Concerns over the verbal communication skills of some of our foreign graduate teaching assistants arise on occasion. This long–standing issue has received considerable attention at UNL. The following policy is not designed to eliminate all speaking accents, but to ensure that all of our foreign graduate teaching assistants possess effective verbal communication skills.

Policy Statement

A foreign student may be awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) involving classroom or laboratory contact with students only if the foreign student:

  1. has been admitted to a degree program in the Graduate College, and
  2. has successfully completed the International Teaching Assistant Institute offered at UNL.

Note that all foreign students, whether or not they wish to be TAs, must take the UNL English Placement Examination (EPE) on arrival on campus and must take any subsequently required English coursework. If a student is a native of a country in which English is the only national language, and English is the student's original language, both the EPE and requirement (2) above for TAs may be waived. Other criteria that must be considered by the Department Chair when appointing and reappointing Graduate Teaching Assistants include, of course, knowledge of the material,  good teaching skills, etc.