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(Old Policy) UConn English Proficiency Policy for Teaching Assistants

Note:  The requirements below are in effect until the end of the Spring 2014 semester and apply to current graduate students only.  The Revised UConn English Proficiency Policy for TAs and New Testing Procedures (click here) apply to students admitted for Fall 2014 on and other graduate students who are offered or seek teaching assistantships from Fall 2014 on who have not previously met the English proficiency requirement.

ATTENTION: All Teaching Assistants for whom English is not a native language must pass an oral English proficiency test regardless of citizenship or visa status.

Each academic unit should ensure that each graduate student has appropriate oral proficiency in English before he or she is employed as a teaching assistant, instructor, or lecturer with direct instructional responsibilities. These responsibilities extend to both classroom and laboratory settings. Certification of English proficiency is filed with the Graduate School and made a part of the student’s record. The student is responsible for obtaining certification in a timely fashion. The academic unit is responsible for reviewing the certification in PeopleSoft before employing the student in an instructional role.  (Note: Please see the policy and procedure for students who are non-native English speakers and qualified for the language proficiency test waiver for admission.)

Certification of English proficiency may be obtained by meeting one of the following requirements:

  1. Speak English as a native language.
  2. Submit a valid TOEFL iBT score with a speaking subscore of 28 or higher, or an IELTS speaking band score of 8.0 or higher.
  3. Pass the Versant (phone) Test with an overall score of 65+ 55 pronunciation subscore.
  4. Pass an additional Microteaching Test.   You must take the Microteaching test if
    • your overall score on the Versant test is 65 with 55 pronunciation subscore
    • your overall score on the Versant test is 57-64
    • your TOEFL iBT speaking subscore is 27
    • your IELTS score is 7.0 – 7.5 on the speaking band.

ITAs in the language departments of Literatures, Cultures and Languages must achieve an overall score of 55+ on the Versant (phone) test.  Below 55 will require enrollment in the appropriate class (see below for further information on classes).  If you will be a Teaching Assistant in a language department, you do not need to take a Microteaching Test.


Pass Overall Versant 65+
Minimum Pronunciation: 55
TOEFL iBT 28+ speaking subscore  IELTS 8.0+
speaking band
Additional Testing:
Overall Versant 57 – 64 or
65 with ≤ 54 pronunciation
 TOEFL iBT speaking subscore ≤ 27 IELTS   7.0 or 7.5
speaking band
Failing: Overall Versant  50 – 56
Intermediate Class
(<50 referred to UCAELI)
TOEFL iBT speaking subscore  ≤ 27 IELTS   < 7.0
speaking band


Students who do not pass the Microteaching test may not be appointed to a position with direct instructional contact and must be retested.

Students who receive an overall Versant score lower than 57 may not be appointed to a position with direct instructional contact and must be retested. Students with these scores are required to take the Intermediate course in the ITA Program.

Students may not take the Versant test less than 3 months after their previous test.