International Teaching Assistant Program

Supporting you as international graduate students on your path to success in teaching and in your studies at Cornell. Quick facts about ITAP.

What is the International Teaching Assistant Program?

The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) supports international graduate students on the path to success in their work as teaching assistants at Cornell.

ITAP includes three components:

  • summer program for new students needing assistance before beginning work as teaching assistants in the Fall semester
  • ALS 5780, which offers opportunities to improve language proficiency in an experiential class environment

Language Assessments

The Office of the Provost has established the requirement that all first-time teaching assistants from a country where English is not the first language must demonstrate English-language oral proficiency through a language assessment.

The ITAP language assessments are based on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), the same tool used by our Ivy League peer institutions. Students who have earned a TOEFL iBT speaking score of 28 or higher or an IELTS speaking score of 8.5 or higher are generally exempt from further requirements.

Through the language assessment, a majority of students successfully meet the oral English proficiency expectations for teaching assistants established by the Office of the Provost, and move on directly to their TA assignments. For students who need additional support, the ITAP team offers several free services.

Assessments are offered four times per year in August, December, January, and May. Please see the language assessments page for scheduling details.

Summer Program

The International Teaching Assistant Summer Program took place August 5-13, 2020. Please check back for upcoming offerings.

  • Time: Event details coming soon

ALS 5780

This program gave me a comfortable environment to practice speaking English with concrete guidance from instructors. Also, this program taught me useful strategies that helped me over my TA experience. This program overall helps me improve my English a lot.
 - Student comment from ALS 5780 Fall 2020 course evaluations

ALS 5780 is offered Fall and Spring semesters. The course is open to graduate International Teaching Assistants, with priority based on the immediacy of the TA assignment.

  • Time: Section times vary. See the Cornell class roster for the desired term

Visit the language assessmentsSummer Program, and ALS 5780 course pages for more details on each of these components.

Additional support is always available; please contact ITAP for further information or with any questions.