University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources
http://www.umn.edu/ohr
612-625-2016

Overview of Spoken English Testing & TA Eligibility

The University of Minnesota requires high standards of English proficiency for nonnative English speaking students who are appointed to teaching assistant and instructor positions. Spoken proficiency is assessed in one of three ways:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (speaking subscore)
  • SETTA (Spoken English Test for Teaching Assistants)
  • Final exam taken after coursework in the International TA Program

Scores on these assessments are converted into numerical English Language Proficiency (ELP) ratings which correspond to eligibility for various teaching responsibilities (i.e., higher proficiency corresponds with more demanding instructional responsibilities.) For ELP ratings lower than 1, ITA Program or ESL coursework is required.

If you are a student, this flowchart (pdf) will guide your testing decisions.

ELP Rating Instructional Responsibilities Allowed How to Achieve This ELP Rating
ELP rating 1

Eligible for all instructional responsibilities.

No coursework required.

27-30 on ibTOEFL speaking

ELP 1 on SETTA

Pass GRAD 5105 final exam

ELP rating 2 

Eligible for all instructional responsibilities.

GRAD 5105 required if teaching (e.g., a class, lab, recitation, discussion, etc.)

No coursework required if grading, tutoring, holding office hours, or proctoring.

23-26 on ibTOEFL speaking

ELP 2 on SETTA

Pass GRAD 5102 final exam

ELP rating 4

Eligible only to tutor, hold office hours, grade, proctor. Not eligible to teach.

GRAD 5102 is required.

18-22 on ibTOEFL speaking

ELP 4 on SETTA

ELP rating 5

Not eligible for any TA position.

Recommended courses through the Minnesota English Language Program (MELP): ESL 3602 or ESL 3551. 

Retake SETTA upon successful completion of any MELP ESL course. Learn more.

<18 on ibTOEFL speaking

ELP 5 on SETTA