Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Courses at Illinois

The ITA Courses at the University of Illinois serve international graduate students who are preparing to become teaching assistants or who already are teaching assistants. The courses are designed to help students develop language and teaching skills, and gain awareness about classroom culture in the U.S.  Follow the links in the table below for additional information about the courses.







Placement Procedures for the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Courses (ESL 504 & 506)

Enrollment in the ITA courses is open to international graduate students only. Visiting Scholars and Post-Docs may not enroll in the ITA courses.

The EPT is not required for any course in the ITA sequence.

For ESL 504 and 506, the screening test for ITAs (the English Proficiency Interview, EPI) is not required for enrollment. However, information from the EPI score report can be useful in determining the course best suited to a particular student’s needs. See guidelines below.  For ESL 508, the EPI is required prior to enrollment and the course is restricted to students who received a score of 4CP or higher.

Guidelines for selecting the appropriate ITA course

  • ESL 504: EPI score of 4 or lower with comments related to accurate pronunciation of sounds, words, or rhythm.  Or previous completion of ESL 506.
  • ESL 506: EPI score of 4 or lower with comments related to fluency, rhythm, content development or organization.  Or previous completion of ESL 504.
  • ESL 508: EPI score of 4CP or higher.

Students may pre-register for ESL 504 and 506 until the first day of the semester using UI Enterprise services.  Students who are unable to enroll before the start of the semester should attend the preferred section from the first day. Priority will be given to potential teaching assistants taking the EPI that term.  Students should continue attending until the enrollment is finalized. This will assure that the student is present for subsequent in-class diagnostic assessment and, if ultimately allowed to enroll, will not be behind in course work. Students allowed to enroll may register for the section when authorized to do so by the section instructor. Enrollment is closed after the third class meeting.

To pre-register for ESL 508, students should contact the course coordinator listed below to verify eligibility to take the course. Further instructions for registration will be provided.

For further information, please contact the ITA course coordinator, Suzanne Franks (