TOEFL/IELTS Waiver Interview

Screening prospective TA’s who are eligible For TOEFL/IELTS Waiver or who have submitted a Duolingo score for admission to Graduate School

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

UCAELI’s waiver interview assessment is an accepted means of certifying spoken English proficiency for non-native English speaking students who have submitted a Duolingo score or 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. 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 number, 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.

Waiver interview screenings will be conducted online using the video and conference communications tool Zoom.

Students will be provided the following in advance of their appointment:

Zoom Meeting Link, Meeting ID & Passcode.

The registration fee is $45.00.

Interview description:

The approximately 15-minute interview will consist of a series of questions that are designed to assess fluency, grammatical accuracy, quality of language, and comprehensibility. 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

Waiver interviews are available on the following dates between 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM EST:

  • Monday, September 26
  • Wednesday, October 19

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

Waiver Interview Registration