IEP Program Design


IEP Program Design

Improve your English and experience US culture and student life on a large, traditional university campus.

An ELI student Jing from China sitting outside of B.B. Comer.

“The teachers are absolutely amazing. They are great people and their teaching methods effectively increase my interest in learning English. The students are very diverse, and it is an amazing opportunity to meet and become friends with such great people.”

Jing from China


Students take an ELI Placement Exam on the first day of the session to determine the level for each core class. A student can be in different levels based on the tests. For example, a student can be Reading/Writing 3, Speaking/Listening 4, and Structure 2.

We do not have classes for beginners (Level 1).

Level Student Skill Level CEFR Level
1 (Not offered) A1
2 elementary A2
3 low intermediate A2/B1
4 high intermediate B1
5 low advanced B1/B2
6 high advanced B2/C1

When there are few students, classes may be combined.

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Core Classes

Core classes meet for a total of 20 hours per week. These are intensive courses designed to help you improve your English quickly.

Class Levels Hours per Week
Reading/Writing 2-6 9
Speaking/Listening 2-6 6
Structure (Grammar) 2-6 5


Culturally Speaking

Culturally Speaking is a free, optional conversation class in which ELI students meet with US students. Students meet twice a week for informal conversation, primarily about cultural topics. It is a great way to meet American and other international students.


ELI Seminars

ELI Seminars are free, optional one-hour classes offered on Friday afternoons during each IEP session.

Examples of seminar topics include the following: American/Alabama Football, American Idioms, Spelling in English, Civil Rights in Alabama, Pronunciation, and American culture. View the current schedule of seminars by visiting the ELI Seminars page.

Learning English through Popular TV Shows Seminar

Student Activities

Each session, the ELI plans a variety of activities that allow students to visit areas in Alabama and in the southeastern United States, practice their English skills, and become better acquainted with their teachers and each other. Typical student activities include movies, concerts, shopping, recreational sports, and weekend trips to nearby locations–the beach, the mountains, and cities such as Atlanta, New Orleans, and Memphis. Visit the ELI Student Activities page to view this session’s activities.

ELI Study Center


Study Center

When not in class, ELI students may use the ELI Study Center, where they can check out books, listen to audio materials, and watch videos, including popular movies. In addition, students can receive free individual instruction and assistance from qualified tutors in the ELI Study Center.

Class Schedules

For core classes, students typically have RW (Reading/Writing) and SL (Speaking/Listening) classes in the morning and STR (Structure, or Grammar) classes in the early afternoon. Some core classes have alternate meeting times.

Elective courses are scheduled in several different time slots, and Cultural Speaking courses are scheduled in the afternoons.

<!– Sample Schedule - IEP –>

Sample Schedule – Fall/Spring

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Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 RW RW RW
9:30 RW RW
11:00 SL SL SL SL SL
12:00 Lunch
Study Center Open
Study Center Open
Study Center Open
Study Center Open
12:30 Friday Seminar (optional)
2:00 Culturally Speaking (optional) Culturally Speaking (optional)
2:30 Study Center Open Study Center Open
3:00 Study Center Open Study Center Open


Sample Schedule – Summer

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 SL  (9:00-10:20) SL SL SL SL
10:30 RW (10:35-12:45) RW RW RW RW
1:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
2:00 STR (1:45-3:15) STR STR STR Friday Seminar (optional)
3:30 Study Center Open Study Center Open Study Center Open Study Center Open



1) Students register from available class times each session and typically take all three core classes.
2) Core classes in all levels (Levels 2 – 6) are offered each session.

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