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Oral Language Assessment

The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) reviews the evaluations and assigns a language proficiency level between 1 and 4. The results are sent to the candidate and to the academic program and college in which the candidate may teach. The MACCS Rubric provides detailed information about how candidates are assessed. Those with assistantships who have no direct contact with students (e.g., responsible only for grading assignments) are not required to complete the language proficiency assessment.

Please note that language assessment results do not guarantee a teaching assistantship; they only determine eligibility.

ITAP Language Proficiency Assessment

  1. Supervised Oral Contact

    Can provide limited assistance to individual students when supervised appropriately.

    Key: Never unsupervised because of language breakdowns

    Appropriate activities include the following:

    • Assist an instructor or another TA in a classroom, laboratory or office (e.g., assist students with lab equipment, proctor tests, handout/collect papers, verify attendance)
    • Work with students individually and in small groups
    • Assist in answering questions when supervised by an instructor
  2. Short, unsupervised interactions

    Can explain major ideas or steps logically. Words and ideas are consistently comprehensible. (For foreign language instructors, most information is delivered into the target language, using English for short explanations when necessary.)

    Key: Short (5-10 minutes) presentations of basic ideas related to previous classroom lectures. Appropriate activities include the following:

    • Inform undergraduates of safety protocols and maintain a safe environment throughout the laboratory experience
    • Explain actions that students must take to complete a laboratory assignment when relevance to theory and principles was previously explained in lecture
    • Give explanations that are reinforced by visual representations or models
    • Hold office hours to answer individual questions
    • Work with students individually and in small groups to answer questions and assist with equipment or calculations
    • Roles include foreign language instructors, basic laboratory instructors, and TAs who only conduct office hours
  3. Long explanations; concepts previously introduced by the course instructor

    Can interactively explain logical reasoning with sufficient detail when solving problems. Can reword/simplify explanations and definitions to aid comprehension and respond to student needs.

    Key: Reviews or develops previously-introduced materials with students.

    Appropriate activities include the following:

    • Receive teaching materials and information from the coordinating faculty member
    • Review information previously introduced in lecture
    • Facilitate discussion and problem solving
    • Help students apply previously learned information to specific problems and/or cases
    • Conduct pre-lab orientations including relevance to previously introduced theory and principles
    • Lecture when the course instructor is present
    • Roles include discussion leaders, recitation instructors, and studio class instructors
  4. Long explanations of new concepts; the primary source of all information

    Can effectively and efficiently explain complex concepts with detail and linguistic sophistication.

    Key: Delivers new materials to students

    Appropriate activities include the following:

    • Independently lecture
    • Prepare lecture and course materials
    • Roles include guest lecturers and graduate instructors