Oral English Proficiency
The University of Illinois Act (110 ILCS 305/7c) states, “The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois shall establish a program to assess the oral English language proficiency of all persons providing classroom instruction to students at each campus under the jurisdiction, governance or supervision of the Board, and shall ensure that each person who is not orally proficient in the English language attain such proficiency prior to providing any classroom instruction to students.” At UIS, evaluation procedures for the oral English proficiency requirements are administered by the Provost’s Office. The following information provides guidelines for employment of faculty and academic staff who wish to obtain employment involving teaching at the University of Illinois Springfield. This policy applies to all individuals who supply classroom instruction.
An assessment of the effectiveness of the use of oral English is made first during the process of hiring new faculty and academic staff who will provide classroom instruction by asking those who participate in hiring to assess candidates’ communications skills. This determination can be accomplished in a number of ways; e.g., formal interviews, assessment of candidates by colleagues within the academic unit, teaching demonstrations and/or research presentations. Deans or the equivalent hiring authority must provide an opinion, via the Assessment of Oral English Proficiency form, regarding oral English proficiency of newly-hired instructional staff at every rank (full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and teaching academic professionals). This form, which will be maintained in the Provost’s Office, should follow approval of hire requests for all instructional staff.
In addition to the pre-hiring assessment, new full-time and part-time faculty are evaluated during their first semester of teaching. This evaluation is conducted twice during the semester, i.e., within the first three weeks of the semester and near the end of the semester. A questionnaire is distributed to all students in courses taught by new instructional staff to allow communication difficulties to be identified in time for assessment and appropriate intervention. The forms are distributed, collected, and analyzed by the Provost’s Office. The confidential results of each evaluation are given to the appropriate dean (or equivalent). The dean (or equivalent) reviews the information on any instructional staff member identified as having difficulties and determines if support services are needed. The dean (or equivalent) will meet with the instructional staff member to review the assessment and to establish plans to improve the instructor’s use of oral English.
Instructional staff members with questions about this policy should contact the dean of their college (or equivalent).
Approved by Chancellor’s Cabinet 9.1.15