Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies


International Teaching Assistant Handbook 2016-2017


International Teaching Assistants

ITAs are those teaching assistants seeking employment in the 9183/9184 job codes at USF that are from countries that are not predominantly English-speaking countries (list of countries considered 'English-speaking') and must demonstrate proficiency in speaking English. This has been established as minimum scores of 26 on the spoken portion of the internet-administered TOEFL iBT or of 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC. The Office of Graduate Studies will consider these scores valid for up to 5 years after administration, so long as the student has dated supporting/official documentation. At this point USF is not accepting equivalencies with the IELTS test for ITAs.

ITAs who fail to meet these requirements cannot be assigned TA positions that require them to directly interact with students. Therefore, those students should be assigned as Graduate Instructional Assistants (9550 job code), and their assignment should have them performing duties that do not involve face-to-face contact with students.

Students who receive a 20 to 25 on the TOEFL iBT or 110 to 150 on the TOEIC can also be enrolled in the Spoken English for ITAs, which is funded by the Provost, is staffed by an INTO instructor, and is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. At the end of that class, the students are required to do a Microteaching Demonstration, which has the potential to serve as an alternative to either the iBT or the TOEIC requirement. These presentations are given at the end of each semester and represent an exit assessment given to each student who has earned an 'S' in the course. At least two trained spoken and pragmatic English proficiency raters will rate this assessment. The results of the assessment will lead to a recommendation regarding the student's eligibility for a TA-ship. These recommendations may include:

  1. No recommendation for TA-ship; more individual development needed;
  2. Recommendation for unconditional TA-ship with sufficient proof of English spoken and pragmatic teaching proficiency. Clearly, if the ITA falls into the second category, they can then be appointed as either a Graduate Teaching Assistant or Associate (9183 and 9184 job codes).

These scores will be entered into the Banner system so that the level of proficiency is documented.

1. Related Florida Statutes 2016

1.1 Statute and Interpretation

1012.93 Faculty members; test of spoken English: All faculty members in each state university, other than those persons who teach courses that are conducted primarily in a foreign language, shall be proficient in the oral use of English, as determined by a satisfactory grade on the "Test of Spoken English" of the Educational Testing Service or a similar test approved by the Board of Governors.

History: s. 781, ch. 2002-387; s. 164, ch. 2007-217.

The University of South Florida and the Office of Graduate Studies have interpreted this to also apply to those charged with teaching duties like those of faculty shall be held to the same standards for English proficiency as faculty members. As there is little distinction between faculty and teaching assistants (9183/9184 job codes) when it comes to the rationalle for requiring demonstrated English proficiency when teaching a course in English at USF, it is important that the University ensure that the same standards are applied to all of those engaged in similar teaching activities in English. Further, requests for waiver of this requirement may only be made for those Teaching Assistants who will be teaching in a language other than English that qualifies as their first language or can otherwise demonstrate mastery of that language; such requests should be sent to the Office of Graduate Studies Assistant Dean, Ruth Bahr, and include a concise description of the course with relevent documentation.


1.2 Definition of Demonstrated English Proficiency

Two standardized speaking score measures are acceptable for demonstration of English proficiency as approved by the Board of Governors:

  • TOEFL iBT 26-30, which is described as evidence of a "Good" level of English proficiency by the TOEFL score scales.
  • TOEIC 160-200, which is described as an appropriate level of English proficiency for professional and work settings.

IELTS or OPI scores are not accepted.

2. ITA Course & Registration of Students

2.1. Course Description

The University of South Florida (USF) English Language Program (ELP) at INTO USF agrees to deliver customized courses of Spoken English for ITAs (ITAP-2) for selected international graduate students with a teaching assistantship (ITAs) during both the USF Fall and Spring semesters each academic year. The courses will meet for three instructional hours per week and are non-credit but will allow students wanting to hold a Teaching Assistantship (9183/9184 job code) that have scored 20 to 25 on the TOEFL iBT or 110 to 150 on the TOEIC a chance to demonstrate both English proficiency and the sufficient pragmatic skills for teaching students in the United States at USF in their content area.

This course supports the development of spoken English for international graduate teaching assistants, with an emphasis on the cultural knowledge, presentation skills, and the specific language needed for classroom instruction.

Pre-requisites: Students enrolled in the course are required to have authorization from the USF Office of Graduate Studies. They must be international students with a TA appointment and must have the appropriate TOEIC or TOEFL score:

  • TOEIC speaking sub score of 110 -150
  • iBT TOEFL speaking sub score of 20 - 25
  • IELTS 6.5 or higher

Fall 2016 (Closed)

  1. Class Meeting Times and Days:The ELP will offer two sections of one course, Spoken English for ITAs, in Fall 2016 starting on the 29th of August, for 14 weeks. The course will not meet during USF breaks or holidays.
  2. Days Time Duration Location
    MW 5:00 - 6:15 pm 75 minutes SOC145
    F 2:00 - 4:45 pm 165 minutes FAO019
    F 9:30 - 12:15 pm 165 minutes FAO019

     

  3. Instructor: The ELP will provide instructors with a minimum of a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics/TESL or a related field who have either attended or taught at a US higher education institution, have experience rating or teaching a class on TOEFL, IELTS, or SPEAK, and who have experience teaching and assessing spoken English and pronunciation.
  4. Students: The maximum number of students in each section of the course is 15. Only graduate-level international students who have been offered a teaching appointment, but who have not demonstrated the required English speaking proficiency level will be permitted to take these courses. Students who are authorized to take the course must have the appropriate TOEIC or TOEFL scores:
    • TOEIC speaking sub score of 110 -150
    • iBT TOEFL speaking sub score of 20 - 25
    • IELTS 6 and higher
  5. Curriculum & Materials: The ELP will develop the curriculum for the course based on the objectives and learning outcomes detailed on the course overview (attached). Students are required to purchase a course textbook, which will be made available at the USF Bookstore.
  6. Location: The course will be held on the USF Tampa Campus. INTO USF classrooms (TBA) will be reserved for these classes.
  7. Registration:The USF Office of Graduate Studies is responsible for approving students to take the course and for determining student placement based on TOEFL or TOEIC scores. The USF Office of Graduate Studies will provide a list of names of the students registered by their hiring department and then approved for the course in the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. The USF Office of Graduate Studies will provide the names of any student(s) authorized to join the class late to the USF ELP as they are approved.

Course Text: Gorsuch, G., Meyers, C.M., Pickering, L., & Griffee, D.T. (2013). English Communication for International Teaching Assistants, 2nd Ed. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. 13-digit ISBN: 978-1-57766-776-6


2.2. Course Objectives

In this course, students will...

  1. Build their oral fluency by developing strategies for improving their English pronunciation and intonation.
  2. Develop presentation skills and learn how to effectively use practical language for classroom instruction.
  3. Learn about and discuss the intercultural issues related to communicating with students and colleagues in an American university.

2.3. Course Format

This course is developed as an in-person course that combines course readings, lecture, and microteaching projects into two weekly meeting for the duration of the normal academic semester.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend and participate in all class meetings. Students are required to attend at least 80% of the class meetings to earn a passing grade. Those who miss more than 20% of scheduled class meetings will receive a grade no higher than a U (an S is required to enter into a 9183/9184 job code).

Grading: A grade of S/U will be provided based on successful completions of the learning outcomes, attendance requirement, and assignment submission. To earn an S, students must have a course average of 85% or above. In order to attain or continue in a teaching assistantship, students must complete the above requirements in addition to obtaining a passing score on the final exit assessment.

Exit Assessment: At the end of the semester an exit assessment will be given to each student who has earned an 'S' in the course, as an alternative to retaking TOEFL or TOEIC. This assessment will be rated by at least two experienced ESL instructors from the INTO USF ELP. The results of the assessment will lead to a recommendation regarding the student's eligibility for a TA-ship. These recommendations may include:

  1. No recommendation for TA-ship; more individual developmen tneeded.
  2. Recommendation for unconditional TA-ship.

2.4 Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have ...

  1. Demonstrated improvement in oral fluency, pronunciation, and intonation through recordings, presentations, and in-class activities.
  2. Demonstrated the ability to accurately select and use language for classroom instruction through focused speaking tasks and micro‐teaching presentations.
  3. Led and participated in observations, interviews, reflections, and discussions about intercultural communication issues as related to the American university environment.

2.5 Enrollment: Fall 2016 (Open)

Departments wishing to offer Teaching Assistantships (9183/9184) to International Teaching Assistants that have not demonstrated the minimum required English proficiency (26 on the spoken portion of the internet-administered TOEFL iBT or of 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC) may request enrollment using the linked form below on behalf of the student. Students may not enroll themselves and the course is not available in Banner/Oasis.

http://goo.gl/forms/1CFxXvyXre

3. ITA Checklist (only for 9183/9184 Teaching Assistant job codes)

3.1. Human Resources

International Student Employment Information

Generally, F-1 students are only allowed to work on campus for 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters (40 hours during breaks and annual vacation). For a job to be considered to be "on campus" you must receive a USF generated paycheck or the on-campus location must offer essential services to students, such as the SunDome or the USF Barnes & Noble.

Below are guidelines for USF employers to assist with the hiring process of USF international students:

  • International students, with F-1 and J-1 visas, who are full-time enrolled are allowed to accept on campus employment for 20 hours per week. They can be employed on-campus 40 hours per week during official breaks, such as the winter break and summer. Students must request permission by completing the Full-time On-Campus Work Request for Breaks and Annual Vacations
  • J-1 students need written permission from International Services (or the Fulbright Advisor) to work on-campus. This permission must be requested for each on-campus job and each semester. The student will need to do the following:
  • In order for an international student to apply for a social security number, he/she must first have a job offer letter. With the job offer letter and a letter from International Services, the student can go to the Social Security Office and submit an application. The student will receive a receipt from Social Security. On a normal basis, the social security number will be issued and released to the student, over the phone, within 72 hours. However, in some circumstances there can be a delay of up to 2 months.
  • The job offer is "not" a binding contract. The letter is stating that you, the employer, are willing to consider this student for a position contingent upon his/her receipt of a social security number. You are not under any obligation to issue such a letter to an international student. Rather, if you have a genuine interest in employing an international student, then the letter may be issued.
  • Each international student hired must go through normal HR Right Start processes.

If you would like further information regarding hiring an international student, please call International Services, at (813) 974-5102.


Increase Work Hours during Breaks & Vacations

Employment must not exceed 20 hours a week while school is in session, but an F-1 student may work on campus full-time when school is not in session or during annual vacation.

Download Form


United States Income Tax

Paychecks may be lower than the anticipated amount due to tax withholdings. The amount withheld from your paycheck is dependent upon your tax status which, in turn, is determined by your visa classification and the amount of time you have been in the United States.

Further Information


3.2. Office of Graduate Studies

The Office of Graduate Studies oversees the assessment of English proficiency for International TAs. In order to serve as a TA at USF, international students from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency. The levels of Englihs proficiency required of a TA at USF are greater than those prescribed for admission to the Unviersity. TAs in job codes 9183/9184 must meet the following standards to serve as the instructor of record for a class or laboratory section at USF:

  1. Score of 26 on the spoken portion of the internet-administered TOEFL iBT or of 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC recorded in Banner.
  2. Verification of sufficient TOEFL iBT or TOEIC scores on a Teaching Certificate obtained from the receptionist inthe Office of Graduate studies (ALN 226).
  3. This Teaching Certificate is then taken to payroll for processing.

For ITAs that do not meet the minimum English proficiency there are two options:

Track I: ITAs that scored 20 to 25 on the TOEFL iBT or 110 to 150 on the TOEIC

  1. Enrollment and successful completion of the ITA course by the department during a semester prior to begining their 9183/9184 job code. (Concurrent enrollment and 9183/9184 employment will not be allowed).
  2. Passing will earn a score in banner, unsuccessful completion will require the course to be repeated until all course requirements are met and the ITA is deemed able to teach at USF.
  3. Teaching Certificate retrieved from the receptionist in ALN 226 (will only be given to those with a sufficient TOEFL or TOEIC score).

Track II: ITAs with a score below 20 on the TOEFL iBT or 110 on the TOEIC

  1. Consultation with INTO to design personal education plan to raise English proficiency to a level sufficient to take and pass the ITA Course and/or earn a score above 26 on the spoken portion of the internet-administered TOEFL iBT or of 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC.

3.3. Department

Each Department/College may have their own internal processes and requirements for the employment of International Teaching Assistants. Click here for a list of program contacts.

4. Graduate Assistant Guidelines Matrix

 

Research Assistant

Research Associate

Teaching Assistant

Teaching Associate

Graduate Assistant

TableGraduate Instructional Assistant

Job Code

9182

9181

9184

9183

9185

9550

Accepted & classified as a degree seeking student

X

X

X

X

X

X

Overall & program GPA ≥ 3.00 (NO P2 or P3 status)

X

X

X

X

X

X

Enrolled full-time 9/9/6

X

X

X

X

X

X

Duties directly related to student's program of study

X

X

X

X

X

X

Planned evaluations

X

X

X

X

X

X

9 month, 12 month semester or summer/fall/spring appointment

X

X

X

X

X

X

Support from grants & contracts required

X

X

 

 

 

 

Overtime eligibility

 

 

 

 

X

 

Research duties

X

X

 

 

 

 

Masters-level student

X

X

X

X

X

X

Doctoral-level student

X

X

X

X

X

X

2 years of research experience

 

X

 

 

 

 

Completed a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours

 

X

 

X

 

 

Completed a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours

 

 

X

 

 

 

Minimum score of 26 Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), 160 on the spoken portion of the TOEIC

 

 

X

X

 

 

May be a primary instructor for undergraduate courses

 

 

X

X

 

 

Assist with teaching functions; Not primary instructor

 

 

 

 

 

X

Nonexempt hourly, submit timesheet

 

 

 

 

X

 

Salaried employee

X

X

X

X

 

X

Back To Top