English-Only Policy

In the past, we conducted a survey for our students to complete regarding the use of English at the ELI. The results of that survey are as follows:

  • Nearly 40% of students reported that they did not use English very often outside of class.
  • More than 50% of students thought it rude and uncomfortable when students around them spoke a language they could not understand.
  • More than 92% of students reported that they remember English vocabulary and grammar better when they use English frequently.
  • Nearly 90% of students said they would speak English more frequently if those around them used English.
  • Finally, 77% of students agreed or strongly agreed with a proposed new policy to enforce an English-only policy for all ELI spaces.

As a result of that survey, we have created and currently enforce the English-Only Policy at the ELI.

This means that inside and on the grounds of any building where ELI classes are being held, only English may be spoken.

Why is this important?

  • You and/or  your sponsor are spending a great deal of time and money on your English language education.
  • The research is very clear: the more you use English, the more quickly you will learn it.  So this new policy is an investment in your language development—it will help you meet ELI requirements faster and graduate from the ELI sooner.
  • All of us together—faculty, administrative staff, and students—work hard to create an international community of learning where students can study and make friends with individuals from around the world.  Using your native language in the presence of individuals from other countries sends the message that they are not welcome in your group and works to divide, rather than unite, the ELI student body.

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