English Language Proficiency for Instructional Personnel
Policy Statement 871214
Revised March 26, 1990
1.01 House Bill 638, as enacted by the 71st Legislature of the State of Texas, amends Chapter 51, of the V.T.C.A. Education Code by adding Section 51.917 which reads (in part) as follows: a. . . . (2) "Faculty member" means a person who teaches a course offered for academic credit by an institution of higher education, including teaching assistants, instructors, lab assistants, research assistants, lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors.
b. The governing board of each institution of higher education shall establish a program or a short course the purpose of which is to:
(1) assist faculty members whose primary language is not English to become proficient in the use of English; and (2) ensure that courses offered for credit at the institution are taught in the English language and that all faculty members are proficient in the use of the English language as determined by a satisfactory grade on the "Test of Spoken English" of the Educational Testing Service or a similar test approved by the board.
c. A faculty member may use a foreign language to conduct foreign language courses designed to be taught in a foreign language. d. This section does not prohibit a faculty member from providing individual assistance during course instruction to a non-English-speaking student in the native language of the student.
e. Each institution of higher education shall submit to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board a description of the program or short course established under this section, and the coordinating board shall approve and monitor the program or short course established each institution of higher education. f. The cost of such English proficiency course as determined by the coordinating board shall be paid by the faculty member lacking proficiency in English. A faculty member must take the course until deemed proficient in English by his or her supervisor. The cost will be deducted from said faculty member's salary.
2. PURPOSE 2.01 This policy is established in order to ensure compliance with V.T.C.A. Education Code, Section 51.917. 3. PROCEDURES 3.01 Individuals being interviewed for an instructional position at SHSU, in any of the categories defined as a "faculty member" in paragraph 1.01 (a) (2) above, and further designated as "instructional personnel" in this policy, will be carefully evaluated prior to being hired, to ensure that they possess effective communication skills in the English language. 3.02 Each written recommendation for the employment of instructional personnel will bear the following endorsement from the appropriate academic dean: " I certify that has been carefully evaluated as to his/her English language proficiency and is qualified to fill this position vacancy."
3.03 During the Fall Semester of 1990, and at least once annually thereafter, each academic dean will:
a. Review with the appropriate department chair the status of all instructional personnel in that college: (1) whose primary language is not English, and whose English language proficiency has not been satisfactorily established through peer evaluation and prior service to the University; (2) whose primary language is English and whose English language proficiency has not been satisfactorily established through peer evaluation and prior service to the university. b. Require that the appropriate chair take the following steps in regard to instructional personnel whose English language proficiency is subject to question:
(1) conduct a personal interview with the individual; (2) interview a representative sample of students from each class or laboratory taught or supervised by that individual;
(3) provide the academic dean with a written assessment of the individual's English language proficiency.
3.04 If there is reason to believe that the individual's ability to clearly express himself/herself in the English language is in doubt, the academic dean will:
a. Require that instructional personnel whose primary language is not English take the Test of Spoken English (TSE) administered by the Educational Testing Service.
(1) Instructional personnel whose rank is that of instructor or higher will take the TSE-P will be required by the university as satisfactory evidence of English Language Proficiency. (2) Instructional personnel whose rank is below that of instructor, i.e., lecturer, assistant instructor, laboratory assistant, will take the TSE-A. A score of 220 or higher (Certified) will be required by the university as satisfactory evidence of English Language Proficiency.
(3) Instructional personnel who score below 220 on the TSE, as outlined in paragraphs 3.04 a (1) and (2) above, will be required to participate in a tutorial program until such time as the required score can be attained.
(4) Faculty members from the Division of English and Foreign Languages and the ESL/Bilingual Program will be asked to review the English Language deficiencies indicated by the TSE-P or TSE-A scores and prescribe a tutorial program designed to meet the needs of the individual in question. The appropriate department chair will be responsible for submitting the tutorial plan to the academic dean for approval.
b. Require that instructional personnel whose primary language is English meet with a committee of three faculty members appointed by the appropriate academic dean. The three faculty members will require that the individual in question:
(1) read a printed passage aloud. (2) answer questions on general topics.
(3) give a 20 minute oral presentation to the committee as if the faculty member were speaking to a class of students.
(a) Each committee member will rate the individual's demonstrated overall English proficiency on a scale of 0 to 5. If the individual in questions is rated 3 or above by at least two of the three committee members, the faculty member may be considered by the academic dean to be proficient in the English language. (b) If the individual in question does not achieve at least two ratings of 3 or higher, the faculty member will be required to participate in a tutorial program. The three faculty members responsible for the ratings will identify particular weaknesses and prescribe an English language tutorial program designed to meet the needs of the individual with the deficiencies. The appropriate department chair will be responsible for submitting the tutorial plan to the academic dean for approval.
3.05 Faculty members from the Division of English and Foreign Languages; the ESL/Bilingual Program; and other qualified faculty members will be requested to tutor instructional personnel who have been found to be deficient in English language proficiency until such time as the individuals in question can be certified by the appropriate academic dean as proficient in the English language. 3.06 The academic dean may certify instructional personnel whose primary language is not English as proficient in the English language upon receiving evidence that they have retaken the TSE-A or TSE-P, as appropriate and have received a score of not less than 220. The TSE-A or TSE-P must be retaken not later than six (6) months following the date of the TSE examination that resulted in an unsatisfactory score. A second unsatisfactory score on the TSE may result in an individual's employment status with the university being reviewed.
3.07 The academic dean may certify instructional personnel whose primary language is English as proficient in the English language upon receiving evidence that the individuals in question have met again with a committee of three faculty members and have received a satisfactory English language proficiency rating under the procedure outlined in paragraph 3.04 (b) above. This procedure must occur not later than six (6) months following the date of the first appearance before the faculty committee. A second unsatisfactory rating from the faculty committee may result in an individual's employment status with the university being reviewed.
3.08 Any costs associated with providing English language proficiency instruction as required under the provisions Education Code Section 51.917 will be paid by instructional personnel receiving such instruction as set forth in paragraph 1.01 f V.T.C.A., Education Code Section 51.917 above. Costs associated with taking or retaking the TSE will also be paid by individuals required to take or retake the TSE under the provisions of this policy.
3.09 Refusal by an individual to participate in any assessment of his/her English language competency, and/or a prescribed tutorial program, may result in that individual's dismissal from employment with the university.
Martin J. Anisman, President
Revised March 26, 1990