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ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE (ELI)
For the non-native speaker of English, The University of Alabama English Language Institute (ELI), a division of Capstone International, offers two types of year-round English-language programs: the Intensive English Program is designed for individuals who are seeking intensive English study, while External Programs are designed for groups who desire highly specialized curricula. In addition, the ELI has two programs for matriculated students at The University of Alabama: the International Teaching Assistant Program, which trains and evaluates international graduate teaching assistants, and the Academic Support Program, which provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students who may want or need additional English-language instruction.
INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM
The ELI Intensive English Program (IEP) is designed for individuals who need to learn English as a second language. The focus of the program is on preparing students for academic success, both in terms of English-language proficiency and cultural awareness, for both undergraduate and graduate study at The University of Alabama.
Six levels of study, from beginning to advanced, are available. Each level consists of 20 hours of core classes per week; additional optional classes are also available for students who wish to take them. Each level of study lasts approximately eight weeks and is available six times per year with sessions beginning in August, October, January, March, May, and June. Students may begin their English study at the beginning of any one of these sessions.
An ELI student wishing to enter an undergraduate degree program at The University of Alabama may meet UA's English proficiency requirements either by obtaining the required TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score or by completing Levels 4, 5, and 6 with a GPA of 3.0. Undergraduates who meet certain conditions (minimum TOEFL score and GPA) become eligible to enroll in one or two undergraduate courses while completing their ELI program of study. Students pursuing graduate study must either complete Levels 4, 5, and 6 with a GPA of 3.5 or obtain the minimum TOEFL score. In certain cases, the Graduate School, the ELI, and the student's academic department may together grant permission for a student who has completed Level 4 or higher with a minimum GPA of 3.5 to enroll in one graduate course per semester while completing the ELI program of study. The specific course must be approved by the instructor and department prior to enrollment.
Students who apply for admission to UA and meet the academic and financial qualifications to enter the University but do not have adequate TOEFL scores available may be given the Institutional version of the TOEFL examination upon arrival. Students who do not obtain the required minimum score on the institutionally administered version of the TOEFL will not be eligible to begin an academic program and will be required to register for full-time study in the ELI until they meet the TOEFL requirement or satisfactorily complete the ELI program as outlined above.
Intensive English Program Courses
Structure: Levels One to Six. ELI structure courses provide students with the basic grammatical structures they will need to communicate effectively in English in four language skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each structure course emphasizes communication-both comprehension (listening and reading) and production (speaking and writing). Structure courses meet five hours per week.
Speaking/Listening: Levels One to Six. ELI courses in spoken English provide students with the opportunity to improve their listening and speaking skills and to gain confidence in using English to communicate orally. Students practice appropriate conversation management skills, receive instruction on problem areas of pronunciation, and learn useful vocabulary. These activities are carried on through a variety of classroom exercises that focus on the everyday situations students are likely to encounter while adjusting to life in the United States. Speaking/Listening courses meet five hours per week.
Reading/Writing: Levels One to Six. The ELI reading/writing curriculum is designed to provide students with skills needed to comprehend written discourse at the college level as well as produce written English in a variety of forms. Reading skills include understanding the main idea of a passage, understanding an author's purpose, distinguishing fact from opinion, reading quickly, using the resources of a collegiate dictionary, and discussing written discourse in a relatively sophisticated manner. Writing exercises are designed to stimulate self-expression and personal involvement in writing. With attention to each step of the writing process-thinking, writing, and rewriting-teachers guide students toward communicating their ideas with increasing clarity and depth. Reading/Writing courses meet ten hours per week.
Oral Communication. Oral Communication (OC) is designed to help students improve their skills and proficiency in both speaking and understanding oral English. The focus of the class is on "real world English" rather than academic English. Students' oral proficiency in English will improve as a result of a variety of classroom tasks and activities. In addition, instructional activities will occasionally take place outside of the classroom in order to take advantage of opportunities in community settings. Oral Communication is divided into two separate eight-week sessions-OC I and OC II-each of which meets for ten hours per week.
Optional Classes. The ELI offers several choices of optional courses. Some examples of optional courses are TOEFL Preparation, Pronunciation, American Culture, Business English, English Through Current Events, English Through Music, and Web Page Design. Optional classes typically meet two or three hours per week.
Conversation Partner Program. Through the Conversation Partner Program, ELI students meet regularly with American students to converse in English in relaxed surroundings. The Conversation Partner Program Is a comfortable way for ELI students to form friendships with American students and to practice their English.
Culture and Language Exchange Program. The Culture and Language Exchange Program matches ELI students with UA students who are studying the ELI student's native language. Once matched, these pairs or groups of students then meet as often as they like for conversation practice in both English and in the particular foreign language.
ELI External Programs consist of a variety of programs designed for groups of participants with mutual goals and concerns who desire highly specialized, intensive curricula. Such programs are typically designed for international English teachers, students whose international universities have approved given curricula for credit, international graduate students preparing to enter universities throughout the U.S., and business professionals who wish to improve their overall effectiveness in English or to concentrate on specific skills such as written communication.
An organization wishing to participate in such a program should clearly define the goals of its group and keep in mind that program enrollments require a minimum of 10 participants. Financial sponsorship for the above programs may come from ministries of education, embassies, corporations, private philanthropic organizations, U.S. or other government sponsoring agencies, or the individual participants themselves. Programs may be offered at any time of the year and typically range in length from two to six weeks.
A second type of external program is the corporate short-term program for individuals from a single corporation who participate in a curriculum composed partially of courses in the ELI Intensive English Program and partially of specialized courses designed specifically for the participants. These programs usually can be offered as needed throughout the year.
A third type of external program may be offered on-site at the corporation or university. As with all external programs, dates can be customized and curricula can be specially designed for the particular group.
External Program Curricula
International University Undergraduate Program. This program typically offers one or two levels of instruction for the group and consists of four hours of instruction per day, live days per week. Courses offered can include Spoken English, Pronunciation, Reading/Vocabulary, Writing, Structure, Computer Skills, American Culture, and English through Music or Film.
English Teacher Training Program. This program is designed for nonnative speakers who are teachers of English. The curriculum typically consists of courses in conversational management, debate, listening and speaking, pronunciation, and public speaking, as well as a teaching workshop and series of methodology lectures. This curriculum can be adjusted to meet the needs of a particular group of English teachers. The aims of the program are to further refine the teachers own usage and to address and evaluate current theories of methodology in light of the country's unique challenges in teaching English. These courses meet four to six hours daily.
Embassy-Sponsored Graduate Student Program. Typically offered during the summer, is designed for international graduate students who will be attending universities throughout the United Stales in the fall. Including independent study, these courses meet for four hours per day. The core classes include Written Communication: Reading, Writing, and Skills for Academic Success; Oral Communication: Listening Comprehension and Clear Speech; Oral Communication: Conversation Management and American Culture; Enhancing Computer Skills; and Independent Study.
Corporate Campus Study. Typically, this is a two-week program consisting of a combination of courses taken within the Intensive English Program along with specialized courses designed for the particular group.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT PROGRAM
The ELI Academic Support Program provides opportunities for UA undergraduate and graduate students who may want or need additional English-language instruction. At the undergraduate level, newly admitted international students, after taking the UA English Proficiency and Placement Exam (EPPE) prior to beginning their first semester at UA, may be asked to take one or two ELI courses in spoken and/or written English on a part-time basis. These students may pursue their academic studies while fulfilling their EPPE requirements. Students must pass the designated ELI Speaking/ Listening or Academic Writing course(s) before enrolling in the University's required English courses for credit. At the graduate level, ESL support courses in written and spoken English are available free of charge to full-time international graduate students each fall and spring semester. In addition, for both undergraduate and graduate students, the UA Language Resource Center is available for individualized language assistance.
INTERNATIONAL TEACHING ASSISTANT PROGRAM
The University of Alabama's International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) trains and evaluates prospective UA international graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). ITAP is conducted by the English Language Institute twice each year—in the summer during a three-week period prior to the beginning of the fall semester and during the spring semester. Participation in ITAP is required of all non-native speakers of English who serve as GTAs at The University of Alabama. The summer ITAP session meets five hours daily for approximately two weeks; the spring session meets three hours weekly for 15 weeks.
For More Information
To obtain more information about any of the above ELI programs, to request a brochure and application to the Intensive English Program, or to discuss the possibility of an external program for your group, contact the director, Dr. Bill Wallace, 101 B. B. Comer Hall. Send requests to The University of Alabama, English Language Institute, Box 870250, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0250; telephone (205) 348-7413; fax (205) 348-9266; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please visit our website at http://eli.ua.edu.
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