2016 ETS English Language Learning Summer Institute

Position Overview
Program Details
Job Requirements
How to Apply
Work Samples
Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in an internship with the ETS English Language Learning (ELL) Summer Institute. This page provides all of the information you will need to apply.

Position Overview 

ELL summer interns will produce materials for use on large-scale, high-stakes standardized tests of English-language proficiency. Each intern will work on one of the following:

  • TOEFL iBT® Test
    • The TOEFL iBT test is taken by nonnative speakers of English who are planning to apply to a college or university in an English-speaking country.
  • TOEIC® Tests
    • The TOEIC tests are taken principally by people who need to communicate with both native and nonnative speakers of English in the context of the global workplace.
  • TOEFL ® Primary™ Tests
    • The TOEFL Primary tests are taken by nonnative English language learners ages 8+ who are studying English as part of their school curriculum. They measure the English communication skills that provide a foundation for students’ future success.

The test development work is intellectually challenging and rewarding. The work may include:

  • writing items that test knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension
  • creating conversations and talks that test listening comprehension
  • developing scenarios and prompts that allow candidates to demonstrate their writing, speaking or teaching skills
  • analyzing curriculum and matching the curriculum with prescribed test specifications

Program Details 

ELL Summer Institute Start and End Dates July 11 through August 19
Position Type Paid. Interns will receive attractive compensation.
Location ETS Rosedale campus in Princeton, New Jersey
Schedule Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Accommodations Interns must provide or arrange their own housing and transportation.
Application Deadline Sunday, March 27, 2016

Job Requirements 

The TOEFL iBT, TOEIC and TOEFL Primary tests are global measures, so ETS actively seeks candidates who can bring diverse experiences and perspectives to the work. Interns must have a very high degree of fluency in English but do not need to be native speakers, nor do they need to be U.S. citizens. Non-U.S. citizens must have appropriate work visas.

All interns must have excellent writing skills. The work requires:

  • verbal precision and sensitivity to nuance
  • analytic skill
  • attention to detail
  • receptiveness to instruction

Additionally, interns must be able to:

  • work well individually and collaboratively
  • carefully consider constructive feedback
  • manage their time effectively to meet targets

The ELL summer internship workforce includes undergraduate students, graduate students, teachers and professors.

TOEFL iBT Test Interns TOEFL iBT test interns come from a wide range of academic backgrounds. Each test section requires slightly different skills.
  • TOEFL iBT Listening test interns must be able to write focused, factually accurate lectures that synthesize information from written sources. The lectures must be appropriate for first-year university students and satisfy test specifications.
  • TOEFL iBT Speaking test interns must be able to identify topics that are familiar to and suitable for EFL/ESL students, and be able to create assessment material that will generate well-developed spoken responses.
  • TOEFL iBT Writing test interns must have the ability to read source texts on a variety of academic topics accurately and analytically and, based on those readings, formulate clear arguments and counterarguments.
TOEIC Test Interns TOEIC test interns must have strong knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary usage. While not required, experience in an office or other business setting is likely to be an asset for TOEIC test interns. Background in second language learning is preferred.
TOEFL Primary Test Interns TOEFL Primary test interns need to be able to identify topics that appeal to young students and yet contain the complexity needed for assessment. They need a good sense of how to make a piece of writing linguistically easier for less-proficient and young language learners. Ideally, the team of interns will have background knowledge in a variety of fields, including hard science and engineering. We hope that at least one intern will have a keen interest in authoring fiction.

How To Apply 

Applying to the ELL Summer Institute is a two-step process:

  1. Each of the test sections hiring for the summer is associated with a specific work sample (see below). Complete a separate work sample for each test section for which you would like to be considered.
  2. If you do not already have one, create an ETS application account. Log in to your account and fill out or update the required data. Then upload a cover letter, your résumé or CV, and each completed 2016 work sample you would like to submit for review. Make sure all documents contain "2016" in their titles before uploading them. Upload your documents only one time each. Log out and log back in to see that your documents were uploaded.
    • Title a cover letter with your first and last name plus "Cover" and the year "2016" (example: Jane Doe Cover 2016).
    • Title your résumé or CV with your first and last name plus "CV" and the year "2016" (example: Jane Doe CV 2016). (Although you have the option to paste the contents of your résumé or CV into a field, we prefer that you upload a copy. You can leave that field blank.)

You must complete the two-step application process by Sunday, March 27, 2016. Applicants are selected mainly on the basis of their performance on the work samples. Work samples will be evaluated in April, and you will be notified of your status by April 29.

Work Samples 


Work samples will be available February 1, 2016


Work samples will be available February 1, 2016

TOEFL Primary Tests

Work samples will be available February 1, 2016


Learn what previous interns think about the program.

Contact Us 

If you have questions concerning the work samples or your application to the ELL Summer Institute, please contact Recruiting Consultant Monica Hopkins.

Work samples are Copyright © 2015 by ETS. All rights reserved. Limited distribution of this material is made solely for the purpose of applying for internships in the 2016 ELL Summer Institute. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or stored in any information storage and retrieval system. Violators will be prosecuted according to United States and international copyright and trademark laws.


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