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Certification Requirements

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Certification Requirements and Instructional Capacities

Note: Each level of certification corresponds to a candidate's performance on the ECC Test and to a particular instructional capacity, as described below.

Screening Test*
Scores
ECC Test ScoreSupport Suggestions
SPEAK Test Score of at least 45A

Free ETCS courses, individually-accessed resources, and observation/coaching 

WRITE Test Score of at least 80/100...New GTA Orientation + Workshops and Center for Faculty Excellence Resources

*Candidates can be exempted from the screening tests if they meet the following requirements:

  • A score of 23+ on the speaking sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 7.0+ on the speaking sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the SPEAK Test.
  • A score of 20+ on the writing sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 6.0+ on the writing sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the WRITE Test.
  • Note: ETCS follows the OU Graduate Admissions policy of not accepting "My Best TOEFL" scores. Higher AND more recent TOEFL/IELTS scores can be used in lieu of the scores submitted for an OU application.
  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in an approved English speaking country exempts candidates from BOTH of the screening tests.

See the assessment schedule for the current assessment dates. To register for a test, contact the ETCS office.

An ECC Test Score of Level A means a candidate can fluently and flexibly produce English teaching speech. While there may be a few non-systemic, minor mistakes in the candidate's language production, communication is listener-friendly and completely comprehensible.

Level A certification indicates an individual has the English ability to be the instructor of record for any course in any OU department, including stand-alone, lecture courses without faculty supervision.

Screening Test*
Scores
ECC Test ScoreSupport Suggestions
SPEAK Test Score of at least 45B

Free ETCS courses, individually-accessed resources, and observation/coaching 

WRITE Test Score of at least 80/100...New GTA Orientation + Workshops and Center for Faculty Excellence Resources

*Candidates can be exempted from the screening tests if they meet the following requirements:

  • A score of 23+ on the speaking sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 7.0+ on the speaking sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the SPEAK Test.
  • A score of 20+ on the writing sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 6.0+ on the writing sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the WRITE Test.
  • Note: ETCS follows the OU Graduate Admissions policy of not accepting "My Best TOEFL" scores. Higher AND more recent TOEFL/IELTS scores can be used in lieu of the scores submitted for an OU application.
  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in an approved English speaking country exempts candidates from BOTH of the screening tests.

See the assessment schedule for the current assessment dates. To register for a test, contact the ETCS office.

An ECC Test Score of Level B means a candidate demonstrates sustained, adequate English capacity for the OU undergraduate classroom context. There is some lack of complete fluency and flexibility in the candidate's language production, but these features do not significantly impede comprehension or interaction. Necessary clarification is appropriate and complete.

Level B certification indicates an individual has the English ability to be the instructor of record for ancillary courses in any OU department. Ancillary courses (i.e., labs, discussion sections, activity classes) are those in which there is a faculty who is also delivering content to students and/or is responsible for the course/curriculum overall. Level B also indicates an individual has the English ability to co-teach a course with a faculty.

Screening Test*
Scores
ECC Test ScoreSupport Suggestions
SPEAK Test Score of at least 45C

Free ETCS courses, individually-accessed resources, and coaching

WRITE Test Score of at least 80/100...New GTA Orientation + Workshops and Center for Faculty Excellence Resources

*Candidates can be exempted from the screening tests if they meet the following requirements:

  • A score of 23+ on the speaking sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 7.0+ on the speaking sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the SPEAK Test.
  • A score of 20+ on the writing sub-test of the iBT TOEFL OR 6.0+ on the writing sub-test of the IELTS exempts a candidate from the WRITE Test.
  • Note: ETCS follows the OU Graduate Admissions policy of not accepting "My Best TOEFL" scores. Higher AND more recent TOEFL/IELTS scores can be used in lieu of the scores submitted for an OU application.
  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in an approved English speaking country exempts candidates from BOTH of the screening tests.

See the assessment schedule for the current assessment dates. To register for a test, contact the ETCS office.

An ECC Test Score of Level C means a candidate demonstrates occasional difficulty, hesitation, or lapses when using English teaching speech. Communication is approaching competence, but consistent pronunciation and fluency limitations or lapses in interaction and coherence sometimes distract from or delay successful communication. However, communication never breaks down completely, and necessary clarification can be negotiated. 

Level C certification indicates an individual has the English ability to support an instructor of record in any OU department. This means the individual can hold office hours, tutor, answer students' questions in the class/lab, grade, and conduct review sessions. The individual cannot lecture or deliver extensive new content to the whole class. 

This level means an individual can only hold grading GTA appointments.

Candidates who do not pass the screening assessments or who recieve a score of "Level D" on the ECC Test are certified at this level. Further training is strongly recommended for these candidates before re-testing. 

Level D certification means an individual can be a grading-only GTA, which involves the following activities:

  • Grading assignments or examinations for an instructor of record but having no discussion of the grades with students
  • Preparing laboratories or classrooms for a course