GE English Language Policy

Demonstrating Proficiency

Non-native speakers of English who accept Graduate Employee (GE) positions that involve teaching must submit a test score demonstrating their proficiency in speaking English.

Students for whom the TOEFL/IELTS is waived for admission to their graduate program are still subject to these requirements if they are placed in teaching-related GE assignments.

The following tests are accepted to fulfill this requirement:

  • Test of Spoken English (TSE): Minimum score: 50
  • Internet-based (iBT) TOEFL Speaking: Minimum score: 26
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Module Speaking Band: Minimum Score: 7
  • Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK): Minimum score: 50

Individuals who score below the minimum scores as noted will be required to attend language-support classes and may be subject to limitations on the kinds of activities they may carry out as GEs.

Guidelines for the Assignment of Non-Native English Speaking Graduate Employee

Guidelines for the Assignment of Non-Native English Speaking Graduate Employees

If you have questions about these guidelines or the GE language requirement, please contact the Division of Graduate Studies

SPEAK Test Administered on Campus

If a passing iBT TOEFL or IELTS score is not submitted to the Division of Graduate Studies in advance of arrival on campus, the student must take the SPEAK test administered at the University of Oregon prior to the first term of the GE appointment.

The cost of the SPEAK test (currently $35) is waived for those who have GE appointments during the academic year in which they take the test, in accordance with the UO-GTFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, Appendix B.

Fall 2021 SPEAK Test Information

LOCATION: Remote via Zoom
TIME: Various timeslots available. Tests take approximately 30 minutes.
HOW TO SIGN UP: Email Trish Pashby ( before September 14 to schedule an individual appointment.

Click here for more details about the SPEAK test, including a practice test.

Language Support Courses

GEs who score below 50 on the SPEAK Test will be required to attend one or both of two language support courses offered specifically for GEs through the American English Institute (AEI), GRST 621 Academic Discourse and/or GRST 624 Teaching in US universities.

Each is 4.0 credits and the courses are available for registration via DuckWeb (CRNs available through AEI). For more information about these courses, please contact Trish Pashby at AEI.

2021-22 Courses Offered

GRST 621 Academic Discourse (Fall term)
GRST 624 Teaching in US Universities (Winter term)
GRST 631 Graduate & Scholarly Writing I (Fall)
GRST 632 Graduate & Scholarly Writing II (not offered for 2021-22)

Consult the UO Class Schedule for specific days and times each course is offered.