Levels and Courses

The English Language Institute provides classes for students from beginning to advanced level. When students start the ELI, they are given a placement test, which determines their level.

In each level, students take four classes: Reading and Vocabulary, Writing and Grammar, Listening and Speaking, and Culture. Each class meets for five hours per week. Full-time students are in class a total of 20 class hours per week. 

Course Overview

Reading and Vocabulary

In this class, students build everyday and academic vocabulary while developing strategies for understanding texts. Students read a variety of texts, including: newspapers, short stories, novels, and textbooks. Students also talk about readings and lead discussions to prepare for academic and professional success. 

Listening and Speaking

Listening and Speaking prepares students for communication in everyday life and academic and professional settings. Students develop and apply strategies that help them to listen to a variety of conversations and lectures. Students also practice a variety of speaking skills, including leading discussions, giving academic presentations, and everyday conversation and "small talk."  

Writing and Grammar

In Writing and Grammar, students develop effective written communication skills in everyday and academic settings. Students learn to write clear and concise sentences, paragraphs, and essays while developing grammar skills. Additionally, students learn about the process of writing and how to effectively use the North Central College Writing Center. 


In Culture class, students learn about a variety of topics associated with everyday American and college culture. Students develop cultural competence in a variety of academic and everyday settings and apply it to daily life. Each term, this class has a different content area focus.