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Teaching Positions


Courses in the Linguistics Language Program (LLP) are typically taught by Teaching Assistants (TAs), who can be graduate students from any of the departments on campus. Priority is given to Department of Linguistics graduate students. In the event that there is an insufficient number of graduate students available to teach a particular language or level, we are permitted to hire qualified individuals from outside the University.

Language students have two different instructors, one for conversation (called the Conversation instructor) and one for grammar (called the Analysis instructor). Conversation instructors lead small conversation sections on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Analysis instructors lead larger analysis sections on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

TA positions in the LLP are awarded on a competitive basis to qualified UCSD graduate students. Priority is given to students currently enrolled in PhD or MFA programs, but other graduate students and non-students with a BA or equivalent degree may be hired when too few qualified PhD and MFA students are available to teach in a particular language.

In addition to the requirements listed above, all prospective instructors must have permission to work in the U.S. (i.e., be US citizens or have a visa which permits employment), and must attend a training seminar which is held in-person during Week 0 each fall quarter.

See below for more information about teaching in the LLP.

General Requirements

TA's must have:

  • Good communication skills, including the ability to interact effectively with people at various levels;
  • Sufficient knowledge of English in order to understand spoken and written instructions;
  • The ability to cooperate with others and to function effectively in a team situation;
  • Integrity; and
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality.

Language Skills - Conversation Sections

TAs for conversation sections (Conversation instructors) must have:

  1. Native or quasi-native fluency in the target language
  2. Knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary in order to conduct effective conversation in classes on many different kinds of topics
  3. Familiarity with the cultures where the language is spoken

Native speakers of a language qualify to be Conversation instructors on condition that they:

  1. Speak a standard dialect
  2. Have a vocabulary equivalent to that of a college-educated speaker
  3. Speak clearly and intelligibly

Non-native speakers with quasi-native competence may also be considered for Conversation instructor positions.

Additional Information

Conversation instructors must be native or quasi-native speakers of the target language with enough formal education in that language to ensure they can serve as good models for conversational activities. Conversation instructors must also be able to provide cultural insights into a culture which uses the target language. (In general, persons whose education was conducted entirely in the target language through the high school and college levels are considered qualified to serve as Conversation instructors. Others who consider themselves native or quasi-native speakers may be employable as Conversation instructors after demonstrating an equivalent command of the language during a personal interview.)


Language Skills - Analysis (Grammar) Sections

TAs for grammar sections (Analysis instructors) must have:

  1. Knowledge of the grammar of the target language
  2. Strong speaking skill in the target language in order to conduct communicative activities and discuss grammar points in the target language

Non-native speakers are likely to qualify as Analysis instructors if they:

  1. Have completed a college major or minor in the target language
  2. Have had a period of residency in a country where the language is spoken

Non-native speakers with quasi-native competence may also be considered for conversation positions

Additional Information

Analysis instructors must have a good command of the target language as well as a background in linguistics or other formal grammar study. Although Analysis instructors are normally graduate students in the Linguistics Department, others with excellent speaking ability in the target language and substantial formal training in the linguistic aspects of the target language may be eligible for employment as an Analysis instructor.

Educational Requirements

TAs must hold a B.A. degree or the equivalent.

UCSD graduate student status is also a requirement, but this requirement can be waived when no qualified graduate students are available.

Previous teaching experience is not required. Nevertheless, applicants with a history of successful teaching experience in some field may find their previous experience valuable.

All TAs must attend the annual fall workshop on language teaching given during Week 0 prior to the beginning of classes in September. Attendance counts as part of the total work hours for the quarter. Anyone who fails to attend the entire workshop will not be employed.

Work Authorization

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, individuals offered employment by the University of California will be required to show documentation to prove identity and authorization to work in the United States before being hired. Note that persons holding B2 (visitor) or F2 visas are not permitted employment in the U.S. Those holding J2 visas may be employed only if they hold a work authorization card.

Salary and Benefits


Salary rates are set by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University and UAW. Both UC San Diego Graduate students and non-student tutors are paid the TA salary rate.

Current salary scales are posted to the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA)'s website.


UC San Diego Graduate Students

  • Payment of TAHI/TAFE, proportional to appointment percentage. (50% appointment = full payment)
  • Nonresident supplemental tuition & fees and professional fees are NOT covered by the LLP. Please speak to your home department about payment of these fees.

Non-student Tutors

  • May be eligible for a benefits package (package is dependent on appointment percentage and other factors, see appointment letter and HR contact for questions).

Application Materials


Applications for the 2024-25 academic year must be submitted by Monday, April 29th, 2024.

Employment by the LLP requires an in-person mandatory training workshop for all instructors which will be held September 23-25, 2024. New instructors will be required to attend all three days and returning instructors will be required to attend the third day of the in-person workshop on Wednesday, September 25th. Please plan accordingly.

Linguistics Language Program Instructor Application

Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered only if positions are available.

If you have any technical issues or questions, please contact us at

Information and materials you will need to complete the application:

  • Contact information
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, information pertaining to your visa status and work permit
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your educational background, teaching experience and language background
  • PDF file for your resume or CV (Naming convention: Language.LastName.FirstName.Year (e.g. Spanish.Frink.Christina.2024))
  • Please note that Google Forms do not allow to save a work-in-progress application
  • New instructors must additionally submit:
    • Writing Sample (PDF)
      •  Not required for those applying to teach ASL
      • Instructions: Please upload a writing sample written in the language you are applying to teach. This can be something you have written from a previous class. If you do not already have an academic paper to submit, we do not want to turn this into one! Please set a timer for 15 minutes and write about a vacation you have taken or an experience that changed your outlook in life and why.
    • Video Clip (Link)
      • All languages: Please provide a link to a YouTube, Zoom or Google Drive video of you speaking in the language you would like to teach.
      • Instructions: Video should be 2 - 5 minutes and should contain spontaneous production of the target language. Our goal is to understand your fluency in the target language to make sure that you will be successful in this teaching role.
        • Prompt 1: Please tell us about your teaching experience and other related work experience. Please share how this experience will be useful for this position.
        • Prompt 2: What is your experience with learning languages? Or learning the language you would like to teach if it is not your native language? What language courses have you taken? Have you had opportunities to live abroad?