English Language Institute - ELI

International Students

English Language Institute

Mission Statement

The Mission of the English Language Institute at Northern Michigan University is to provide
English as a Second Language instruction to non-native speakers of English for their future academic, professional, and personal goals. It is also our mission to provide service learning and other experiences to help internationalize the NMU campus and the Marquette community.

Vision Statement

The Vision of the English Language Institute is to offer international and domestic students the opportunities needed to learn the cultures and values of other people and to foster understanding and tolerance. 


Northern Michigan University’s English Language Institute (NMU's ELI) offers English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to international students who do not meet the minimum score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB in order to be accepted into degree programs at NMU.

All of NMU's ELI courses help to prepare students to take the MELAB for matriculation into Northern Michigan University. The MELAB is the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery - MELAB. Once a student passes the MELAB exam, he/she is able to apply to Northern Michigan University for credit-bearing classes. Northern Michigan University administers the MELAB exam every month.

ELI is a proud member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs


ELI Brochures

ELI Brochure (English)  |  ELI Brochure (Korean)  |  ELI Brochure (Chinese)  |  ELI Brochure (Spanish)

ELI Program

Students can take one or more 7.5-week Blocks (one-half semester) through the ELI program, which consists of six levels of English proficiency. Placement is determined by the ACT Compass Test for ESL. No TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB test scores are needed to enter the ELI Program. Students may enter the ELI program at one of five times throughout the year.

Classes meet Monday through Friday, providing students with a minimum of 21 contact hours per week with an ESL-certified instructor. Each class only has between 1-8 students, which allows instructors to give personalized attention to each student and be flexible with lessons based on each student's needs.

ELI students enroll in three 90-minute classes daily, Monday - Thursday, in the Core Components:

  1. Reading & Writing
  2. Listening & Speaking
  3. Grammar & Language Applications

Friday is reserved for Team Teaching, in which all students and instructors of the ELI Program meet for three hours of instruction with a cultural focus.

Click here for enrollment dates and length of program study.

ESL classroom

Program Features

NMU's ELI Program provides students with extra language practice and cultural immersion at no additional cost:

  • Accent Reduction/Speech Sessions-- students meet with trained tutors in NMU's Speech Pathology & Audiology Department for sessions to improve pronunciation.
  • Language Lab Tutor-- students may choose to schedule time with a TESOL student at NMU to work on desired areas of language acquisition.
  • Conversation Mentors-- students meet with a NMU student, faculty or staff volunteer for informal conversation time every two weeks.
  • Language Partners-- students are paired with a NMU student as a friend on campus with whom to attend social gatherings, events, and activities while practicing their English skills outside of the classroom.
  • W.I.N. Program (Wildcat International Neighbors)-- students are connected with a screened local family to meet with a few times a month.
  • Student Organizations/Clubs: ELI students have access to around 300 student clubs at NMU, including the Chinese Club, International Dancer's Club, Spanish Club, French Club, and All Nations Club.
Team Teaching on the beach ESL students hiking in the winter

About Northern Michigan University (NMU)

NMU has around 7,000 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students, with over 100 international students currently studying at NMU. There are over 180 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to choose from.

NMU has free WiMAX Internet coverage over the entire city and surrounding areas for all students with a NMU laptop. All NMU's ELI students receive a NMU laptop.

About Our City

Marquette is safe, friendly city located on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.


For more information please contact:

International Programs Office
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855, USA

Telephone: 1+906.227.2510


To access the ELI application in other languages, please click below.

Español | 日本語 | 한국어 | 繁體中文 | 简体中文 | Português | Türkçe
Tiếng Việt | العربيـة | Français | Deutsch | Italiano | Bahasa Indonesia | ภาษาไทย | Pусский 


ELI is a proud member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs