English Language Improvement Program:
SPEAK Test Policy and Procedure
SPEAK Test Policy
to Ohio University policy and state law, all students who have been
offered a graduate teaching assistantship must be certified as
proficient in oral Englsh. This includes graduate students who have
responsibility for laboratory in addition to classroom instruction.
Updated Information (July 14, 2010): Either the SPEAK test
or the Speaking section of the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) test can now
clear potential ITAs.
Option 1: Speaking iBT score clears potential ITA to
Following are the iBT Speaking section scores that will either clear a
non-native English speaking graduate student to teach at OU or clear
the student to teach at OU but only with a concurrent ITA course. The
scores are only valid for one year prior to when teaching would begin:
iBT Speaking 24-30 = cleared to teach
iBT Speaking 21-23 = teach with a required ITA course
Note that these scores are not regarding the student’s admission to a
program at Ohio University. Students would still need to meet the
university and program’s English proficiency requirements before they
would be eligible to be a teaching assistant.
Option 2: SPEAK score clears potential ITA to teach
The on-campus SPEAK test will be an option for three groups of students:
a. Students without an iBT score. The SPEAK
test will continue to be offered each quarter.
b. Students who received a score of 20 or less
on the Speaking section of the iBT will be able to take the SPEAK test
on campus if the department desires this option. In this case, the
student’s SPEAK test score would be used to determine eligibility for
c. Students who have an iBT Speaking section
score that clears them to teach, but the department still would like
their speaking proficiency evaluated upon arrival on campus. In this
case, the student’s SPEAK test score would be used to determine
eligibility for teaching.
Students who have not been cleared for instructional
assignments may still be allowed to assume those assignments on a
probationary basis if all of the following conditions are met:
- They have a SPEAK test score no lower than 190,
- They enroll in an international ITA pronunciation or
classroom communication course,
are deemed by their Graduate Chairs and Department Chairs as having
English skills that are adequate and appropriate for their
teaching/instructional assignments, and
speaking skills are evauated again before the beginning of the
subsequent quarter. (If they receive a SPEAK score of 230 or higher
they are no longer required to take ITA coursework unless required by
The table below outlines the test scores and outcomes:
SPEAK Test Procedure:
- Departments are notified of SPEAK test times and
locations every quarter.
notify students about the SPEAK test time/location. Only students who
have been offered a teaching position or who have a strong possibility
to be offered a teaching position are eligible to take the test.
notify Linguistics by contacting Dawn Bikowski (593-0201 or email@example.com) with names of
students who will be taking the
SPEAK test. Students cannot register themselves for the test, and
students cannot take the test without being registered.
- Students record the test on a computer in a lab,
usually in a group (takes approximately 30 minutes).
are notified of the results and students who need to take an ITA course
in order to teach are notified of class times.
- Students' scores are reported to Graduate Studies and
entered into the SIS system on the OENG screen.
- After students have taken the test, they are not eligible
re-take it until they have participated actively in pre-approved
pronunciation/speaking training (e.g., a course or with a tutor) for at
least 20 hours.
Note: Additional information useful for students taking the
SPEAK test here.
- Questions about SPEAK test times/location/procedure
should be addressed to Dr. Dawn Bikowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Questions about compliance with these standards
should be addressed to Dr. Katherine Tadlock at email@example.com