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English Language Institute Mission

The mission of the English Language Institute (ELI) is to foster the learning of the English language and the culture of the United States of America through its regularly scheduled Intensive English Program and its various other programs scheduled on demand.

The ELI is a self-supporting program of the University of Florida. It is intended to serve speakers of other languages and is dedicated to offering superior instruction and best possible occasions for practice, using current materials and techniques, and providing an ideal learning environment.

These goals are accomplished by a well-trained staff enthusiastically committed to the success of all learners, actively involved in meeting their needs, and unquestionably focused on functioning as a team for the greater good of all concerned.

Regular Program Mission

The primary mission of the Intensive English Program is to prepare international students for successful study at the graduate or undergraduate level in institutions of higher learning in the USA. Students are taught to:

  • Read university-level materials;
  • Write academic papers and exams;
  • Speak more fluently in both formal and informal
  • Take good, clear notes at lectures;
  • Take timed, objective tests; and,
  • Function knowledgeably in a North American culture
    for the purpose of establishing and maintaining productive relations
    with fellow students, professors and other members of the host

The ELI also provides the same language instruction to individuals already trained in their professions, and any others who wish to improve their level of English proficiency and cultural awareness.

Special Program Mission

The primary mission of Special Programs of the English Language Institute is to provide flexible programs of English study, focused to meet the specific needs of each international group we serve. In addition to instruction, we coordinate and support cultural experiences and living arrangements appropriate to the desired outcomes of each group.

By providing high-quality programs and individualized attention to each group, the Special Programs Office works to expand the positive reputation of the English Language Institute and the University of Florida.

ELI Scope and Structure

The ELI is housed in the Department of Linguistics within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The director of the ELI reports to the Chair of Linguistics. In addition, financial oversight is provided by the UF Academic Finance Office.

The English Language Institute (ELI) encompasses:

  1. Two broad services, the Intensive English Program and Special Programs;
  2. A role in providing opportunities for students pursuing graduate
    and undergraduate degrees in TESL and second language acquisition and teaching;
  3. A role in providing coursework for students with ELI Conditional
    Admission under the guidance of the UF Graduate School;
  4. A role in providing classes for international graduate students through
    administration of the programs in Academic Spoken English and Academic Written English.

The two services of the ELI are the Intensive English Program, for which it’s best known, and Special Programs. Through the Intensive English Program, the ELI offers instruction to potential applicants to the University and others interested in acquiring command of academic English. Through Special Programs, the ELI creates specialized short-term programs based upon the needs of specific groups of participants. In both programs, the ELI functions independently of most services provided by the UF International Center.

For each and every one of the six sessions offered each year in its IEP and for the contracted programs in its SP, the staff carries out student recruitment, records assessment, and admissions, provides a week-long orientation to the community (institute, university, Gainesville, and US culture), assesses and places students into 6 levels in each of the skills taught, assists in housing selection and rental leasing, instructs and assesses students, keeps program-wide student records, provides directed daily and weekend extracurricular activities, designs and prepares its awards, publishes a weekly newsletter, maintains its own web site, provides and administers two scholarships, and plans and carries out commencement ceremonies for ELI students.

The English Language Institute also has a teacher-training mission in conjunction with Linguistics, where a graduate certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) and an undergraduate certificate in TESL are offered. The ELI provides teaching assistantships for graduate students in Linguistics. In addition, the ELI provides employment, experience and intensive training for the 30-50 UF undergraduates employed as Language Assistants in the program each semester. Finally, the ELI serves as a site for ESL class observations by Linguistics and Education undergraduate and graduate students, and as site for research by faculty of the same.

The English Language Institute also has a service breadth that reaches out to all colleges of the University, in conjunction with the Graduate School, in that it prepares graduate students for admission and provides English language support to fully matriculated international graduate students.

The English Language Institute is a unit of the University, appropriately budgeted in DOCE, but also with very strong ties within CLAS and a service breadth that reaches out to all colleges of the University in that it prepares graduate students for admission.

Finally, the English Language Institute is an active participant in the internationalization of the University, working cooperatively with the University of Florida International Center and colleges and departments throughout the University community whenever asked to do so.


The vision of the ELI is to

  • Welcome its responsibility for always placing quality as its most important goal in all activities
  • Foster a climate of trust, peace and international understanding that enhances the learning experience for all participants
  • Cherish and constantly renew team spirit and supportive attitude among all members of the ELI family.