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English Language Institute


The mission of the ELI is to support overall language development for students who intend to enter or continue their studies at an American university at the undergraduate or graduate level. By developing levels of proficiency, students enhance their business, professional, social communication, and test-taking skills.


Unlike their counterparts in many programs in the United States, all ELI faculty members hold master’s degrees in Applied Linguistics or Teaching English as a Second Language. With an average of more than 12 years' professional experience and with specialized background in second language acquisition, our teachers employ various instructional methods and materials to meet individual student needs.

A number of our faculty members have published ESL textbooks as well as texts on the theory and methodology of teaching English. Many of these are used worldwide.


Full-time English language instruction balances listening and speaking, reading and writing, grammar in context, pronunciation, and strategic competence and academic development.

Part-time English language instruction addresses targeted skills for a varied student population. ELI131 has a focus on the writing process and organizational skills, as well as vocabulary development and grammar review. ELI132 has a focus on listening and speaking skills, as well as vocabulary development and idiomatic expression. (The beginning level in part-time classes assumes at least a basic literacy and ability to communicate.)

In both programs, a student-centered, communicative language learning approach is used. Classes are small, encouraging maximum participation.

Assessments, Grades, and Certificates

Students enter the ELI at all levels of proficiency, from advanced learners to students with little or no knowledge of English. All students are assessed at the beginning of the semester and placed in the appropriate level. Teachers give personal attention to each student and evaluate individual progress. At the end of the semester, all students who regularly attend classes and successfully complete their assigned work receive an official certificate.

ELI Exam

The City University of New York recognizes the professionalism of the ELI program. Students who have passed the Queens College full-time ELI Final Exam with a certificate do NOT need a TOEFL score in order to apply to CUNY undergraduate and graduate programs that require a minimum TOEFL score of 61. Nonetheless, we strongly encourage students to take the TOEFL. The test is administered at the beginning and end of the full-time program’s fall and spring semesters. During summer sessions, the test is administered at the beginning.

 Office Information

Kissena Hall Room 100
Phone: (718) 997-5720
Fax: (718) 997-5723 

Donna Y. Smith
Executive Director, English Language Institute

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