NELI Brochure

Northern Michigan University’s          Beach.JPG

English Language Institute


Northern Michigan University’s English Language Institute (NELI) offers non-native speakers assistance in acquiring improved language proficiency and independent learning strategies to participate in U.S. communities, to improve their knowledge of English, and to strengthen their ability to communicate within their  academic studies and chosen occupations.

Non-native speakers may take one or more seven-week sessions (one-half semester) through the NELI program. Classes meet Monday through Friday.


We offer a minimum of 21.5 to 23 contact hours per week – per student.

Presentations_DSC08265.JPGNo prior TOEFL or IELTS score is necessary for admission.

While we have over 120 international students at NMU, our NELI classes are small, with 12 or fewer students in each class, providing expansive teacher-student time in every class.

We can offer conditional admission to Northern Michigan University. We also offer a Dual-Enrollment Course that students can take while they are working on credit-bearing classes as freshmen. This class has proven to be extremely helpful to NELI students.

Our instructors have an MA in TESOL, TFL, or Linguistics, a PhD in ESL or Linguistics, or they possess a TESOL certificate and are working on an MA in TESOL, TFL, or Linguistics.

Incoming NELI students take the ESL Compass test during orientation week and are placed in the appropriate level course and class. Additional diagnostic tests - by each instructor - provide excellent placement information.

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  • A Six-Level Program that focuses on academic components of reading/writing, listening/speaking, and grammar/language applications
  • Seven-Week Blocks that allow students to begin their studies at five different times throughout the year
  • A Pre-Beginner Listening/Speaking Course for beginner students who need phonetic help
  • A Conversation Mentor Program that engages NELI students with NMU volunteers on campus to practice conversation skills
  • Team Teaching where instructors and students meet together periodically to allow all NELI students more interaction with each other.
  • Individualized Instruction where NELI students receive face-to-face and one-on-one time with an individual instructor
  • Elective Classes where twice a year NELI students are able to take three elective courses at no extra cost.
  • Language Lab Meetings where each NELI student meets with a trained tutor to work on assignments, communication skills, etc.
  • Accent Reduction – Speech Pathology and Audiology Trained Tutors where NELI students meet with a trained Speech Pathology and Audiology trained tutor: This is one-on-one time with a trained speech pathology tutor to reduce the student’s accent. Additionally, Speech Pathology and Audiology tutors meet periodically with NELI students to play board games.
  • Partner System where new NELI students are paired with a screened American student: This offers incoming international students a chance to have a new friend as soon as they get to NMU – and to have someone to whom they can go with questions or to meet up with for lunch.
  • Wildcat International Neighbor (WIN) Program where students are paired with screened NMU faculty members or Marquette County individuals and their family members. At least once a month, the NELI student and his/her Marquette ‘family’ meet for meals, sports gatherings, plays, etc. This is a very popular program with NELI students.


Additional Resources

  • One-on-one tutoring course for students who need extra help
  • Study room times, where students can approach instructors for help
  • Monthly social events, where NELI students make new friends
  • A dual enrollment course that allows for transition into credit-bearing classes at NMU for students who do not earn a high-enough TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB test score
  • Club/organization participation with over 300 clubs to choose from
  • Possible practicums for academically advanced students

All of the NELI courses focus on academic learning to prepare students to take matriculation tests. NELI offers the MELAB test oncea month. Students may take this test every other month.To matriculate into NMU, students must earn a 69 on the MELAB, a 61 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or a 6.0 on the IELTS.

If a student’s MELAB score is not high enough to take credit-bearing classes, that student may receive a Transitional Admission to NMU by taking the NELI Dual-Enrollment Course. This course provides one-on-one teaching with a focus on the student’s credit-bearing courses and assignments.

The NELI Program also offers Academic Advanced courses to students who have finished some, but not all, of the Core Component Courses, to help these students maintain their immigration status.

NMU’s Language Lab offers one-on-one time with NELI students to work on any of the three Core Components. The NELI program has a designated ESL tutor in the Language Lab and ESL-designated computers with American SpeechSounds software just for NELI students.

Enrollment Dates for 2014 Kids_with_posters.jpg

  • January 7, 2014
  • March 7, 2014
  • May 13, 2014
  • August 19, 2014
  • October 7, 2014

What NMU and Marquette, Michigan have to offer

NMU offers a wired community with our WiMax coverage throughout the entire campus, city, and surrounding areas. While our NELI classes are face-to-face classes, we provide many opportunities for students to gain experience using up-to-date technology and software.

  • NMU offers excellent health care and counseling, available to all NELI students and all international students.
  • NMU is located on the largest of the Great Lakes: Lake Superior. Our beaches are clean and our water is pristine.
  • NMU offers a safe, beautiful place to live where residents are kind, friendly, and open to international individuals. Marquette residents are very friendly people who appreciate having international students in the city and on campus. College Prowler lists NMU as the friendliest town in all of Michigan universities.
  • NELI offers on-campus and off-campus housing in Marquette, Michigan.
  • Marquette’s four-season weather offers cross-country skiing, down-hill skiing, skate boarding, and snowshoeing in the winter; swimming, sailing, and biking our 12-mile plus bike path in the summer; and hiking and walking year round.
  • Marquette’s bus system – MarqTran, provides free transportation to all NELI student throughout the campus and city. NMU’s campus is small enough that students do not need a car on campus. Additionally, there is excellent shopping within walking distance of campus (food, clothing, etc.).
  • International food products can be found at our local Marquette Food Co-Op, and international food can be ordered through World Food and delivered to Marquette.
  • We are progressing toward becoming CEA Accredited.

NELI Program Fees

Two, Seven-Week Sessions

Tuition and Fees


Room and Board


Books and Supplies


Health Insurance (required – unless provided)


Personal Travel


Total Certification of Finances




Jo Doran, NELI Coordinator

163 Whitman Hall

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, Michigan, 49855, USA



#1:  NELI Students having class at the beach, within walking distance of NMU

#2:  Presentation Day

#3: Fall Picnic

#4: Biking on one of many walking/biking trails in Marquette and surrounding areas.

#5: Poster Day