English for International Teaching Assistants

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Welcome to the University of Miami – English for International Teaching Assistants

The International Teaching Assistant Program supports the University of Miami’s commitment to teaching excellence and cultural diversity. The Intensive English Program (IEP) provides academic language support for our International Teaching assistants ( ITAs).  The course has three main components in oral communication, cross-cultural classroom communication, and teaching techniques.

This program is offered through the Intensive Language Institute at the University of Miami

Register for SPEAK Register for ITA Class

Program Information

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  • What is the SPEAK Test?

    SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is a test for evaluating the English speaking ability of non-native speakers of English. The SPEAK test is administered by the Intensive English Program to international students who have been appointed or will be appointed as teaching assistants in an academic department at the University of Miami.

  • ITA Training Course

    The International Teaching Assistant Program Course offers international teaching assistant (ITA) students the opportunity to enhance their communication and teaching skills.

    • Develop and refine oral communication through interactive activities that focus on interaction in authentic academic contexts. 
    • Understand issues related to teaching and learning in cross-cultural higher education settings
    • Integrate communication and teaching skills through activities that take place in or approximate authentic academic contexts such as micro-teaching presentations, role-play scenarios, leading discussions, classroom visits, and peer feedback and consultations.

  • Who can participate?

    The program is for TAs whose SPEAK score indicates the need for further language practice, as well as for graduate students who wish for additional English language development.

  • Benefits

    The ITA program provides confidence in your English; especially in your ability to teach & present effectively in a U.S. classroom. 

  • Language Competency for Teaching Assistants Policy

    University of Miami Policy on Language Competency for Teaching Assistants

    1. Each teaching assistant will be interviewed (in English) by the chairperson or his or her designee to ascertain basic competency in the English language.
    2. All international teaching assistants must take and pass the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit). The passing score is 55. In addition, international teaching assistants who are non-native speakers of English must have scored 79-80 or above on the IBT (Internet Based TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language) (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or have successfully completed the advanced level of the University of Miami Intensive English Program.
    3. International teaching assistants who score between 40 and 50 on the SPEAK will be given the opportunity to record a 10 minute video (5 minutes of instruction and a plan for up to 5 minutes of Q&A as needed) for a review panel. The sample lesson should contain a short presentation in the ITA’s field followed by a brief question-and-answer period to elicit both prepared and spontaneous speech. The review panel, consisting of representatives from the ITA’s department and the Intensive Language Institute, will consider and recommend that the ITA be employed in one of the following categories:

      1. Teaching
      2. Teaching with assistance of professor
      3. Lab assistant
      4. Lab assistant paired with a TA with native-speaker fluency in English
      5. No teaching or lab duties
      Moving from one category to another in subsequent semesters must be based either on SPEAK scores or on a recommendations of the review panel after viewing another sample lesson.
    4. An English language course will be available for those teaching assistants who fail to meet the above criteria. This course in spoken English, offered through the Intensive Language Institute, will emphasize fluency, pronunciation, intonation and classroom presentation skills. Teaching assistants who have a more severe language deficiency should enroll in the full-time Intensive English Program.
    5. After ITAs have met the above English requirements, the academic departments can collaborate with the IEP to develop specialized workshops and trainings that meet the ITAs' needs in areas such as American classroom behavior, teaching style, and cultural issues which might influence their effectiveness in the classroom.

    (Note: Testing and specialized ITA training is provided at no cost to ITAs or their departments. If an ITA registers for regular Intensive English Program courses, tuition and fees must be paid.)

    Revised 11/22/96

  • ITA Testing and Training Schedule

    ITA Testing & Training Schedule for 2019-2020

    Summer 2019

     Day of the week

    Date

    Time

    SPEAK Test

    R

    5/9/19

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Teaching Demos

    W
    R
    F

    5/14/19
    5/15/19
    5/16/19

    TBD
    TBD
    TBD

    ITA Course

    TBD

    TBD

    TBD

    Fall 2019

     Day of the week

    Date

    Time

    SPEAK Test

    W

    8/14/19

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Teaching Demos 

    W
    R
    F

    8/21/19
    8/22/19
    8/23/19

    TBD
    TBD
    TBD

    Online modules and one 2hr live meeting a week TBD by student schedules.

    T & R or TBD

    9/10/19 to 11/14/19

     

    SPEAK Test

    R

    12/5/19

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Spring 2020

     Day of the week

    Date

    Time

    SPEAK Test

    F

    1/10/20

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Teaching Demos

    W
    R
    F

    1/15/20
    1/16/20
    1/17/20

    TBD
    TBD
    TBD

    ITA Course

    T & R or TBD

    1/21/20 to 4/2/20

     

    SPEAK Test

    R

    4/16/20

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Summer 2020

     Day of the week

    Date

    Time

    SPEAK Test

    R

    5/14/20

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    Teaching Demos

    W
    R
    F

    5/20/20
    5/21/20
    5/22/20

    TBD
    TBD
    TBD

    ITA Course

    TBD

    TBD

    TBD

    SPEAK Test (Fall 2020)

    W

    8/12/20

    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

    For more information, or to register for the SPEAK Test or the ITA English course, please call 305-284-2752 or e-mail iep@miami.edu. Attendance at SPEAK Test and ITA English course are by registration only.