International Teaching Assistant Program

The International Teaching Assistant Program supports Temple University’s commitment to teaching excellence and linguistic and cultural diversity. It also fosters a learning environment where undergraduate students can benefit from interaction with international teaching assistants.

By law in Pennsylvania, all university classroom instructors who are not native English speakers must be certified in English before they may begin teaching.  

The ITA program is pleased to announce that the newly named Graduate Level English Communication (GLEC) course will be offered to all international graduate students who would like language support through coursework that focuses on participation, presentation skills and pronunciation.  



How does Temple know that my English is good enough to let me work as a teacher’s assistant?

Temple University administers the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) test to evaluate the English-speaking ability of teaching assistants whose native language is not English.

All international teaching assistants, including those who have received the minimum scores required in the TOEFL iBT, are required to contact the International Teaching Assistant Program to obtain a Certification of English Language Fluency before the beginning of the semester. 

Find out more about the SPEAK test.

How can I improve my language skills?

If you are a teaching assistant or graduate student whose native language is not English, you can enroll in Temple University’s non-credit graduate course titled Graduate Level English Communication (IELPSP1239). Offered during both the fall and spring semesters, this course will prepare you to communicate effectively in and out of the classroom. You will improve your English fluency and your knowledge of university culture as well as learn effective teaching & presentation practices in the classroom, the studio and the lab. 

Am I required to take this course?

Students who receive below a 50 on the SPEAK test must take this course. (See the information about SPEAK test scoring.) If you have not yet received your SPEAK test score, you must register for and attend IELPSP1239 until you do.

However, all non-native English speaking graduate students are welcome to enroll in the course, especially if you have no teaching experience or have not previously studied in a U.S. university. It will give you confidence in your English; especially in your ability to teach & present effectively in a U.S. classroom. 


How to Apply

Register with the ITA Program for the SPEAK test, and submit exemption documents here.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to pay for your course. 


For more information about Temple’s International Teaching Assistant Program, contact Anna Krylova at

Register for SPEAK Test