ELI Course Descriptions

Listening & Speaking

The courses in Listening & Speaking focus on teaching the English listening and speaking skills necessary for success in an American university environment or workplace. There are four levels, beginning with talking about present, past, and future events at the High-Beginner Level and participating in academic debates at the Advanced Level. The Listening/Speaking class includes meeting with a native English-speaking conversational partner on a weekly basis, a listening lab, and selections from debates, talks, and presentations. The course description for each of the four levels is as follows:

Listening & Speaking I [High Beginner]

This course covers how to talk about present, past, and future events. Students learn to understand short presentations, with emphasis on note-taking. It emphasizes pronunciation skills, question/answer techniques, and oral fluency.

Listening & Speaking II [Low Intermediate]

Students practice oral discussions, presentations, and conversational questioning techniques. Students begin modifying their accent with pronunciation exercises. The course focuses on note-taking and listening skills in relation to university course work.

Listening & Speaking III [High Intermediate]

Students, at a minimum, learn to communicate effectively with teachers through participation in class discussions and presentations. Students learn to follow telephone conversations, TV broadcasts, and instructor presentations on academic topics.

Listening & Speaking IV [Advanced]

Students participate in academic debates, develop prediction strategies, converse using advanced pronunciation and intonation skills without concentrating on the language form. This course focuses on giving academic presentations without reading notes verbatim.

Reading & Writing

The courses in Reading & Writing focus on the reading and writing skills necessary in academic and professional worlds. Students improve their writing skills by composing paragraphs, essays, and research papers, and their reading skills by exploring American articles, essays, poems, and short stories. At the Beginning Level, students learn to paraphrase sentences, write narrative paragraphs, and use multiple sentence structures. Students in the Advanced Level classes read and respond critically to readings, as well as write examination essays. The course description for each of the four levels is as follows:

Reading & Writing I [High Beginner]

This course focuses on content comprehension. Students will learn to scan for specific information, recognize a paraphrase of a sentence, implement transitional expressions, identify styles of paragraphs, create short essays, and write paragraphs using the narrative style.

Reading & Writing II [Low Intermediate]

Students learn to read simplified newspaper articles, skim for main ideas, scan for details, and use inflectional markings. Writing focus is on short compositions in several rhetorical styles, summaries, timed assignments, and utilization of compound and complex sentences.

Reading & Writing III [High Intermediate]

This course focuses on using introductory and conclusion paragraphs with transitional elements. Students learn to construct a how-to essay, summaries of multiple paragraphs, and an essay in response to data. Emphasis is on more complex grammatical structures in writing.

Academic Writing [Advanced]

Students in this course write a short research paper using library and internet materials, a short letter of opinion, and a short examination essay. Students learn to read newspapers/magazines/journals in their own field of study with reasonable comprehension.


The courses in Grammar focus on common problem areas for ESL students. The classes begin with tag questions, past, continuous and future forms and common prepositions. At the Advanced Level, topics such as articles, noun clauses, and gerunds are taught. The classes are taught communicatively, giving attention to form and function. At the Advanced Level, attention is given to usage. Grammar taught in this course is designed to prepare students for success in their writing and speaking courses. The course description for each of the four levels is as follows:

Grammar I [High Beginner]

This course begins with a comprehensive review of basic grammar, such as punctuation, parts of speech, and sentence components. Focus is on verb forms, articles, comparative and superlative adjectives/adverbs, question-formation styles, and tag questions.

Grammar II [Low Intermediate]

This course treats the review of sentence patterns and tenses. Focus is on irregular verbs, modals, verb forms (present perfect, gerunds, infinitives, modals), complex sentence structures, and use of negatives. The course uses methods such as peer editing to master concepts.

Grammar III [High Intermediate]

This course reviews and begins study on correct article usage (a/an/the), prepositions, the use of adjective/adverb clauses, and more verb forms (past perfect, future perfect, phrasal modals, negative and positive modals, passives, causatives, and parallelism within sentences.

Grammar IV [Advanced]

This final grammar course focuses on usage rather than form of noun clauses, articles, prepositions, coordination, verbs (tenses, modals, gerunds, infinitives, participles, perfectives, conditionals), sentence formation, and subordination. A comprehensive review will be given in the course.


These experiences support the aforementioned three core subject areas – Listening and Speaking; Reading and Writing; and Grammar. Students will be required to register for a lab/tutorial for each level of the IEP program. The lab/tutorial hours (75 hours per semester) will be completed outside of the classroom in a variety of formats. Typically they are assigned projects by the instructors of the three core subject areas. Oftentimes, they will include computer assignments utilizing specialized software that accompany the text materials for each course. Additionally, a significant part of the lab/tutorial is the partnering of each student with a native English speaker to expose the student to conversational English.

It is recommended that students perform 5 hours per week of the lab/tutorial to achieve the required 75 hours for the semester. However, students will be allowed to distribute these hours unevenly as long as the total for the semester is satisfied. The student will maintain a log to indicate that these hours have been completed. The log will be inspected and approved by the course instructors and/or the ELI Director for the student to receive credit.


Elective courses are available upon demand and need and cover a wide spectrum of subject areas. They are available only to students who are classified as High Intermediate or Advanced. The following course descriptions provide a sample of the kind of courses that can be offered on an elective basis.

TOEFL Preparation

Students taking this course practice and discuss exercises that appear on the TOEFL test.

Academic Vocabulary Study

This course emphasis is on synonym and antonym recognition, prefix/suffix/root formations. Students develop context analysis skills as they relate to university level content matter and denotation and connotation skills.

Business English

In this course, students study the vocabulary and typical forms of English that are necessary in business. This course expects students to already possess a knowledge of business in their native language.

Pronunciation and Accent Reduction

This course is for upper level students desiring to complete intensive work on pronunciation alone. Course deals heavily with phonetic instruction to correct pronunciation towards a more native-like accent in English.

American Idioms

This course includes extensive practice in analysis of word choices and idiom usage. Students will learn meanings and contexts of American idioms as they are found in newspapers/novels/movies.