The Teaching Assistant Preparation in English (TAPE) program is designed for prospective teaching assistants whose first language is not English and who need additional work on English communication skills. Entry to the program is determined by a test.
All students for whom English is not a first language (as self-reported on their admissions application) and who have first-time appointments as graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are required to take a test to assess their effectiveness in speaking English before they are assigned assistantship responsibilities. This is based on a policy overseen by the Office of the Provost (see the University's Operations Manual III-13), which was derived from a Board of Regents mandate (see Iowa Code 262.9 #24-5).
The University of Iowa uses a two-test sequence. The English Speaking Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) assesses these students' oral language and listening skills in general academic English. For those who pass the ESPA, the second test is the English Language Performance Test (ELPT), which is designed to measure prospective TAs' ability to communicate in English in a classroom context in their own field of study.
To learn more about the ESPA and ELPT, including information about preparing for the test, interpreting your results, enrolling in TAPE classes, and support when you begin teaching, use the menu on the left.