Texas Tech University


[Date changed–posted 7/13/22 (last revised 10/15/18)]
[PDF Version]

 Texas Tech University logo

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 32.19: Non-native English-Speaking Faculty and Teaching Assistants

DATE: July 13, 2022

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to set forth Texas Tech University's policy on non-native English-speaking faculty and teaching assistants.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in April of even-numbered years by the Provost and Senior Vice President with substantive revisions presented to the President.


1.    Texas Education Code, Section 51.917, requires that each institution of higher education establish a program or a short course to assist certain non-native English-speaking faculty members to become proficient in the use of the English language. For purposes of this policy, the term “faculty member” means a person who teaches a course offered for academic credit by an institution of higher education, including teaching assistants, instructors, lab assistants, research assistants, lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors, and professors.

2.    The purpose of this policy is to assist faculty members whose primary language is not English to become proficient in the use of English and to ensure that courses offered for credit at Texas Tech are taught in the English language by faculty members who are proficient in the use of the English language.

3.    Faculty members and potential faculty members who can demonstrate that their primary language is English on the basis of country of origin, academic training, or other credible evidence are excluded from coverage of Section 51.917, Texas Education Code.

4.    All presently employed non-native English-speaking faculty and all potential faculty members of all ranks will be required to be certified as competent in the English language by achieving a satisfactory grade on the “Test of Spoken English” of the Educational Testing Service.

5.    If results of the evaluation indicate that additional language instruction is necessary, faculty will be required to register in an appropriate language instruction course in the English as a Second Language program and pay the required fees.

6.    The policy is not intended to prevent the use of other languages in foreign language courses or the counseling of non-English-speaking students in their native language.

Operating Policies & Procedures