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Communications Requirements

For International Students

AEOCPT (American English Oral Communicative Proficiency Test)
All International students who plan to be a teaching assistant must take the AEOCPT exam that if offered through the Department of Applied Linguistics.. You should preregister via this website http://aplng.la.psu.edu/academicPrograms/ita_AEOCPT_reg.php

The score you receive on this test will determine when you may assume teaching duties as a teaching assistant. Also effective January 1995, an American English Oral Communicative Proficiency Test Score is required for enrollment in ESL 115G, ESL 117G, and ESL 118G. Students who have not taken the oral proficiency test will not be permitted to enroll in these courses.

The American Oral English Communicative Proficiency Test consists of four sections of questions and activities. Your responses to these are evaluated on the way you express your ideas, not the actual ideas.

In the first section, you are asked to explain a common term from your field. You should explain the term, using examples or analogies if appropriate, and its importance. The second section consists of a role play. You will interact with one of the evaluators about a topic that you should be able to discuss easily. In the third section, you are asked to respond to three questions of general interest. One of the evaluators will ask you the questions. They will not be in written form. In the fourth section, you are given information, which you are then asked to "present" to a group of students. You are able to refer to the information printed in the test booklet. You are given time to prepare you answers and should answer as completely as possible.

You will be evaluated on three important aspects of your English language proficiency. These include: pronunciation (the articulation of specific sounds, and the stress and intonation of your speech); fluency (the rate and appropriateness of pauses in your speech); and comprehensibility (how extensive and appropriate your usage of vocabulary and grammar is).

You will be tested by two evaluators (trained graduate students in the Department of Applied Linguistics). One of the will give you instructions, but both will be evaluating your English language proficiency. The test will be tape recorded. If there is a test discrepancy, a third rater will listen to the tape to score your test. Tapes are destroyed after six months.

Before the evaluators begin the test, one of them will explain procedures to you and ask you informal questions about yourself. This "warm-up" conversation is meant to help you relax. It is not graded, even if it is recorded.

One of the evaluators will give you a booklet so you can follow the instructions in writing as the evaluator reads them to you. You are allowed to ask questions about the instructors or the content of the test throughout. You will NOT be penalized for asking questions.

The test takes approximately 25 minutes to complete. Within one week of taking the test, you should check with Juanita Wolfe or Svend Pedersen to receive your score. Scores range from 0-300. Effective August 1999, a score of 250 or higher allows an international student to assume teaching responsibilities with no restrictions. Scores under 250 require additional coursework in English. The following scores and interpretations constitute the guidelines followed by the Department of Applied Linguistics.

AEOCPT SCOREREQUIRED COURSEPROGNOSIS
250-300 None Student may assume teaching duties with no restrictions.
230-249 Enroll in ESL 118G before assuming teaching duties. After one semester, student should be able to assume teaching duties with no restrictions. Students enrolled in ESL 118G must receive a grade of "B" before they assume teaching duties with no restrictions.
200-229 Enroll in ESL 117G Will require at least two semesters before student is recommended to teach. Students enrolled in ESL 117G must receive a grade of "B" before they will be allowed to enroll in ESL 118G.
below 200 Enroll in ESL 115G Will require at least three semesters before student is recommended to teach. Students enrolled in ESL 115G must receive a grade of "B" before they will be allowed to enroll in ESL 117G.