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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.


Queens College is located in Flushing, Queens, one of New York City's five boroughs and a county in its own right. Queens is proud to be the county with the greatest ethnic and racial diversity in the entire United States. This diversity offers students a wonderful opportunity to explore the language and culture of America and also find people who speak their own language and share their culture.

One of the largest senior colleges in the City University of New York, Queens College is situated on a beautiful, 80-acre campus located 10 miles outside of Manhattan. The campus is set in a tranquil, park-like setting with all the resources of a major college, including a full athletic center and two theaters for the performing arts. The college is continuously expanding, opening new cafés and dining areas, installing plasma boards, updating buildings, and embarking on a variety of campus-beautification projects.

Auditing, Electives, Clubs, and Recreation

Upper-level full-time ELI students may audit Queens College courses. Students are able to familiarize themselves with American classroom procedures and practice listening and note-taking skills. Students may also attend a variety of free ELI elective classes each semester.

For recreation, full-time students are invited to use the college swimming pool, gymnasium, and tennis courts for a nominal fee. The campus offers many opportunities to participate in the social and cultural life of the college community, including frequent lectures, free exhibits presented by the Queens College Art department, and free concerts offered by the Aaron Copland School of Music.

Queens College students come from 150 different countries, and the campus is located in the most ethnically diverse county in the United States. Both in and around the ELI program, students experience a globally unique environment, adding value for any field of study or life goals.

 Office Information

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

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Closed on the following holidays:
October 8
November 22 & 23
December 24, 25 & 31
January 1

Donna Y. Smith

Executive Director
English Language Institute

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