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, SPEAK Workshops, and the ITA Teacher Training Course are administered through the ITA Program, which has served thousands of students for over 30 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.’

Note: 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. 



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 PayPal.
  • 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. See instructions on retrieving scores below.

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.

Paying for the SPEAK test 

Please open this PDF for payment instructionsAny department wishing to pay for the test for multiple students, please contact


Speak Test Schedule


May 24, 2019  Friday 4:30pm


June 14, 2019  Friday 4:30pm


June 21, 2019  Friday 4:30pm


July 26, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


July 30, 2019 Tuesday 4:30pm


August 2, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


August 6, 2019 Tuesday 4:30pm


August 9, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


August 13, 2019 Tuesday 4:30pm 


August 16, 2019 Friday 4:30pm 


August 23, 2019 Friday 4:30pm 


September 20, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


October 11, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


October 25, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


November 8, 2019 Friday 4:30pm


November 22, 2019 Friday 4:30pm 


December 6, 2019 Friday 4:30pm 


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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Monday, July 29, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm - EDB L1-32 

Monday, August 5, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Monday, August 12, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Monday, August 19, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – EDB L1-32

Monday, September 16, 2019 – 3:00pm-5:00pm – TBA

Monday, October 7, 2019 – 3:00pm-5:00pm – TBA

Monday, October 21, 2019 – 3:00pm-5:00pm – TBA

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm – TBA

Monday, November 18, 2019 – 3:00pm-5:00pm – TBA

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 – 10:00am-12:00pm - TBA


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



Summer 2019 ITA Intensive Teacher Training Course

Register soon! Space is limited!

The ITA Teacher Training Course is a no-fee course offered to international students who are candidates for a teaching assistantship. This non-credit 8-week-long intensive summer course addresses language improvement, teaching skills, and cross-cultural training.

During the session, 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 Summer 2019

Monday/Wednesday/Thursday:  9:00 a.m.  – 11:45 a.m.

The first class meeting is Monday, May 20, 2019.

The last meeting is on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

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.

Note: There will be two sections of the ITA Teacher Training Course offered in Fall 2019: 

MW – 10:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – August 26-December 2 

TTH – 1:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. – August 27-November 26 

Registration for Fall 2019 will open in the summer.