TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Interview

Screening Prospective TAs Who Are Non-Native English Speakers Eligible For Toefl/IELTS Waiver


The UConn English Proficiency Policy requires that:  All Teaching Assistants for whom English is not a native language must pass an oral English proficiency test regardless of citizenship or visa status.  This applies to TAs whose assignments entail direct instruction.

UCAELI’s interview assessment is an accepted means of certifying spoken English proficiency for non-native English speaking students who are eligible for or qualified for the TOEFL/IELTs waiver for admission.


To assist departments who need to make admissions decisions based on an applicant’s ability to qualify for a teaching assistantship that entails direct instruction, UCAELI can conduct an oral interview either in person or by Skype. There is a $45 fee for the ITA TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Interview.  The interview will also be used post-admission for students in this category.

Any student needing an interview should first contact their department who will contact UCAELI with the student’s name, peoplesoft ID, and reason for the request (ITA screening for an upcoming semester or pre-admission screening for funding).

The department should contact UCAELI at least one week prior to the date the interview is to take place, providing the email, telephone and Skype information for the student to be interviewed and preferred day and time.  UCAELI will confirm the scheduled interview time with the department and student.   For a Skype interview, the UCAELI instructor will call the student.  For an in-person interview, the student will be provided with instructions to UCAELI’s offices or designated interview room.  Following the interview, UCAELI will provide the department with a written assessment and recommendations as detailed below.

Interview description:

The approximately 10-minute interview will consist of a series of questions that are designed to assess fluency, grammatical accuracy, quality of language, and comprehensibility.   Interviews will be recorded.  A UCAELI instructor with an advanced degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) will conduct the assessment and evaluate the speaking proficiency level of the student in terms of the EAQUALs/CEFR scale.

Scoring and recommendations will be as follows:

(Scoring is based on CEFR/EAQUALs English proficiency descriptors.)

C1 to C2 (equivalent to TOEFL speaking 26 – 28+, IELTS speaking 7.5 – 8 or higher):  Clear pass, no further testing required, can be appointed to a TA, required to attend TA orientation, UCAELI can certify English proficiency for TA position in PeopleSoft once student has been admitted

B2 to B2+ (equivalent to TOEFL speaking 23-27, IELTS speaking 7.0 to 7.5):  Meets requirements for ITA Candidacy, but will need to take a Microteaching test during ITA orientation. Based on Microteaching results, may need to take a one semester ITA course before beginning instructional duties

B1+ or lower (equivalent to TOEFL speaking 22 or lower, IELTS speaking 6.5 or lower):  Will require additional English coursework to reach required proficiency, not eligible for TA entailing direct instruction

Registration Information

You must register for the TOEFL waiver interview one week in advance.

The waiver interviews will take place during the following times:

    • July 22 – August 1, 2019
      • The last day you can submit your registration is July 15th.
    • Our testing hours are Monday – Thursday 1:00 – 11:30 and 1:00 – 2:00

To register, please fill out the TOEFL Waiver Interview Registration Form


For further information, contact Jeannie Slayton, UCAELI Associate Director at: