How to Satisfy the Oral English Proficiency Requirement for a GSI Appointment
Graduate Division policy states that prospective GSIs who do not speak English as a native language must satisfy the oral English proficiency requirement before they can be appointed to teach. Graduate students can satisfy the oral English proficiency requirement and be cleared to teach in one of the following ways:
- Achieve a TOEFL Speaking section score of 26 or above on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) taken within the last two years. Applicants for graduate study who take the TOEFL should have their official TOEFL score report sent directly to UC Berkeley.
- Achieve an IELTS Speaking section score of 8 or above on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test taken within the last two years. Applicants for graduate study who take the IELTS should have their official score report sent directly to UC Berkeley.
- Complete all of their undergraduate education (with the exception of a study abroad year) and receive an undergraduate degree from a college or university in the U.S. or another country in which English is the sole language of instruction (with the exception of instruction in foreign language departments) and the primary spoken language of the community
- Take and pass the Oral Proficiency Test (OPT) administered on the Berkeley campus.
The table below shows what your language testing scores mean and next steps you may need to take before you can be appointed as a GSI.
The process for determining what steps prospective GSIs need to take to fulfill the oral English proficiency requirement begins with filling out and submitting the Language Proficiency Questionnaire. Prospective GSIs are encouraged to complete the Language Proficiency Questionnaire early in their programs so that they can receive screening, advice, and support that will help them prepare for teaching.