IU Bloomington Academic Policies

C. The Appointment Process

English Proficiency for International Associate Instructors
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All international associate instructors on the Bloomington campus.

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Policy Statement

  1. International graduate students whose native language is not English shall be tested by the Department of Second Language Studies (SLS) at Indiana University to ensure that they have adequate proficiency in the language before they may be allowed to engage in direct instruction of students. Students who do not demonstrate such a level of proficiency will not be permitted to teach.

  2. The AI Affairs Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council shall review the implementation of this policy after one year and report back to the BFC on the progress of implementation.

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Implementation Procedures

  1. Publicity: All official university documents and materials which are addressed to international students and which deal with associate instructorships must make clear and prominent references to this policy.

  2. Appointments:
    A. Department chairmen in their initial correspondence with prospective AIs must make specific reference to Indiana University's policy concerning English proficiency for international AIs. The chairmen must also outline the procedures which the student must follow upon arrival in Bloomington and the alternatives which he/she will face in the event he/she fails to meet the minimum standard of proficiency in English established by SLS.

    B. To reduce the hazards of offering an associate instructorship to a international student who does not have sufficient proficiency in English, departments should require that all candidates present an acceptable TOEFL score or such other evidence of adequate proficiency in English as extensive residence in an English-speaking country. At the present time SLS recommends a TOEFL score of 550 as a minimum probable indication that the student will be able to demonstrate proficiency upon arrival. Additionally, the TOEFL test should be taken within the 6-month period immediately prior to the proposed term of appointment as an AI.

    C. The Student Academic Appointment Form for an international student must be accompanied by a certificate of proficiency issued by SLS, indicating that the student has demonstrated adequate proficiency in English if the student is to be appointed as an AI. In the absence of such a certificate, it is incumbent upon the chairman to establish to the satisfaction of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs that the department will make adequate use of the services of the international student.

    D. Departments which have made a financial commitment to a international student prior to taking the SLS proficiency test must be prepared to honor that commitment regardless of whether or not the student passes the test. Departments which hire a large number of international students must consider in advance duties which can be assigned to individuals who fail at first to qualify for an associate instructorship.

  3. SLS Proficiency Test:
    A. The English proficiency test for international students should be given a least twice a year, immediately prior to registration week during both fall and spring semesters.

    B. The cost of the English proficiency test will be waived (1) the first time a student takes it or (2) the second time a student takes it IF the student has satisfactorily completed an appropriate course of study in English as designated by SLS.

  4. SLS International Language Courses:
    A. International students who have an appointment in the university but who fail to meet the standard of proficiency in English established by SLS must enroll in a course of study of English designated by the Department. Any international student desirous of an associate instructorship, regardless of whether he/she already holds an appointment, will be strongly encouraged to enroll in course work in English if he/she fails the SLS test.

    B. International students with a fee remission should be allowed to apply a portion of that remission to the cost of taking courses in English.

  5. AI Training Programs:
    A. Individual departments should build into their AI training programs segments which address themselves to presentational skills which are appropriate for all AIs, international as well as non-foreign.

    B. Cultural differences can play an important role in instructional situations and lead to conflict and misunderstanding (e.g., societal attitudes toward women as students). Again, AI training programs or supervisory procedures can be used effectively to anticipate and deal with such issues.

    C. International students who cannot be appointed as AIs because they fail to meet SLS's standard of proficiency should be allowed to take full part in departmental AI training programs while they are studying English through formal SLS course work.

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Approved: BFC 11/10/79.

The title of this policy was changed from “English Proficiency for Foreign Associate Instructors” when the policy was moved into the updated database in 2016. At the same time, the word “foreign” was replaced with “international” throughout the entire policy statement.

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