ESL - English Language Institute (ELI)

International Students

Proud member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs

ELI Brochure (English)     ELI Brochure (Chinese)

Welcome to NMU's ELI!

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.

Program Description

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.

ESL classroomProgram 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, Falun Dafa Club, International Dancer's Club, Spanish Club, French Club, and All Nations Club.
Team Teaching on the beach ESL students hiking in the winter


Length of Program of Study

Each of the six levels requires one Block to complete. Block 1 + Block 2 = One Semester

Winter Semester 2015:

Block 1

January 12, 2015 - March 11, 2015

Block 2

March 11, 2015 - May 1, 2015

There is only 1 Summer Block: May 11, 2015 - June 26, 2015

Fall Semester 2015:

Block 1

August 24, 2015 - October 14, 2015

Block 2

October 14, 2015 - December 12, 2015

If a student places into the Early-Beginner Level and progresses one level per Block (half semester), that student may finish the program in six Blocks. Six Blocks is equal to 3 *full semesters.

*It is important to note that at this time ELI only offers one Block (not a full 2-Block semester) in the Summer Semester. The second part of the Summer Semester is reserved for a special 4-week Summer English Program, which is not part of academic program.

January 6, 2015
March 6, 2015
May 6, 2015
August 19, 2015
October 9, 2015
January 5, 2016
March 6, 2016
May 10, 2016
*Students are expected to be in Marquette, Michigan at NMU on the Enrollment Date listed above.
Students will take the Placement Exam that day and attend Orientation the next day.

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.

Campus MallJamrich in the winter

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.

Marquette is a safe city Aerial of Marquette

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+906.227.2510


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