International Teaching Assistant

What is the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Program?

The ITA program (International Teaching Assistants) serves Arizona State University (ASU) academic departments that employ international students as teaching assistants, and ASU international graduate students who want to become teaching assistants. The program provides testing services, teacher training, and language support services.

The SPEAK Test, SPEAK Workshops, and the ITA Teacher Training Course are administered through the ITA Program, which has served more than 7,000 students over the past 28 years.


How can an international graduate student demonstrate English language proficiency?

There are four ways a student can fulfill the English language requirement. Any of the following will fulfill the language requirement:

  1. Take and pass the SPEAK test with a score of 55 or higher. The SPEAK test is administered on ASU’s Tempe campus by Global Launch at least 24 times a year. Only SPEAK scores from Global Launch are allowed.
  2.  Take the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL) test and receive a score of 26 or higher on the oral portion of the test. 
  3. Take the IELTS test and receive a score of 8 or higher on the speaking portion of the test.
  4. Successfully complete the ITA Teacher Training Course with a score of ‘certified.’



The SPEAK test is the local version of the Test of Spoken English (TSE), authorized by Educational Testing Services (ETS) and administered at ASU through Global Launch. ASU does not accept other universities' SPEAK test results. It is an oral proficiency exam.

All prospective international teaching assistants (ITAs) must achieve a score of 55 or higher in order to be certified to assume full teaching responsibilities, such as serving as the instructor of a class or leading discussion groups. Students who score 50 will be certified with qualifications and may serve as lab assistants or tutors. Students scoring below 50 will not be given any teaching responsibilities unless they are certified through the ITA Teacher Training Course.


The SPEAK test emphasizes communicative ability. In the test, students respond to questions, and their responses are recorded. The test questions are of a general nature and inform the raters about the examinee's oral communicative ability. Each test question elicits a particular function, such as reading a town map and giving directions or interpreting graph information. Two raters who take into account all communicative competencies score each test independently.

Global Launch provides at least 24 opportunities a year to take the SPEAK test (four in January, eight in August and at least one all other months). Scores are posted on PeopleSoft.

SPEAK Test Registration

Important Notes:

  • The SPEAK test fee is $70. This fee is nonrefundable/nontransferable.
  • The test fee can be paid online using either a credit/debit card or an international wire transfer.
  • The SPEAK test is available for ASU students only.
  • SPEAK tests may not be rescheduled.
  • Registration for the SPEAK test is online. Please find the links for each test in the SPEAK test schedule below. 
  • The number of seats is limited; early registration is recommended.
  • Scores will be posted on MyASU within five working days. Students click "Transcripts and Test Scores".

Problems registering for the SPEAK test?

  • Make sure you are using Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari (for Macs).
  • Open the test that you want to register for by following the link on the ITA website
  • Before you start, scroll down to required materials
  • Click on "click here for detailed instructions"

Required identification for the SPEAK test

  • Each test taker must bring either his/her ASU SunCard OR a valid passport for identification purposes
  • If you are wearing Hijab, please contact BEFORE coming to the test so that we can make sure a woman proctor is available to help you with the identification process.

How to retrieve your SPEAK scores

Scores will be posted within 5 business days of the test.

  • Go to My ASU
  • Under My Classes, click on “Transcripts & Test Scores” (If “Transcripts & Test Scores" is not an option, click on “Grades and Transcripts”)
  • Then click on “Placement/Admission Scores” to see your score.


Speak Test Schedule


July 27, 2018    Friday 4:30 pm


July 31, 2018   Tuesday 4:30 pm


August 3, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm


August 6, 2018    Monday 4:30 pm


August 8, 2018    Wednesday 4:30 pm 


August 10, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm


August 13, 2018   Monday 4:30 pm


August 15, 2018   Wednesday 4:30 pm 


August 17, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm


August 24, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm


September 21, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm


October 5, 2018    Friday 4:30 pm 


November 2, 2018    Friday 4:30 pm 


November 16, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm 


November 30, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm 


December 10, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm 


December 14, 2018   Friday 4:30 pm 


P-Card Payment Procedure - For departments paying for the SPEAK test

Option 1: Once the student signs in during the registration process, using his/her ASURITE account, the department P-Card billing details can be entered on the “Provide Credit Card Information” screen (step 7 of the registration instructions ).  This allows the payment receipt to be sent to the department contact and the registration confirmation to be sent to the student.

If more than one student is being registered, logout and completely close the web browser (or use a different browser) after each student registration using their ASURITE account. An error can occur if the first student’s asurite account is still logged into the CE website.

Note to the student:  The P-Card information will have to be input by the department representative. 

Option 2: The student can pay her/himself and be reimbursed later by the department.


Speak Test Practice Workshops

Global Launch is pleased to offer a complimentary service to bolster students’ success on the SPEAK test. There is no need to pre-register for the workshop! All students are welcome to attend any session of the workshop. Join us!

These free two-hour workshops cover the following topics:

  • The Language Lab and materials
  • Testing procedures
  • Test taking tips
  • Test preparation
  • Retrieving your score
  • How is SPEAK graded?
  • What if I don’t pass?
  • Practice with sample test questions

For more information, contact:

SPEAK Test Practice Workshop Schedule

 Monday, July 30th, 2018 in EDB L1-23 from 9:00am-11:00am

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 in EDB L1-23 from 9:00am-11:00am

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 in CPCOM Rm. 382 from 9:00am-11:00am

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 in CPCOM Rm. 382 from 9:00am-11:00am


These free two-hour workshops cover the following topics:

  • The Language Lab and materials
  • Testing procedures
  • Test taking tips
  • Test preparation
  • Retrieving your score
  • How is SPEAK graded?
  • What if I don’t pass?
  • Practice with sample test questions

For more information, contact:

Sample SPEAK Test and Helpful Links 

To see a sample SPEAK test, click here.

For help with pronunciation, click here



Register soon! Space is limited!

The Fall ITA Teacher Training Course is a no-fee course offered to international students who are candidates for a teaching assistantship. This non-credit semester-long course addresses language improvement, teaching skills, and cross-cultural training.

During the semester, each student is required to prepare at least four videotaped micro-teaching presentations that are evaluated by the instructor during tutorial sessions. At the end of the course, a final videotaped presentation is used as an evaluation instrument by a panel of language and pedagogical experts.

Full certification by the panel is equivalent to a score of 55 on the SPEAK test, and a rating of certified with qualifications is equivalent to a score of 50. Those students who do not receive the above ratings are not certified and may reenroll in the ITA Teacher Training Course, retake the SPEAK test, present a score of 26 or higher on the oral portion of the TOEFL iBT, present a score of 8 or higher on the speaking portion of the IELTS test, or enroll in one Global Launch eight-week intensive English class.

For more information, please go to:


ITA Teacher Training Course Schedule for Fall 2018

Monday/Wednesday:  10:45 a.m.  – 1:30 p.m.

The first class meeting is Monday, August 20, 2018.

The last meeting is on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.


Tuesday/Thursday: 1:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

The first class meeting is on Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The last class meeting is on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Registration Requirements

Qualified students must:

  1. Have taken the SPEAK test and have scored at least 40.
  2. Ask their department representative to send an email with their name, ID number, name of department, and a statement that the student is a candidate for a TA position. Please send emails to

Once we have received this correspondence, an enrollment link will be sent to the student so that he/she may enroll online.



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