English Proficiency Requirement for New International Graduate Assistants
All new international students who are first-time graduate assistants will be required to take the Duolingo English Test. This includes all graduate assistants who will be advising or teaching students as an instructor, teaching assistant or lab supervisors. Research assistants and graduate assistants with other professional duties are also required to take the Duolingo English Test.
The Duolingo English Test must be taken before the start of the semester the GA intends to work at UNLV. As of July 15th, 2019 the minimum test score required is 110. The last day to take the Duolingo English Test will be the Monday before classes start.
If you are required to take the English Proficiency Test it will be indicated on your Graduate Assistant Offer Letter. Please use the link and access code provided on your GA offer letter to access the practice test and/or the actual Duolingo English Test.
Duolingo Test Exemption
Returning international graduate assistants and new graduate assistants from countries where English is both the national and home language will be exempt from taking the Duolingo Test. Other exemptions include new international graduate assistants that scored a minimum of 22 on the TOEFL IBT speaking component, a minimum of 6.5 on the spoken English portion of the IELTS exam, or international students who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from an English speaking institution. All scores must be officially reported to UNLV. Self-reported scores will not be accepted.
English-Speaking Countries Exempt from Testing
- British Guyana
- British Virgin Islands
- Canada (except for Quebec)
- Irish Republic
- New Zealand
- St. Kitt & Nevis
- St. Vincent & Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Passing Score and ESL 580x
Students must receive a score of 110 or better on the Duolingo English Test in order to pass. Students who fail to reach the score of 110 must be enrolled in ESL 580x. This is non-negotiable. Results from the Duolingo English Test are forwarded to the Graduate College after they have been evaluated. Failure to attend ESL 580x will result in the termination of the GA contract. The required score of 110 is a hard 110 and is non-negotiable. Any score below a 110, no matter what it is, is not considered passing and the student must enroll in ESL 580x. Students must receive a "B" or better in ESL 580x. This is non- negotiable. If a student fails ESL 580x then he or she may lose their GA or be required to repeat the course.
Retesting of the Duolingo English Test may occur up until one week before the ESL 580x class begins. Once ESL 580x begins, there will be no further testing offered until the following semester. ESL 580x start dates are posted in the academic class schedule. Retesting is at the student's own expense and must be paid for at the time of testing.
ESL 580x Overview
Two sections of ESL 580x/380 will be offered in parallel each fall semester and one section during the spring semester. The course will be scheduled on Friday mornings and will be offered in a 10-week modular format, which begins 3 weeks after the start of the regularly scheduled classes. Again, students are required to earn at least a "B" in order to pass the course.
Revocation of GA Duties
Any international GTA who does not receive a passing score of 110 on the Duolingo English Test cannot be assigned to any duties that involve teaching or advising students. This includes teaching courses, instructing lab sessions, and holding office hours. Normal teaching duties can be reinstated once a passing score of 110 is received on the Duolingo English Test or ESL 580x is successfully passed with a grade of "B" or higher.
How Do I Prepare for the Duolingo English Test?
The Duolingo English Test is an assessment of real-world language ability and measures real world usage. No one particular method is recommended to prepare for the test. You can take the free quick practice test to estimate your score before taking the Duolingo English Test.
Where Can I See a Sample of the Duolingo English Test?
Once you have logged into the site, you can click on the “Quick Test” section to estimate your English fluency on questions in the same format as the Duolingo English Test.