Contact Information

Address:  154 Whitman Hall, Director: Diana Vreeland
Phone:  906-227-2925
Fax:  906-227-2533
Department Email:

English Language Institute


Program Principles
Northern Michigan University’s English Language Institute is founded on the belief that language is best and most comprehensively acquired when taught using an integrative and project-based approach. Thus, our curriculum is informed and driven by the following principles: Exploratory Learning, Collaborative Learning, Digital Literacy, and Integrated Skills Learning.

Exploratory Learning: The ELI offers students the opportunities, through project-based learning and classroom activities, to examine and investigate new topics while developing the language necessary to fully discover connections between their individual experiences and the learned material.

Collaborative Learning: As language is neither taught nor used in isolation, the ELI, through our commitment to project-based learning, ensures that students will have ample opportunity to work together, with a peer or small group, to develop, design, investigate and produce projects. As a team, they will not only investigate their topic, but negotiate roles and group dynamics and learn to communicate successfully in English.

Digital Literacy: Students of the 21st century must be prepared to work, collaborate and produce materials in a variety of digital formats. Through the implementation of project-based learning, the ELI is dedicated to preparing our students for these demands. The projects in which they engage will develop their digital literacy skills and the language required to communicate about and work within digital platforms.

Integrated Skills: In ways most authentic to the English-speaking university classroom, students will be  encouraged to use all language skills in pursuit of successfully completed course work and project collaboration and completion.

In consideration of these founding principles, the ELI is dedicated to providing students with authentic learning experiences through project-based learning. Students at each level will participate in scaffolded activities and competency-based assessments in pursuit of a final project and presentation. Each project will be carefully designed to engage students in the tasks of collaborative investigation of topics of interest. Students will learn how to effectively select and use a variety of appropriate digital tools for collaboration and project presentation, all the while using the language in authentic ways.

Program Requirements
The ELI is a credit-bearing program. Credits earned in the ELI will not apply toward graduation from NMU. Full-time students are required to take three courses each semester: Speaking/Listening, Reading/Vocabulary, and Writing/Grammar. Each course meets for 7 hours each week for a total of 21 contact hours/week or 21 credits.

The English Language Institute has five (5) levels of English proficiency. New students will take the ELI placement test and be enrolled in the appropriate courses based on their scores and level placement. Each level provides students instruction in the 4 main language skills while preparing them for the academic demands of an American university classroom. 



Bulletin Year: 2023 - 2024 Undergraduate Bulletin