Multilingual Graduate Student Instructors at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley benefits from the breadth of experience and the cultural and linguistic backgrounds that graduate students bring to the university community. In addition, many graduate students report that working as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) is one of their most rewarding experiences in graduate school. Working with UC Berkeley students can be highly stimulating for GSIs. Teaching also increases graduate students’ ability to communicate about their field in ways that benefit their future careers.

The GSI Teaching and Resource Center’s Language Proficiency Program helps multilingual graduate students establish their linguistic readiness to work as GSIs and assists GSIs in developing their teaching skills once they have begun teaching. We offer language proficiency screening, testing, courses, and individual consultations.

Graduate Division policy states that graduate students who do not speak English as a native language must demonstrate oral English proficiency to be eligible to work as a GSI. This requirement is separate from the English language requirement for admissions and requires a higher level of oral English proficiency.

If you are interested in applying for a GSI appointment, contact the Graduate Student Affairs Officer in your department to find out how to apply and what the eligibility requirements are.

The GSI Center’s Language Proficiency Program will help you determine whether you need to take a language proficiency test or course to be appointed as a GSI.  The first step is to fill out the Language Proficiency Questionnaire.

Language Proficiency Program

How to Satisfy the Oral English Proficiency Requirement

Language Proficiency Questionnaire
Fill out this form to determine whether you need to take a language proficiency test (if you have not already submitted the questionnaire).

The Oral Proficiency Test (OPT)

English Language Proficiency Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

Oral English Proficiency Test: Key Deadlines for Students and Departments

Support for Multilingual Students