English Language Institute

Mission Statement

The English Language Institute (ELI) at the University of Pittsburgh has six essential functions at the University.

The first function of the Institute is to offer non-credit courses in English for speakers of other languages who want to improve their English for academic, professional, or personal reasons. In addition to instruction, the ELI provides students with opportunities to experience life on an American university campus and to interact with members of the University campus and the local community.

The second function of the ELI is to assist the University by testing students who are non-native speakers of English. There are two aspects to this function. First, the ELI tests international teaching assistants to ensure compliance with the legal requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Second, the ELI assists the University in validating the English proficiency of non-native speakers of English who are matriculating in University programs.

The third function is to provide English language support for students who are non-native speakers of English and who have already matriculated at the University of Pittsburgh. The ELI offers credit and non-credit courses for students who may need additional assistance.  In addition, when feasible, the ELI provides specialized English instruction to programs that request such assistance.

The fourth function is to provide teacher training and research opportunities, especially for Master’s and Ph.D. students in University programs who will be going into the fields of Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). 

The fifth function is to provide expertise for various other University related endeavors that involve English language learners, TESOL, and international issues.

The sixth function is to actively participate in and contribute to the development of the field of English for speakers of other languages, especially in areas of classroom instruction, second language learning and acquisition, professional development, program structure and administrative practices.