The English Language Institute (ELI) was established by The University of Alabama in January of 1982 to offer English-language training and cultural orientation to nonnative speakers of English, including international students, professionals, faculty, graduate teaching assistants. The stated mission of the English Language Institute is to provide top quality instruction in ESL (English as a Second Language) to nonnative speakers of English while providing students with orientation to US culture.
Through its array of programs, including the Intensive English Program, the International Teaching Assistant Program, the Academic Support Program, and various customized group programs, the ELI seeks to accomplish the following specific goals:
- To teach English as a second language (ESL) to students enrolled in ELI programs;
- To provide students with the cultural knowledge and awareness which they will need to function satisfactorily, both academically and socially, in the United States;
- To provide students who are studying English for academic purposes with both academic and practical skills and strategies that will help them to be successful in their undergraduate or graduate studies;
- To provide appropriate ESL instruction for matriculated international students at UA who participate in the ELI’s Academic Support Program;
- To ensure that international students who serve as graduate teaching assistants and provide undergraduate instruction at UA have adequate proficiency in English and sufficient knowledge of US culture to work effectively with undergraduate students;
- To inform students enrolled in ELI programs about options and opportunities for academic study at The University of Alabama and encourage them to consider applying for admission;
- To recruit international students for ELI and UA instructional programs and serve as a gateway for their entry onto the UA campus;
- To facilitate the academic, cultural, and social integration of international students into the UA community and thus provide opportunities and encouragement for cross-cultural encounters and global understanding;
- To serve as a resource for international education to the faculty, staff, and students of The University of Alabama; and,
- To encourage ELI students, as citizens of the world, to learn to respect and appreciate countries and cultures different from their own and therefore play a role in promoting peace and understanding in the world.