Levels and curriculum



A happy group of ELI students

A curriculum designed for success

Each session at the ELI provides students with approximately 28 hours per week of instruction in the classroom, in computer laboratories, and in private tutoring meetings.

Levels of Instruction

There are seven (7) levels of English instruction at the ELI. To determine a student’s English level, all new students must take a placement test during ELI Orientation.

 The levels are as follows:

English foundations

  • Basic: English Fundamentals*
  • Level 1: Beginner
  • Level 2: High Beginner
  • Level 3: Intermediate

English for specific purposes

  • Level 4: High Intermediate
  • Level 5: Advanced
  • Level 6: High Advanced

* The Basic level is not offered every session. It is only offered if we have a large number of students who need it.

Graphic of level steps as described on this page

Tracks of Study

  • Students in Levels 1, 2, and 3 enroll in our General English track, focusing on English foundations.
  • Students in Levels 4, 5, and 6 can enroll in any of the tracks. For more information about the different tracks, see Tracks of Study.


Each student enrolls in two courses that fall into two categories: Listening/Speaking and Reading/Writing.

Listening/Speaking Course

Listening/speaking courses develop students’ language skills in areas such as fluency, oral grammar, pronunciation, and listening comprehension.

The courses use current, proven methods that help students use English in meaningful ways to communicate ideas and needs, solve problems, and participate in American life on campus and in the community.

10 hours per week

Reading/Writing Course

Reading/writing courses develop students’ language skills in areas such as reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and research/library skills.

Instruction integrates these skills to improve written communication and reading comprehension, using a progressively challenging curriculum from beginning to advanced levels.

10 hours per week


The ELI offers one of the only Intensive English Programs in the United States to offer personal one-on-one tutoring with trained tutors in its regular Full Intensive Program at no extra charge.

The student and tutor together make a plan, which might include:

  • assistance with class assignments,
  • work on individual problems,
  • questions about English or American culture, or
  • conversation skills practice.

Students can choose one of these options each session:

  • Private tutoring (2 hours per week) | 1 student works with 1 tutor alone.
  • Cluster tutoring (3 hours per week)| 3 or 4 students meet with 1 tutor on a special topic (2 hours/week). Additionally, each student meets with a private tutor for 1 hour/week.

Learn more about the Tutoring Center >

Listening Laboratory

Using a variety of video and audio materials, the listening lab provides students additional practice with listening comprehension and vocabulary acquisition.

2 hours per week

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