Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Learn English

International Teaching Assistant Exams

All international teaching assistants (ITA) at Washington State University take an assessment that is designed to measure English language proficiency and teaching ability to ensure proper teaching placement.

Distance ITA Tests

All ITA tests will be conducted via Zoom.  All candidates and their department representatives will receive a zoom invitation and a fillable pdf form for comments.  Completed forms should be emailed with the candidate’s name in the subject line to Fraser-Allen, Sharon and Armentrout, Justine Thorine

Testing Dates

Registration for the spring 2021 semester is open until March 12, 2021. All registration forms submitted on or after March 13, 2021, will be entered into the queue for a test in summer 2021.

Students who register for spring will be contacted by email to arrange a specific test date and time. Test requests are processed in the order in which registration forms are received.

If you have not filled out a registration form, please scroll down to the appropriate link and register as soon as possible. Available test slots fill up quickly.

To facilitate the procedure of scheduling a test, please talk to a department representative and provide time windows on at least 3 days of the week when you are both available. Specific dates are virtually impossible to accommodate due to the volume of registration forms that we receive.

Emails from this office will be sent to WSU email addresses only.

Questions regarding test scheduling should be emailed to Sharon Fraser-Allen.

ITA Workshop

Sharon Fraser-Allen, the ITA coordinator, will hold Zoom workshops on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (Pullman time) and on Friday, March 5, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (Pullman time). These workshops are open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the ITA exam, but its focus is on preparing students who will be taking the exam in the near future. To register for this workshop, please email Sharon Fraser-Allen at sfraser-allen@wsu.edu.

Topics covered:

  • General information on ITA exams
    1. Ratings
    2. Timeline
    3. Best topics
  • ITA test via zoom
    1. Best practices
    2. No PowerPoints
    3. Allowable visual aids
  • Questions & Answer
  • Practice (Optional)
    1. Screen sharing
    2. Introducing self and topic

Retaking the ITA Test

Only 1 ITA test may be taken in each academic session (fall, spring, summer).
ITA tests may be retaken every 12 months. A different topic must be used for each subsequent ITA test.
Requests for retesting within the same 12-month period must be accompanied by the section of the registration form explaining work done, such as:

  • Courses taken (name and duration)
  • Tutors (topics covered and total hours of instruction)
  • Materials used (websites, books, audio/visual, etc.)
  • Hours/day of practice (details of what was done, log)
  • Other relevant factors

Sharon Fraser-Allen, ITA Exam Coordinator
Kruegel Hall 10A
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
sfraser-allen@wsu.edu

Office of International Programs
Intensive American Language Center
PO Box 643251
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-3251

About the Exams

The state of Washington requires international teaching assistants be evaluated before their teaching assignments can be approved.

The Intensive American Language Center provides these exams for the WSU Graduate School. Questions regarding exemptions from the exam should be directed to the WSU Graduate School.

You will be asked to prepare a 20-minute lecture. The lesson taught must be in your field, but not necessarily what you will be teaching as a TA. The lesson should be at the introductory level. It is fine to teach a short lesson on a basic, special-interest topic, such as “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why are whales and bats classified as mammals?”

The candidates are rated on their:

  • Language (pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary)
  • Communication ability (use of white board, communication of information)
  • Question handling (comprehending idiomatic questions and responding appropriately)

You should expect to be interrupted with questions during your lecture. The questions are not used to gauge your knowledge of your field, but instead to determine English comprehension and how well you speak without a script.

Recommendations from the exams will not prevent you from receiving an assistantship. These recommendations are used to identify the kind of work you will be assigned to do in your ITA position.

Please note that your ITA exam will be video recorded. The video is used during the evaluation process.

Registration

1

Fill Out the Registration Form

Registration Form

2

Receive a Confirmation Email

Once you fill out a registration form with your preferred date and time, you will be contacted via email to confirm your selection or be offered an alternate choice.

3

Bring a Department Representative Who Is an Expert in Your Field

Select an exam time that both of you can attend. The exam schedule fills up quickly, so it is a good idea to have at least 2 alternate selections. Your department representative will judge the content of your ITA exam.

Important Exam Details

  • Prepare a 20-minute lecture on a topic in your field. The material should be at an introductory level. Someone who has never taken a class for your major should be able to understand it. Discrete topics are the best choice.
  • Make sure your department representative knows the date and time of your exam.
  • The ITA exam is designed to rate teaching ability in English without the use of PowerPoint or handouts, i.e., what could be taught to someone walking in to your office.
  • You may not use a handout (exception: if a single-page handout is necessary, it must be approved in the main office).
  • You may not use PowerPoint.
  • You will be evaluated on your ability to effectively teach and communicate with students in English.
  • Here are some teaching tips:
    • State the learning objectives.
    • Explain the material clearly.
    • Check for understanding.
    • Plan to be interactive and answer questions.

Deadlines

Students in Pullman must register and confirm their testing time at least 1 week prior to their exam date.

Students at the Vancouver, Spokane, and Tri-Cities locations must register and confirm their testing time at least 2 weeks prior to their exam date.

Questions?

If you have any questions about scheduling, registration, preparation, or your exam results, please contact us. We are ready to help.

Scheduling and Registration
Sharon Fraser-Allen
Kruegel Hall 10A
sfraser-allen@wsu.edu