Central Michigan University's English Language Institute (ELI) offers several programs to meet your specific needs. The ELI uses the Michigan State University English Language Test (MSUELT) to determine whether students place into the intensive Program, the Dual Program, or need no English instruction.

The ELI accepts TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB and PTE Academic test scores. English proficiency test scores must be submitted to CMU by the date of the ELI placement test. If students don’t have a proficiency test score at that time, the ELI will use the MSUELT placement test score. The last day to drop and add classes is CMU’s official drop/add deadline.

Intensive Program

The Intensive Program is for students who have no TOEFL scores, have TOEFL scores below 61 iBT, IELTS below 5.5, MELAB scores below 69, PTE Academic scores below 44, students who place into this level based on the MSUELT, or students who want to study only English.

The Intensive Program offers:

  • Personal attention in small classes.
  • 4 levels of classes: Basic, Level I, Level II, and Level III (for more information see below).
  • Recreational activities.
  • Social events.
  • 20 hours of ESL instruction per week.
  • Academic challenges.

Intensive Program Courses

  • Basic Integrated Skills
  • Integrated English Skills I
  • Integrated English Skills II
  • Integrated English Skills III

The primary emphasis of an Integrated English Skills class is on listening and speaking skills, though reading, writing, and grammar are also emphasized. Students participate in small and large group discussions, give presentations, and conduct interviews, among a variety of other activities.

  • Basic Word Studies and Grammar
  • Grammar I
  • Grammar II
  • Grammar III

The Grammar classes focus on practicing a variety of grammatical structures in both spoken and written contexts. Students do individual and small group activities in addition to playing games, completing group projects, and writing short compositions.

  • Basic Reading and Writing
  • Reading and Writing I
  • Reading and Writing II
  • Reading and Writing III

The Reading and Writing classes focus on developing analytical reading and writing skills. Students will read texts and then respond both informally and formally in writing. Integrating reading and writing will help the students to acquire new vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Sample Intensive Program Weekly Schedule

9:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.Integrated SkillsIntegrated SkillsIntegrated SkillsIntegrated Skills 
11:00 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.Reading and WritingReading and WritingReading and WritingReading and Writing 
2:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. Grammar Grammar 


Dual Program

The Dual Program is for students with TOEFL scores between 61 iBT and 78 iBT, IELTS scores between 5.5-6.0, MELAB scores between 69 and 76, PTE Academic scores between 44 and 52, students who place into this level based on the MSUELT, and students who have successfully completed the Intensive Program.

The Dual Program offers:

  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP).
  • The opportunity to begin academic classes in your field of study.
  • 13 hours of EAP instruction per week for Dual-only students.
  • Up to 9 hours of EAP instruction per week for Dual-level undergraduate students taking academic classes.
  • Up to 9 hours of EAP instruction per week for Dual-level graduate students taking academic classes.

Dual Program Courses

Advanced Grammar for International Students
This Advanced Grammar course focuses on advanced structures such as complex verb tenses and modals, noun and adjective clauses, and passives. Attention is given to form and meaning, with considerable emphasis placed on use. The goal is to reduce student error in the context of the student's oral or written work.

Academic Reading Skills for International Students
This course focuses on reading academic texts. Students practice guessing meaning in context; understanding sentence structures, main ideas, and details; skimming; scanning; and critical thinking skills. In addition to reading, students are required to respond to readings in an oral or written format and often lead group discussions on reading selections of their choice.

Academic Writing for International Students
This course focuses on writing academic texts. Students review paragraph structure and move quickly to practicing different types of essay structures. By the end of the course, students will integrate source material into their texts and respond critically to a variety of outside sources.

Listening and Speaking for International Students
This Speaking and Listening course focuses on challenging students with speaking and listening tasks like those they will encounter in their academic classes. Students give oral presentations, group presentations, and participate in group discussions. Some attention is given to pronunciation as well. Students listen to a variety of academic materials and develop note-taking skills.

Writing Seminar for Graduate Students
This course focuses on writing graduate-level academic texts. Students review essay structure with source integration and practice different types of academic writing tasks such as data commentary, summary and critique, and research paper writing.

ELI Writing Workshop
This is an individualized writing workshop for English language learners through CMU's Writing Center. The ELI 099 workshops will focus on strategies and language skills needed for college-level writing and are to be taken with at least one other ELI class.  This course may be taken more than once as long as course content is not duplicated.

Summer Language Study

Students may opt to continue their English studies at the ELI during the summer semester, although it is not required. The ELI offers one 12-week summer session for all ELI students from mid-May to early August. There are three Intensive-level classes: Grammar, Reading/Writing, and Integrated Skills (Speaking/Listening). I‚Äčintensive Program students can receive up to 22 hours per week of English instruction. The Dual Program offers four summer classes: Listening/Speaking, Reading, Grammar, Writing, and Graduate Writing Seminar. Full-time Dual Program students can take 16-20 hours of English language instruction each week.

Special Programs

The ELI welcomes students who want short-term language study (4-8 weeks). Students will be tested upon arrival and placed into our existing Intensive-level classes. For groups of 10 or more, the ELI can also design programs on specific topics such as Business English or English Teaching. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. The availability of special programs depends on the availability of housing. Email the ELI for special program prices and additional information.

Credit-Bearing Courses for International Students

American Language for International Students: Writing Component (ELI 198)
This three-credit course is an introductory class designed to improve written language skills in academic writing for students whose native language is not English.  Satisfactory completion of ENG 198 will fulfill the first year university composition competency requirement. 

American Language for International Students:  Speech Component (ELI 199)
This three-credit course is an introductory class focusing on improving college-level language skills in speaking and listening for students whose native language is not English. Successful completion of ENG 199 will fulfill the Oral English Competency.