ELI - English Language Institute

NELI_Smiling_Photo.jpgProud member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs

    ELI Mission Statement

    The mission of the English Language Institute at Northern Michigan University is to assist non-native speakers of English in acquiring sufficient language proficiency and independent learning strategies to become successful participants in the Northern Michigan University community, their personal lives, and their chosen occupations via proven instructional methodologies in reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and language applications and via monitored social activities and intercultural experiences.



    Northern Michigan University’s English Language Institute (ELI) offers non-native speakers assistance in acquiring improved English language proficiency and self-learning techniques to strengthen their ability to pursue academic studies at U.S. educational institutions, participate in U.S. communities, and to work within their chosen occupations.

    Students may take one or more 7.5-week blocks (one-half semester) through the ELI program. 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.

    NMU's ELI Program offers six levels to accommodate all levels of English proficiency, from Early Beginner to Advanced levels, and each level is comprised of three Core Courses (Reading & Writing, Listening & Speaking, and Grammar & Language Applications). There is also a Pre-beginner course, a One-On-One Tutoring course, a Bridge Course, and various advanced University Preparation courses.

    In addition to the Core Courses, 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 over 300 student clubs at NMU, including the Chinese Club, Falun Dafa Club, International Dancer's Club, Spanish Club, German Club, and French Club.


    ELI offers English language courses for international students who do not meet the university entrance requirements for TOEFL, IELTS, and MELAB. The following are the minimum scores required by NMU for admission and approval to take credit-bearing courses at Northern Michigan University (NMU):

    • TOEFL Internet-based (iBT) test: 61
    • TOEFL computer-based test: 173
    • TOEFL paper-based test: 500
    • IELTS: 6.0
    • MELAB: 69

    All students entering the NMU's ELI Program will take the ACT Compass Test for ESL students the week before beginning classes in order to assess students' English capabilities and place them in the appropriate ELI course level. No prior TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB test scores are needed to enter the ELI Program.

    All of NMU's ELI courses prepare students to take the MELAB for matriculation into Northern Michigan University. MELAB is the Michigan English Language Assessment Battery - MELAB.

    Students can enroll at one of five times during the year. Here are the enrollment dates for the 2015 Winter-Summer Semester and the 2015/2016 academic year:


    January 6, 2015
    March 6, 2015
    May 6, 2015
    August 18, 2015
    October 9, 2015
    January 5, 2016
    March 6, 2016
    May 10, 2016


    About Our City

    Northern Michigan University (NMU), founded in 1899, is located on a 320-acre campus on the beautiful southern shore of Lake Superior, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, in the safe, friendly city of Marquette. Marquette has been voted one of the 50 safest cities in Michigan with a population of at least 10,000 by SafeWise as of March 2014.


    The population of Marquette is approximately 21,355, not counting university students. The residents of Marquette are kind and open-minded, and our previous students state that they have been very pleased with their interaction with members of the community. NMU has 8,451 undergraduate students and 647 graduate students; of these, over 100 are international students. This includes students enrolled in both credit-bearing and non-credit bearing courses. NMU has over 180 undergraduate and graduate degrees to fit your interests. NMU offers over 200 student organizations, offers WiMAX with Internet coverage not only within the entire city of Marquette - but also outlying areas, offers the nationally renowned Student Leader Fellowship Program, and has an extremely professional and active Academic Service Learning Program.

    For more information please contact:

    Dr. Jo Doran, ELI Coordinator
    163 Whitman Hall
    Northern Michigan University
    1401 Presque Isle Ave.
    Marquette, MI 49855, USA

    Telephone: 1+906.227.2594
    E-Mail: ESL@nmu.edu



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