English Language Proficiency Procedure for Graduate Teaching Assistants

  1. All students awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) involving any type of teaching responsibility, including lectures, labs, or tutoring shall be evaluated with respect to overall communication proficiency during the 3rd week of the first semester of his or her teaching duties. While the format may be determined by individual units, the evaluation must be documented and it must address the comprehensive English proficiency of the teaching assistant, including speaking and listening ability, commensurate with his or her assigned duties. A copy of the evaluation instrument and the results for each teaching assistant shall be made available to the Graduate Dean upon request. In addition to the above evaluation, the following requirements must be met:

    1. Graduate Teaching Assistants (who have direct contact with students) must have a minimum TOEFL ibT score of 81 (IELTS of 7; PTE Academic equivalent of 54), a TOEFL ibT Speaking subscale score of 23 or above and a TOEFL ibT Writing subscale score of 21 or above. The IELTS equivalent scores are 6.0 for both, and the PTE Academic equivalent scores are 62 and 56, respectively. The Duolingo score is 115 or greater.
    2. Graders (who have no direct contact with students) must have a minimum TOEFL ibT score of 79 (IELTS of 6.5; PTE Academic of 53) and must score at or above the 40th percentile on the TOEFL ibT Speaking and Writing subscales (19 and 21, respectively). The IELTS equivalent scores are 5.5 and 6.0 respectively, the PTE Academic equivalent scores are 51 and 56, and the Duolingo is 110 or greater. Individuals may serve in this capacity for no more than one (1) calendar year. To continue as a GTA, students must meet the GTA requirements listed in the bullet point above OR successfully complete LANG 702, LANG 606, or LANG 704. Upon successful completion of 1) LANG 701, 2) a co-requisite graduate-level oral skills course, and 3) a Mock Teaching Exam designed in coordination with their department, students are qualified to be a GTA at NDSU.
  2. Domestic GTAs and international GTAs possessing a US bachelor's degree or higher are not required to present a TOEFL score, provided that the degree included a minimum of two years in residence. In all other cases, the requirements in the bullets above apply.
  3. International GTAs whose first language is not English and who do not meet the criteria in the bullet above must meet minimal requirements on measures of general English language proficiency, spoken English language proficiency, and written English language proficiency. At the present time, the accepted measure of language proficiency will be the TOEFL ibT, IELTS, PTE Academic or the Duolingo.  


Test Score Requirements

Total Score

  Grader Teaching Assistant
ibT 79 81
IELTS 6.5 7
PTE Academic 53 54
Duolingo 110 115


  Grader Teaching Assistant
ibT 19 23
IELTS 5.5 6.0
PTE Academic 51 62


  Grader Teaching Assistant
ibT 21 21
IELTS 6.0 6.0
PTE Academic 56 56