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Language Assessment

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The International TA Language Assessment is referred to as an ILA.

Who is required to take the ILA?
What is the purpose of the ILA?
What is the structure of the ILA?
When and where are ILAs offered?
How do I schedule an ILA?

Who is required to take the ILA?

International graduate students who:

  • Do not speak English as a first language.
  • May be assigned any teaching assistantship.
  • Have not taken the TOEFL iBT, or have taken the TOEFL iBT and received a speaking score below a 28.
  • Have not taken the IELTS, or have taken the IELTS and received a speaking score below an 8.5.

Some important notes on exemptions:

  • Students who receive a 28 or above on the TOEFL iBT are exempt from assessment. This exemption does not apply to the summer program for incoming ITAs who will TA in their first semester.
  • ITAs who have received previous education in English institutions are not exempt from the ILA.

What is the purpose of the ILA?

  • To determine if an ITA’s level of English proficiency meets the minimum required level of proficiency to be a TA at Cornell.
  • To inform ITAs and their departments of any required ITAP course work and appropriate teaching assignments.

What is the structure of the ILA?

  • The ILA is designed to enable ITAs to deliver a speech sample that is representative of their true linguistic abilities.
  • The ILA consists of an interview and a brief teaching sample.
  • The ILA is a modified version of the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).

About the ACTFL OPI

The ACTFL OPI is currently used worldwide by academic institutions, government agencies, and private corporations for purposes such as: academic placement, student assessment, program evaluation, professional certification, hiring, and promotional qualification. The ACTFL OPI is recognized by the American Council on Education (ACE) for the awarding of college credit. For more information please visit Language Testing International.

To prepare for their ILA, ITAs should:

  • Fill out a registration pdf form and bring it to the assessment.
  • Prepare a short (two to five-minute) introduction to a term or concept in their field. Presentation technologies such as PowerPoint are not available.

When and where are ILAs offered?

  • Appointments are only available during the dates listed below.
  • ILAs are held in the Center For Teaching Excellence, Room 421 CCC (Computing and Communications Center- the same building as the CIT Help Center).
  • CCC is located on the "Ag Quad" near Bailey, Martha van Rensselaer, Caldwell, and Roberts Halls.

ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule

ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule
YEAR MONTH DATES WHO
2017 May 10-12 TAs with duties beginning Spring 2018
2017 August 17-18, 22-24 TAs with duties beginning Spring 2018
2017 December 6-8, 11 TAs with duties beginning Fall 2018

Please note: The ITAP is available to conduct ILAs for international graduate students one time only within a 12-month period. Appointments are only available during the dates listed above.

How are ILAs scheduled?

  • Departments should schedule an ILA for ITAs at least one semester before scheduled TA duties. It is recommended that students be assessed during their first year.
  • ITAs should contact their Graduate Field Assistants (GFAs) if they will receive a TA appointment but have not yet been scheduled for an ILA.
  • The ILA is a modified version of the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).

Scheduling an ILA

To schedule an ILA for the dates listed above invite "itap@cornell.edu" in your Exchange Calendar meeting request. For specific instructions click the links below. We welcome comments, suggestions, or other feedback on the scheduling process. Please email us at itap@cornell.edu.

All interviews take 30 minutes and can only be made on the half hour (e.g. 10, 10:30). While scheduling please include the student's name, your department name (or abbreviation) and if needed, the department or faculty representative who will attend the assessment.

Appointments are only available during the dates listed above: ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule.

All meetings must be accepted and confirmed by the ITAP. If your suggestion is denied, the ITAP will contact you via email or phone about an alternative appointment. The ITAP will respond to you only as needed. No response (or an accepted meeting in Exchange calendar) means your ILA is scheduled.

Please do not double book entries.

If you have any questions about scheduling, please contact the ITAP at itap@cornell.edu.

For training on how to use Exchange calendar (including free, 90-minute workshops), please visit the CIT website: Exchange Calendar support

Scheduling an ILA using Outlook 2013 (Windows)

  1. In any calendar view, click New.
  2. In the Untitled - Appointment window, fill in the Subject (ILA: Student Name & Department) and Location (CCC 421).
  3. Click Scheduling Assistant in the toolbar. The appointment window will change to show a side-scrolling calendar. You can jump quickly to any date by clicking that date on the mini-calendar at the upper right. Appointments are only available during the dates listed above: ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule.
  4. Add itap@cornell.edu to the invitation by clicking Add Attendees near the bottom of the window, which opens the Select Attendees dialog box. Make sure Global Address List is selected in the Address Book drop-down list.
  5. After you've added ITAP, the color of the time block in the All Attendees row shows you if ITAP has a scheduling conflict at that time. (Blue means busy, purple is "not available") The Suggested Times box at the right shows the best times for the day you've selected.
  6. Either click on a time in the Suggested Times box or click (or drag) on a column in the main display to select a time.
  7. Click Appointment in the toolbar to return to the scheduling view. The Date, Start time, and End time fields will show what you selected. The To will show ITAP.
  8. The meeting will now appear on your calendar.

Scheduling an ILA using Outlook 2011 (Macintosh)

  1. In any calendar view, in the Home ribbon, click Meeting. A message window will open.
  2. Fill out the To field the way you would an email message. Type in itap@cornell.edu. You can include the "name" of resources such as rooms and equipment.
  3. When you're done adding names, click Scheduling in the ribbon.
  4. You'll see a scrollable calendar showing the Free/Busy status of everyone you're inviting. (If they have shared their calendar with you, you'll see the subject of their meetings as well.) To set or change the date and/or time for your proposed meeting, use the Start and End fields in the top part of the window. The times entered in those fields will show as a shaded rectangle in the scrollable calendar. Appointments are only available during the dates listed above: ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule.
  5. Finish filling out the Subject (ILA: Student Name & Department) and Location (CCC 421) fields, and include information on an attending faculty member.
  6. Click Send in the toolbar.

Scheduling an ILA using Outlook Web App (OWA)(via your web browser)

  1. On the menu, click Calendar.
  2. In the Calendar page, click New Meeting Request in the toolbar. An addressing pane (just like the one you see when creating an email message) will open. Type in itap@cornell.edu. Press the Tab key to accept the displayed address and move to another line.
  3. Finish filling out the Subject (ILA: Student Name & Department) and Location (CCC 421) fields, and include information on an attending faculty member.
  4. When you're done adding names, click the Scheduling Assistant tab at the top of the Calendar window.
  5. You'll see a scrollable calendar showing the Free/Busy status of everyone you're inviting. To set or change the date and/or time for your proposed meeting, use the Start and End times in the left column of the window. Appointments are only available during the dates listed above: ITA Language Assessments (ILAs) Schedule.
  6. Click Send.

Any other questions?

Please contact the ITAP at itap@cornell.edu.