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College of Arts, Letters & Education
343 Patterson Hall
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2328
fax: 509.359.4822

English Language Institute

The English Language Institute (ELI) is an academic unit in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. It was established in 1979 and has been in existence for over 35 years.

The goal of the ELI is to provide English language training to speakers of other languages in order for these students to matriculate to colleges and universities in English-speaking countries. The focus of the program is on English for academic purposes. Students learn English related to academic contexts such as writing essays, taking lecture notes, and giving presentations.

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Faculty at the ELI are highly-qualified and experienced. All full-time faculty are required to have a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language (MATESL) or closely-related field. The MATESL degree is also preferred for part-time instructors in the program. In fact, several ELI instructors on the faculty have PhD's in an education-related field.

Current faculty have over 150 years of combined ESL teaching experience and a number of them have have been involved in ESL teacher training and overseeing student teaching internships at the university. Faculty and staff have lived or studied in many countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, Holland, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Niger, Zambia, Colombia, Mexico, Micronesia, and Saudi Arabia.


Classes are small, averaging 8 to 16 students. Most of the Level 5 advanced-level classes can be taken for university credit. Conditional acceptance is available at the undergraduate level for those students completing the ELI and meeting university requirements.


Eastern's ELI is an accredited university-level intensive English program, receiving its accreditation through Eastern Washington University, which is a member of the the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). It is also a member of the University Consortium of Intensive English Programs (UCIEPP) and the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP).

What are the degree options?

ELI provides an intensive English program, a graduate and MBA preparation program, and TOEFL courses for international students.

What can I do with my degree?

ELI helps speakers of other languages matriculate to English speaking colleges and universities, and provides a pathway for international students wishing to study at EWU.

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