International Teaching Assistant Program

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.

Learn more about ITAP with these Quick Facts.

ITAP provides support for your teaching career in three ways: through language assessments; a summer program for incoming international teaching assistants; and ALS 5780, an experiential learning environment to help build language proficiency.

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.

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

Dates: August 4-12, 2021.

The online summer program offers a high level of individual guidance, small group sessions, and activities designed to help students become familiar with Cornell’s campus and culture. Students will have the opportunity to refine their oral communication and teaching skills, and critically examine the influence of culture on teaching and learning.

ALS 5780

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: 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.