ITA Workshop Content & Evaluation Procedures
Specific Language Skills
- Pronunciation (English consonants and vowels)
- Pronunciation of key field-specific vocabulary
- Stress and intonation patterns
- Reduction, linking, rhythm
Classroom Language Tasks
- Short practice videos, reading out loud, role-plays (lab, class and office) with native-English
speaking students, introductions of self and syllabus, announcements
Initial oral evaluation
On the first day of the workshop, there will be an initial oral evaluation, usually
5-6 minutes long. During this evaluation, participants are:
- asked some questions about themselves, their experiences, and fields of study
- given a passage of text from their major field of study to be read aloud
- asked to give a 2-3 minute prepared talk in which they define a field-specific term
and tell why it is significant. This term will be assigned in the workshop's introductory
session. (click here for a list of terms by academic discipline)
- Math: probability, linear equation
- Chemistry: titration, reaction
- Political Science: electorate, polity
Midway through the workshop, all participants will take the SPEAK test, a locally
administered version of the original TSE (Test of Spoken English). This test is taped
and lasts 25 minutes. A spoken English test is required by state law.
Additional evaluation procedures
A performance test based on videotaped and non-videotaped microteaching presentations
on assigned topics before an audience of workshop instructors and professors representing
concerned academic departments is administered.
- Self-evaluation based on videotapes and audience feedback
- Instructor evaluation based on test performance
- Department chairs and representatives are invited to view participants' presentations
and have access to all evaluation documentation.
- A listening test
No one test solely determines the outcome of the final evaluation of a participant's
English proficiency or readiness for teaching U.S. undergraduates. Rather, all of
the information gathered in the evaluation procedures described in the foregoing text
are considered when making a recommendation to each participant's department at the
end of the workshop.
Recommendations Sent to Academic Departments Following the Workshop
Students approved to teach are permitted to work insofar as it is reasonable at a
given level of proficiency.
Students not approved to teach have two options (see below) and should continue training
in spoken English.
- ESL 5310 (Spoken English Fluency) - offered for prospective ITAs during both long
- ESL 5312 (Academic Communication for ITAs) - offered to higher-scoring prospective
ITAs whose departments agree to a supervised, team-building arrangement in their departments
for the ITA candidate. Offered every Fall semester.
- Repeat the workshop the following summer
Students not approved to teach may not perform instructional duties until qualified
by a new evaluation. "Instructional duties" include duties as lab assistants.
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