English Language Proficiency Pathways

For Incoming Graduate Students

English Oral Proficiency
by TOEFL iBT Scores

  1. You HAVE demonstrated English oral proficiency:
  • If you have received and can document your completion of a BA/BS degree from an English medium higher education institution or
  • If your TOEFL iBT oral score is 26 or higher

The Graduate School should waive you from completing any further English language requirements. However, the ELP strongly recommends that you enroll in the Professional Communication Skills Course offered by the English Language Program. You should also consider completing the Teaching Certificate offered by the Graduate Teaching Center.

  1. You HAVE NOT demonstrated English proficiency if your TOEFL iBT oral score is less than 26.
  • If your TOEFL iBT oral score is 24, we strongly recommend that you take:
    • Fall: Teaching in the American Classroom which includes the OPA2 assessment.
    • Fall: You MAY take the SPEAK assessment at the end of August (if you are not in a Humanities department).
  1. If your TOEFL iBT oral score is 23 or 22, you MAY NOT take the SPEAK assessment in August or November. We strongly recommend that you take:
  • Fall: Speaking Fluently 2 and
  • Spring: Teaching in the American Classroom which includes the OPA2 assessment.
  1. If your TOEFL iBT oral score is 21 or lower, you MAY NOT take the SPEAK assessment in your first year. We strongly recommend that you take:
  • Fall: Speaking Fluently 1 and
  • Spring: Speaking Fluently 2 and
  • Fall: Teaching in the American Classroom which includes the OPA2 assessment.

English Oral Proficiency
By SPEAK Assessment Scores

If you score 50 or higher on the SPEAK assessment you will have achieved the Yale English Oral Proficiency.

However, the ELP still strongly recommends that you enroll in the Professional Communication Skills Course offered by the English Language Program. You should also consider completing the Teaching Certificate offered by the Graduate Teaching Center.

If you DO NOT score 50 or higher on the SPEAK assessment in August we strongly recommend that you take ELP courses based upon the following criteria:

  1. If your SPEAK score was 45 we strongly recommend that you take:
  • Fall: Teaching in the American Classroom which includes the OPA2 assessment.
  1. Your SPEAK score was 40 or lower, we strongly recommend that you take: 
  • Fall: Speaking Fluently 2 and
  • Spring: Teaching in the American Classroom which includes the OPA2 assessment.
  1. If you DO NOT achieve oral proficiency in your first or second year you should contact the Director of the English Language Program for English language support options.
  2. You are always welcome to take any other ELP course that is offered to meet your needs.

For Matriculated Graduate Students

English Oral Proficiency

If you HAVE scored 50 or higher on the SPEAK or OPA2 assessments, you will have achieved the Yale English Oral Proficiency. However, the ELP strongly recommends that you enroll in the Professional Communication Skills Course offered by the English Language Program. You should also consider completing the Teaching Certificate offered by the Graduate Teaching Center.

If you HAVE NOT scored 50 or higher on the SPEAK or OPA 2 assessment we strongly recommend that you take ELP courses based upon the following criteria:

  1. If your SPEAK score was 45, we strongly recommend that you take:
  • Fall: Teaching in the American Classroom, which includes the OPA2 assessment, or other ELP course if available AND retake the SPEAK or other assessment on the next available testing date.
  1. If your SPEAK score was 40 or lower, we strongly recommend that you take:
  • Fall: Speaking Fluently 2 or other ELP course if available
  • Spring: Teaching in the American Classroom, which includes the OPA2 assessment, or other ELP course if available AND retake the SPEAK or other assessment on the next available testing date.
  1. If you have scored 45 two or more times on the SPEAK assessment AND have been in an ELP English language course just prior to the test date, you are eligible to take the alternative English Proficiency assessment, the Oral Performance Assessment 2 (OPA2). This is a teaching simulation assessment. Please contact the ELP office to determine your eligibility and to register for the assessment.
  2. If you DO NOT achieve English oral proficiency after three (3) SPEAK and or two OPA 2 assessments, you should contact the Director of the English Language Program for English language support options.