Arabic class in ILRC

Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit

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SPEAK TESTS

Self-Enroll into Canvas - SPEAK Test

The SPEAK test (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit) is the institutional version of the TSE (Test of Spoken English) produced by Educational Testing Service. The SPEAK Test is given to evaluate the oral proficiency of incoming graduate students for whom English is not their native or primary language. In order for a graduate student to be assigned as a teaching assistant, administrative assistant, or laboratory assistant, the student must achieve a minimum passing score on the SPEAK test.


When will the next SPEAK Test be given?

The SPEAK test dates for the 2017-2018 Academic year will be will be held on the following days:

  • Monday, 17 July 2017 through Monday, 31 July 2017
  • Friday, 18 August 2017 in Irvin Hall 60

These days are for new incoming graduate students who will be teaching courses at Miami and need to have their language proficiency verified. If you are a returning graduate student already enrolled in a department and need to retake the SPEAK test from a previous semester, simply enroll into the Canvas site and take the current version of the test available.

  • Saturday, 2 December 2017 through Wednesday, 6 December 2017

These days are for students who failed or were given a conditional pass on previous tests and for new students who will be teaching for Winter Term or Spring Semester.

  • Saturday, 20 January 2018 through Wednesday 24 January 2018

These days are for students who failed or were given a conditional pass on previous tests and for new students who will be teaching for Spring Semester.

  • Saturday, 5 May 2018 through Wednesday, 9 May 2018

These days are for students who failed or were given a conditional pass on previous tests and for new students who will be teaching for Summer Sessions.

Where will the SPEAK Test be given?

We are administering the SPEAK Test via Canvas. Students will self-enroll into the SPEAK Test Canvas site, be able to take a practice test immediately, and then during the open testing period, a SPEAK test will be available on the canvas site to complete.  If you have problems, questions, or concerns with the SPEAK test on the Canvas site, please contact Dan Meyers, Irvin Hall 47, by calling (513) 529-2510 or emailing at meyersde@miamioh.edu.

What happens during the test?

For all testing days, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY TO TAKE THE EXAM!

Be advised that each exam will have a time limit of 120 minutes and you may have two attempts to take the exam. If you wait until the last minute to take the exam, you risk running into the deadline of the exam and not being able to complete the exam. In such cases, the grading committee will treat this as a failed attempt at taking the exam and you will be given a score of "Fail."

You will need the following pieces of hardware and software:

  • a computer (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iOS, Android).
  • a current and up-to-date web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, or Opera.
  • a microphone available to record your voice (either built-in to the computer or an external headset or USB microphone that can be plugged in to the computer.
  • Audio recording software installed on your computer, such as Audacity, which is a free download. However, any software that can capture audio and save it as an *.aif, *.mp3, *.m4a, *.ogg, *.wav or *.wma file will work.

As you go through the exam, you will read and listen to the questions, then you will record your answer using your computer and headset/microphone.


Are there materials available to practice for the test?

If you wish, you can take a practice test to see what the format of the test is like. Self-Enroll into the SPEAK Test Canvas Site by clicking the button on this page and using your Miami UniqueID and MUNet Password.


When will results become available?

The grading committee will begin to grade exams the day after the test. Results are usually given to the Graduate School in the morning of the next business day and you will receive an email message indicating your rating once the grading committee has completed your exam evaluation.

What do the results mean?

FAIL: Students have failed the test. They may not teach courses and will be assigned other graduate duties if they were originally assigned to teach. Students will register for ACE 619 - Advanced Speaking and Presenting. This course is an introduction to American English pronunciation for students learning English as a second language. Topics to be discussed will include: the speech mechanism, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), consonants, vowels, word stress, sentence stress, and intonation. Students will have the opportunity to practice using and listening to American English during small groups in lab sections. The goal for this course is for students to learn strategies for development of more native-like speech production. Students will have an opportunity to retake the test when they feel that they are ready. If a student fails the test a second time, however, they will not be able to teach while attending the university.

CONDITIONAL PASS: Students may teach for one semester only and will also register for ACE 619 - Aadvanced Speaking and Presenting. Students will have an opportunity to retake the test when they feel that they are ready. If a student fails the test a second time, however, they will not be permitted to teach courses and will be assigned other graduate duties. If the student conditionally passes the second time, they may teach for one more semester while continuing courses in the American Culture and English program.

PASS: Students have passed the test and may teach at the university.

I took the TOEFL test and got a good score. Why do I have to take the SPEAK test too?

There are two main answers to this question:

  1. The TOEFL test is used primarily for admissions purposes at Miami University, whereas the SPEAK test is used to determine whether or not the person taking the SPEAK test can speak sufficiently for American students to understand them in a classroom setting. Even though the TOEFL and SPEAK tests both have a speaking component to the tests, the purposes of each component are sufficiently different.
  2. Ohio law indicates that all students who have been offered a graduate teaching assistantship must be certified as proficient in oral English. This includes graduate students who have responsibility for laboratory in additional to classroom instruction.