May 26, 2016
The purpose of this program is to evaluate newly appointed international teaching assistants’ English oral language proficiency and when needed, provide them with a course that enhances participants’ English language skills, presentation skills, and understanding of U.S. classroom interactions. In addition, the program ensures that UTSA is in compliance with UT System Policy 2.33 and Texas Education Code Section 51.917.
Often students who come from other countries can have difficulties in the classes they are assigned to teach. This can have a negative effect on the international teaching assistants (ITAs) and on their students. It is our sincere desire to help the ITAs have the best possible teaching experience in their classrooms. This can only happen if their students have a quality educational experience in the same classroom. Language is often the biggest barrier between effective teaching by ITAs and their students. It is the purpose of the ITA Program to work on language skills so that language is not a factor in the undergraduate students getting a quality education.
The ITA Program works with students on their pronunciation and communicative competence as well as cross-cultural communication competence. It is a challenging course, but one that will immensely enhance the quality of education going on in the classroom.
It is our goal to raise the retention level of undergraduate students because they are participating in a quality educational environment and to help the ITA have a quality educational teaching experience. Thus, we are trying to enhance the educational quality at UTSA.
Registering Students with the ITA Program
The procedure by which prospective ITAs are recommended into the ITA Program is by direct notification from a representative of an academic department to the ITA Program Coordinator.
For questions or inquiries, please contact your department at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
UTSA Oral Language Proficiency Test (OLPT)
The Oral Language Proficiency Test is an interview-based test that measures non-native English speakers’ oral proficiency. The test consists of 12 questions, each of which is intended to elicit a particular speech activity from test takers. These speech activities are based on language functions such as narrating, apologizing, persuading, recommending, and giving and supporting opinions.
The OLPT is scored with a range of scores from 20-60, reported in 5-point increments. Students who score 50 or more on the OLPT do not have to take the ITA course and are eligible for teaching. Students scoring 49.9 or less will automatically be referred to the ITA course. They are eligible for teaching while taking the course.
ITA Oral Language Proficiency Test Dates
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Each interview will take approximately 20 minutes to be completed.
On the test day, examinees need to bring a picture ID with them.
Students must check in at least 15 minutes before the scheduled testing time.
ITA Oral Language Proficiency Test Results
Examinees will be informed of their test results in a timely manner and if needed, registered for the ITA course by the ITA Program Coordinator.
Questions regarding the International Teaching Assistant Program should be directed to:
Lauren Heather (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assistant Director of ESL Services/ITA Program Coordinator
Stephanie Robinson (email@example.com)
ITA Program Administrative Assistant
Office of ESL Services can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 210-458-7677