English Language Institute - ELI

Students holding up heart symbols with handsEnglish Language Institute

Our 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.

Our 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. 


ELI Program

The English Language Institute is designed to prepare international students for the English requirements of NMU's undergraduate and graduate programs. No TOEFL or IELTS test scores are needed to enter the ELI program.

Students may enter the ELI program at one of three times throughout the year (August, January, and May).

Classes meet Monday through Friday, providing students with a minimum of 20 contact hours per week with an ESL-certified instructor. Classes generally have 10-12 students which allows instructors flexibility to design lessons based on student needs and interests. 

The ELI has five levels. Each level takes one semester (16 weeks) to complete.

Level 1 - Introduction

Level 2 - Pre-Intermediate

Level 3 - Intermediate

Level 4 - Pre-Advanced

Level 5 - Advanced

Classes include:

1. Reading & Vocabulary 

2. Listening & Speaking 

3. Writing & Grammar

4. Integrated Skills

5. Culture (levels 1-3)

6. TOEFL Preparation (levels 4-5)


2018 - 2019 Academic Calendar

Fall 2018

August 20 - 24

New Student Orientation

August 27

First Day of Classes

September 3

Labor Day - No Classes

November 17 - 25

Thanksgiving Break - No Classes

December 13

Last Day of Classes

Winter 2019

January 7 - 11

New Student Orientation

January 14

First Day of Classes

January 21

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - No Classes

March 2 - 10

Spring Break - No Classes

May 3

Last Day of Classes

Summer 2019

May 20

First Day of Classes

May 27

Memorial Day - No Classes

July 4

Independence Day - No Classes

August 9

Last Day of Classes


Program Features

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

  • Pronunciation Practice -- students meet with trained tutors in NMU's Speech Pathology & Audiology Department for sessions to improve pronunciation.
  • Service Learning - students are involved in the Marquette community to work with children, the elderly, or others in need.
  • 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 more than 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 approximately 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 LTE Internet coverage over the entire city and surrounding areas for all students with a NMU laptop. All NMU's ELI students receive an NMU laptop when they arrive on campus.

About Our City

Marquette is safe, friendly city located on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It was recently voted in the top 20 Safest College Towns in the United States.


For more information please contact:

English Language Institute
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855, USA

Telephone: 1+906.227.2925
E-Mail: esl@nmu.edu


The English Language Institute is a proud member of: