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Non-native English-speaking graduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are required to demonstrate oral English proficiency prior to being appointed as classroom instructors, including face-to-face and online instruction and office hours. This campus policy was initiated in response to Illinois state law and applies to all prospective non-native English-speaking teaching assistants regardless of country of origin, nationality, or the language of instruction in any high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree program they may have previously completed.
Please note that requirements regarding English proficiency for teaching are different from requirements for admission to the Graduate College.
Graduate students are encouraged to fulfill the oral English proficiency requirement for teaching prior to arriving on campus by obtaining a qualifying speaking score on the TOEFL or IELTS. Scores are valid if received within two years of the first day of enrollment at UIUC.
As a service to the campus community, CITL offers the campus-based English Proficiency Interview (EPI) as another means by which prospective TAs can demonstrate oral proficiency in English and fulfill campus policy and Illinois state law.
The following chart provides score requirements for all non-native speakers of English to be considered for teaching assistantships:
English Proficiency Test
4CP*, 5, or 6
Administered at Illinois
24 or higher (speaking sub-section)
IELTS (academic exam)
8 or higher (speaking sub-section)
*A score of 4CP is a “conditional pass” which allows the student to be a TA provided he or she successfully completes ESL 508 during or before the first semester of teaching.
TOEFL and IELTS speaking scores are considered valid if obtained within two years prior to enrollment in the University.
Use the links to the left to learn more about the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) for TAs.