skip to content

Policy Name: Faculty and Teaching Personnel Whose Primary Language Is Not English
Policy No: 5.02
Date Passed: 02/27/2004
Last Reviewed: July 2013
Review Next: July 2015

Assessment and Assistance for Faculty and Teaching Personnel
Whose Primary Language Is Not English


The Texas Woman's University has established procedures which provide evaluation of English-language skills and offer assistance, if needed, to teaching personnel whose primary language is not English. Assessment of teaching assistants takes place through a process involving TOEFL scores, TSE scores, and personal interviews. The screening of faculty members takes place as an organized facet of the interview process which at TWU involves not only screening at the departmental level and a formal, oral, public presentation 40-60 minutes long, but also personal interviews with the school/college dean, with the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and with others. In addition, all faculty members at TWU will be asked to designate their primary language by presenting evidence to support their assertion. Those who identify English as their primary language will be exempt from testing.

Those persons needing instruction can pursue several options. One option is for the student or faculty member to enroll in TWU's noncredit, continuing education course entitled "English for Communication: A Course for Teachers whose Primary Language is not English." This course will be taught by faculty members from the Department of Reading and Bilingual Education or the Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages. In addition, the Director of International Studies and Programs at the University of North Texas has indicated a willingness to establish procedures whereby TWU students and faculty can participate in the University of North Texas' Language Certification Program for International Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Research Assistants. Instructors or students can also engage individual tutors. The instructor or student must continue to seek this instruction until he/she can attain a satisfactory score on the TSE.


TWU has developed the following plan to comply with House Bill 638 (English Language Proficiency for Faculty Whose Primary Language is not English). The University affirms that all courses (with the exception of foreign languages) will be clearly taught in the English language.

  1. Hiring Procedures
    1. All faculty position announcements will clearly state that applicants must possess excellent communication skills.
    2. The interview process will be used as an initial means of identifying faculty members who must receive special instruction.
  2. Assessing Faculty Language Competence
    1. Faculty members who can demonstrate that their primary language is English on the basis of country of origin, academic training, or other credible evidence are understood to be excluded from coverage of House Bill 638.
    2. Departments and colleges will need to take particular care with part-time faculty and non-tenure track lecturers, especially those newly hired for the first time and hired very close to the beginning of classes. Any such faculty members required to go through the interview and/or testing process should be informed in writing that their position is contingent upon completing that process. Furthermore, should their proficiency in English be found insufficient, they will have to remedy that deficiency.
    3. This Policy applies equally to all teaching assistants charged with a primary responsibility for teaching.
  3. Program for Compliance
    1. Each instructor at TWU will be asked to complete a statement identifying his/her primary language.
    2. Each instructor whose primary language is not English will be required to take the "Test of Spoken English" (TSE) from the Educational Testing Service.
    3. Any instructor who fails to achieve a score of at least 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) must engage in a specific program of study until he/she attains a satisfactory score. These options include:
      1. Enroll in the noncredit, continuing education course at TWU entitled "English for Communication: A Course for Teachers Whose Primary Language is not English";
      2. Enroll in the University of North Texas Language Certification Program for International Teaching Assistants; Assistants, Teaching Fellows, and Research Assistants;
      3. Seek individual tutoring.
    4. According to the law, the cost of an English proficiency course or other expenses will be paid for by the faculty member lacking proficiency in English.

page last updated 8/16/2016 11:02 AM