Category: English Language Institute

United Way Day of Action 2018

Continuing the annual tradition of serving the Tuscaloosa community, 34 Capstone International Center volunteers including faculty, staff, and students participated in The United Way of West Alabama’s Day of Action. The United Way organized 40 local service projects to assist nonprofit organizations and schools in the Tuscaloosa community. More than 500 volunteers came together for this year’s Day of Action to improve the community where The University of Alabama calls home.

The Capstone International Center volunteer teams spent their day at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, The Arc of Tuscaloosa, Temporary Emergency Services, and Stillman College. The team completed much needed yard work projects, painted dorm rooms, organized donations, folded laundry, engaged with the community, and learned about local organizations working to make a difference. One of these United Way agencies, Temporary Emergency Services, has been in the Tuscaloosa community since 1945 helping individuals and families in crisis situations by providing financial and other temporary assistance.

The United Way of West Alabama strengthens education, income stability, and health in our community by developing resources and partnerships. The Capstone International Center is honored to participate every year in the service opportunities that the United Way organizes in the community. Sharing our love of service with UA’s International students only strengthens our relationships!

ELI Scholarship Winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to this session’s ELI Tuition Scholarship winner: Tran from Vietnam!

Every session the ELI awards tuition scholarships to current full-time students. The students must attend 80% of their ELI classes and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all ELI classes. Students must also write a short essay explaining why they want the scholarship.

If you are a current ELI student and want to apply for a scholarship for next session, you can find the application on the ELI Forms page.

 

The ELI in Japan

The University of Alabama’s English Language Institute has begun its second year as a partner with Kansai Gaidai University (KGU) in Japan. Several of the UA’s ELI faculty are providing a range of academic English courses for 100 Japanese students each year on site in Osaka. Courses include English-language skill courses, as well as content-based courses on global issues, world religions, and current events.

Kansai Gaidai University is a private Japanese university known for its focus on foreign languages, study abroad, and Asian Studies programs. The students enroll in the UA@KGU program in order to study abroad during their second and third years. Many graduates pursue careers in hospitality and hotel management.

ELI instructor Sybil Armstrong has enjoyed working for the program. “I have found students in the UA@KGU program to be enthusiastic, willing to work hard, cooperative, goal-oriented, and a pleasure to work with.”

In addition to the program benefiting the KGU students, ELI instructors also benefit. As Drew Sanford, the program’s director, states, “Teaching in the UA@KGU program has given me the opportunity not only to grow as an instructor but also to deepen my knowledge of the Japanese language and culture.”

The first ELI@KGU classes began in April 2017 and the offerings from ELI will continue through at least 2019. This continues a long association between the UA and KGU. The UA has been hosting international exchange students from KGU for nearly two decades.

 

Dr. Teresa Wise, Associate Provost of International Education and Global Outreach and Drew Sanford, Director of UA@KGU
Kansai Gaidai University, Hirakata, Japan

ELI Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to this session’s ELI Tuition Scholarship winner: Shu from Taiwan!

Every session the ELI awards tuition scholarships to current full-time students. The students must attend 80% of their ELI classes and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all ELI classes. Students must also write a short essay explaining why they want the scholarship.

If you are a current ELI student and want to apply for a scholarship for next session, you can find the application on the ELI Forms page.

Intercultural Experience Showcase

On Tuesday, April 24, UA students from the Capstone International Program’s 202: Introduction to Global Studies – Experiential Learning class presented videos highlighting their experiences with international students studying in UA’s English Language Institute (ELI).

As part of the CIP 202 course, UA students participated weekly in ELI courses, with course topics ranging from Current Events to Top 40 American Music. In the courses, UA students developed their intercultural competence, the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with people of other cultures, while working with students from 17 countries spanning five continents.

The objective of Frannie James, who designed the course, was that “all students who have taken CIP 202 will be forever curious about difference – will forever celebrate their lifelong experiences of difference. They will have the cultural self-awareness, the culture-general knowledge, the curiosity, the motivation, the empathy, and the cognitive flexibility to build and sustain relationships across cultures – socially, academically, and professionally.”

The ELI students also benefit from the interaction with UA students. The ELI students share their cultural knowledge and expertise while learning more about U.S. culture and university life.

The CIP 202: Introduction to Global Studies – Experiential Learning is an introductory course for The University of Alabama’s Global Studies Certificate. It sets the stage so that a student can approach all endeavors with an international perspective.

 

Top 40 American Music Class

ELI Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to this session’s ELI Tuition Scholarship winner: Nimian from Nicaragua!

Every session the ELI awards tuition scholarships to current full-time students. The students must attend 80% of their ELI classes and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all ELI classes. Students must also write a short essay explaining why they want the scholarship.

If you are a current ELI student and want to apply for a scholarship for next session, you can find the application on the ELI Forms page.

Colombian student experiences Crimson Tide culture through English Language Institute

Caroline Japal

By Shahriyar Emami | 01/24/2018 10:02pm | From The Crimson White

Santiago Mejia Villegas, a native Colombian, was first exposed to American football, a rare sport in Colombia, during his time on the Alabama campus.“It is impossible to live in the campus during the football season and not getting involved in the Crimson Tide! I had the chance to go to a couple of games in the stadium as well as to the welcoming parade and live that amazing moment like a new fan of Alabama,” he said. “I have made a few friends with whom have been in some cities nearby or in some bars and restaurants here in Tuscaloosa,” he said.

Villegas’ first language is Spanish, and he’s in Tuscaloosa to study English and business through the University of Alabama’s English Language Institute (ELI).

“English is one of the most widely spoken and written languages in the world,” Emily Brown, an English Language Institute instructor at The University of Alabama said. “One of our overall goals is to try and prepare our students for academic study in an American university setting by providing them with the cultural knowledge and awareness they will need to thrive both academically and socially.”

Villegas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and continued his postgraduate studies in marketing and finance in Colombia.

“Living here in Alabama but mostly in the UA campus has been an incredible opportunity …
There are so many differences between the way we live in [my] country and the way we live here because we are temporarily a student and we have to face some situations like get used to the food, to stay at the dorm because we don’t have a car or friends to go out with… but at the end everything has become in a new valuable experience,” Villegas said.

During his time at the University, Villegas has been active in the ELI, other international student groups and community church events. This past year, Villegas attended a Thanksgiving event hosted by a local church group where he said he learned cultural pieces he couldn’t have learned in a classroom.

“There it was wonderful people and delicious food and it became in a very good opportunity to know and understand the origin of the holiday and its meaning for the American culture. It was also a place where we found good and friendly people who afterwards has helped us in some casual questions like where to find a barber shop close the campus or stuff like that,” Villegas said.

While there are many people involved in the ELI program, Villegas said he believes not enough people know about it or are even aware of what they do in the program. He said he finds it easier to talk to people in the program because they speak multiple languages.

“We designed [the program] specifically for non-native speakers who live in the Tuscaloosa area and want to improve their language skills,” Brown said.

Brown said the program provides learners with the confidence they need in the English language to pursue opportunities they might not otherwise get the chance to pursue, whether that be personally, professionally, academically or socially.

“For native speakers who don’t quite understand, I tell them [ELI] is similar to when maybe they learned Spanish or French in high school or college. It’s different, however, because our classrooms often include students who speak a variety of different languages,” Brown said.

“Everything about the culture here is different and interesting in some ways, but definitely the friendly character of the people in Alabama is something I will never forget,” Villegas said.

ELI Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to this session’s ELI Tuition Scholarship winners: Cristina from Spain and Nimian from Nicaragua!

Every session the ELI awards tuition scholarships to current full-time students. The students must attend 80% of their ELI classes and have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all ELI classes. Students must also write a short essay explaining why they want the scholarship.

If you are a current ELI student and want to apply for a scholarship for next session, you can find the application on the ELI Forms page.

ELI Students Watch the National Championship

ELI students watched and cheered The University of Alabama’s American football team on to victory January 8, 2018. The football team won their 17th National Championship by beating The University of Georgia 26-23 in overtime. The exciting game was televised on the movie screen in the Ferguson Student Center. Some of the students had watched Alabama football games before coming to Tuscaloosa so that they could participate in this important part of the university’s culture. Roll Tide!

Proyecta 100,000

For three consecutive years (2015, 2016, & 2017), The University of Alabama (UA) English Language Institute (ELI) has been selected to host Mexican learners to study English as a Second Language for four weeks in the fall as part of the “Training Program for Students – Proyecta 100,000.” Each year the Mexican students have been impressed by the beautiful university campus, the diversity of students at the ELI, and the professional English instructors. In the articles in Spanish linked below, three Proyecta students describe their positive learning experiences at The University of Alabama.

“The University of Alabama” by Ulises Escobar Roman

“Roll Tide” by Karla Janet Hernandez Ortiz

“Broaden Our Horizons” by Dr. Ana Maria Guerrero Orozco

Proyecta Students at the ELI Welcome Activity

 

Proyecta students with some ELI friends at the certificate ceremony