate. You will receive a separate email invitation that will contain the meeting location, scheduled time, and a link to join the meeting at the scheduled time (if applicable). 


For your scheduled SET, be ready to teach a 7-10 minute mini-lesson based on a simple concept in your field of study.

For this teaching presentation you will need to:

  • Explain and illustrate a simple concept related to your academic field in a 7-10 minute interactive mini-lesson. Please be aware of your time limit as you prepare. You will be stopped after 10 minutes.  You might also be interrupted during your presentation.  It’s okay if you don’t finish everything you prepared for the SET presentation.  Your score will not be affected by this.
  • Pretend that you are teaching this concept to a room of undergraduate students who are not familiar with the topic. You are expected to interact with the audience and/or check comprehension at least 1-2 times.
  • The use of visual aids is encouraged.
    • If your SET is in Zoom, you can use any appropriate visual aids for the mini-lesson that you feel are necessary and can be easily shown via your own webcam. 
    • If your SET is in person, you will need to use your personal device for demonstration during the SET. Classroom technology may take too long to set up or could malfunction, impairing your performance. In the room, there will be markers and a whiteboard to use at your discretion.
  • If you decide to use any handouts or any other visual materials during your in-person or Zoom SET, send them to esolprog@bgsu.edu at least 48 hours (or earlier) before your presentation. Sharing materials in advance is required to ensure the accessibility of your presentation. The materials will not be used to pre-assess or grade your work.
  • At the end of your mini-lesson, we will allow up to 5 minutes for you to answer questions from the “students” on the panel.

Updated: 05/03/2023 11:25AM