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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.

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 tutor 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 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.

Application Materials


Applications for the 2022-23 academic year are now closed.

Linguistics Language Program Instructor Application

  • Application for NEW to LLP instructors (UC San Diego graduate students & non-students)
  • Application for RETURNING to LLP instructors (UC San Diego graduate students & non-students)

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.2022))
  • Please note that Google Forms do not allow to save a work-in-progress application