International Teaching Assistant Program

What is the International Teaching Assistant Program?

The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) is a professional development program offering support to international teaching assistants (ITAs) to meet required levels of oral English proficiency for teaching assignments. The program helps ensure ITAs have a successful teaching experience and includes language assessments, the ALS 5780 course, and a summer program for incoming ITAs who are assigned to TA in their first semester at Cornell.

The International Teaching Assistant Program Course (ALS 5780) is an opportunity for international teaching assistants to develop and refine oral English proficiency. The course focuses on building advanced-level oral proficiency skills.

Who can Participate?

All first-time teaching assistants from a country where English is not the first language are required to participate in a 30-minute ITA language assessment. However, if an ITA has a TOEFL iBT speaking score of 28 or higher or an IELTS speaking score of 8.5 or higher, she or he is not required to take the language assessment. Additionally, students who were exempted at admission from submitting a TOEFL/IELTs score or who have a degree from an English-speaking institution, must demonstrate they meet the minimum level of oral proficiency to TA via a language assessment.

When is ITAP Programming?

Dates: Language assessments are scheduled four times per year in August, December, January, and May. The language assessments page contains detailed information on available times.

ALS 5780 is offered Fall and Spring semesters.

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

The International Teaching Assistant Summer Program will take place August 5-13, 2020

         Time: Opening event starts August 5, at 8:30 am

Visit the language assessments, ALS 5780 course, or ITAP Summer program pages for more details on individual programs.

Desired Outcomes

  • Develop communication skills and meet oral language proficiency for teaching.
  • Offer practical strategies, approaches, and techniques to teaching.
  • Become familiar with Cornell’s campus and culture and the impact that culture has on teaching and learning.

Registration Process

Language assessments are scheduled by appointment only through Graduate Field Advisors (GFAs). Departments arrange for ITAs to attend the ITAP Summer Program. At the end of the summer program, those who require additional instruction will be required to enroll in ALS 5780 during the semester.

Contact itap@cornell.edu for questions about this program.