International Teaching Assistant

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 and the ITA Teacher Training Course are administered through the ITA Program, which has served thousands of students since 1984. 


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 suffice.

There are three possible outcomes:  
  • Fully certified – The graduate student may be given full teaching responsibilities
  • Certified with qualifications – Depending on a department’s internal guidelines, the graduate student may possibly be able to teach lab classes, tutor, teach online classes where speaking is not required and/or be a grader. 
  • Not certified – students not attaining the scores presented below, may not be given any type of teaching responsibilities.

1. SPEAK test  - The SPEAK Test is administered on the ASU Tempe campus by Global Launch multiple times a year. Only SPEAK scores from Global Launch are allowed.

            Scores:  full certification = 55+     certified with qualifications = 50

2. IELTS test – Speaking section score only

            Scores: full certification = 8     certified with qualifications = 7.5

3. TOEFL iBT – Speaking section score only

            Scores: full certification = 26     certified with qualifications = 24

4. ITA Teacher Training Course – In the last 5 years, 74% of the students taking this course have been fully certified, 23% have been certified with qualifications and 3% have not been certified to teach

Important information about TOEFL waivers -The TOEFL waiver offered to students for admission purposes does not extend to spoken English certification. To become certified to teach, demonstrating spoken English comprehensibility through one of the four above-mentioned methods is required. 

Note: ITAs teaching foreign language classes in which they primarily teach in the target language may be certified with a score of 50 on the SPEAK test, a 7.5 on the speaking portion of the IELTS, or a score of 24 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT.

ASU Online SPEAK Test 

The ASU Online SPEAK test is administered through Global Launch at ASU. 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 ASU Online 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 map and giving directions or interpreting graph information. Two raters, who consider all communicative competencies, score each test independently.

The ASU Online SPEAK Test is available year-round and can be taken from any locality with sufficient internet access. Scores are posted in PeopleSoft within 5 days of taking the test.

SPEAK Test Registration

Registration information

  • Register for the test date you want.
  • The $70 ASU Online SPEAK Test fee is nonrefundable/nontransferable.
  • Scores on the ASU Online SPEAK Test are only accepted at ASU.


Test Dates:


Taking the test

  • On the test date you have chosen, you will receive a link to the ASU Online SPEAK Test via email. You will have 24 hours from the time you receive the link to take the test.
  • Make sure to have your current passport or a government or ASU issued picture ID (with your name in English) for identification purposes.
  • Choose a quiet, well-lit place to take the test where no one else is present.
  • Make sure you have a computer with a front-facing camera, a microphone and speakers.
  • The test will take about 20 minutes.
  • Test results will be posted in PeopleSoft within 5 business days of taking the test. 

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.

Any department wishing to pay for the test for multiple students, please contact


Sample SPEAK Test and Helpful Links 

To see a sample SPEAK test, click here.

For help with pronunciation, click here



Fall 2020 ITA Intensive Teacher Training Course

Register soon!

The 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.  The course will be offered in a very interactive format on Zoom this fall semester. 

During the semester, each student will prepare and deliver at least four videotaped micro-teaching presentations in small breakout groups in Zoom. These lessons will be reviewed with the instructor in Zoom tutorial sessions. At the end of the semester, a final videotaped presentation will be 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 SPEAK 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 or enroll in one Global Launch eight-week-long intensive English class.



ITA Teacher Training Course Schedule for Fall 2020

Mondays/Wednesdays 10:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

The first class meeting is Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
The last class will meet on Wednesday, November 25, 2020.
Tuesdays/Thursdays - 9:00am-11:45am
The first class meeting is Thursday, September 3, 2020.
The last class will meet on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Registration Requirements

Qualified students must:

  1. Have a score of at least 40 on the SPEAK test (or at least a 6 on the speaking section of the IELTS test, or at least a 21 on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT)
  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 potential candidate for a TA position. Please send emails either to or to

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