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 189 W. Main,  108 and 102 E. Main St., Elkton Corner, Amstel Square, Rodney, 318 S. College, and any other 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.

How will the new policy work?   unnamed(1)

ELI tutors, staff members, administrators, and teachers will be looking for students who they see speaking English outside of classes and tutoring time, and they will give those students raffle tickets. Students can turn in their raffle tickets for prizes!

Prizes Include:

  • 3 tickets = pencil or key chain
  • 6 tickets = $5 gift card
  • 12 tickets = $10 gift card (to Walgreens or Amazon)


Prizes must be picked up at 108 East Main Street.

Each week we will take a ticket from the prize container and announce the winner of a $10 gift card. All students turning in a ticket will have a chance to win each week.

You may not hand in more than 12 tickets each week; however, you may save your tickets until you collect 12 in total during each session.

At the end of each session the weekly winners will have the chance to win a grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card or a first place prize of a $50 Amazon gift card.

Students must clearly write their name and email on the ticket when they turn it in.

Together, we can make this policy effective and strengthen our language learning community in the process. We appreciate your respecting this policy, and encourage you to use this to your advantage to learn more English while you are here!


Dr. Scott G. Stevens, ELI Director

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