International Graduate Teaching Assistants (IGTA)

Information for IGTAs English proficiency evaluation

Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Louisville requires all international graduate teaching assistants (IGTA), with the exception of those teaching a foreign language, demonstrate proficiency in the English language before they begin their teaching assignments as graduate teaching assistants.  Questions may be directed to the Intensive English as a Second Language (IESL) office at 502/852-5901 or by emailing

What do I prepare?

The English proficiency evaluation consists of a 20-minute teaching demonstration typical of a teaching assignment for a class which you are to teach. The evaluators may ask you some questions, so you should be prepared to explain or further clarify. You may want to consult with your department advisor in selecting your topic.

When do the evaluations occur?

IGTA schedules for Fall 2016 are Monday - Thursday (August 15-18), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  To schedule your teaching demonstration, email the IESL office at or by calling 502/852-5901. When you contact our office, please let us know your department, your advisor's name, and a phone number where you can be reached.

May I use equipment in the teaching demonstration?

A blackboard, overhead projector, and equipment for PowerPoint (laptop and projector) will be available for your use. Please be aware that the time allotted for the presentation is 20 minutes. If you do bring additional equipment, it should require minimal set-up time. Also, some departments restrict the equipment (for example, Math department IGTAs cannot use PowerPoint and are encouraged to use the blackboard). Please check with your advisor about any department restrictions.

Also, please keep in mind that it is your oral proficiency in the language that is being evaluated. Equipment and slides should supplement your presentation, not be the presentation.

How will I be evaluated?

Evaluators will be looking for evidence of effective communication skills, including but not limited to:

  • clarity of presentation, information and/or explanations
  • fluency
  • pronunciation
  • ability to understand and respond to questions

How will I know the results?

The evaluation report is sent to your graduate advisor. You must check with your advisor about your results.

What happens if I do not receive a satisfactory evaluation?

If you do not demonstrate a sufficient level of English proficiency, your department and the Graduate School will determine the next best course of action. You may be re-evaluated at the request of your department.

Do IGTAs need to be re-evaluated every year?

No. IGTAs must provide a satisfactory teaching demonstration only once before they begin their teaching assignments.