Program Information

Program Information



Academic Calendar
Summer 2014 June 2 - August 5
Fall I 2014 August 25 - October 17
Fall II 2014 October 20 - December 12
Spring I 2015 January 12 - March 6
Spring II 2015 March 16 - May 8
Summer 2015 June 1 - August 7

Upon arrival, each student is placed into one of five levels based on the results of the ACCUPLACER ESL exam administered by the SHSU Testing Center.

  • Level 1 - Upper Beginning (limited English, functional ability to communicate)
  • Level 2 - Intermediate (can communicate informally, limited English in academic settings)
  • Level 3 - Upper Intermediate (high fluency in informal settings, approaching academic fluency)
  • Level 4 - Advanced (fully fluent in informal settings, approaching mastery of academic English)
  • Level 5 - University Transition Level (Upper Advanced) (nearing mastery of academic English, almost ready for university)

*Students are expected to complete one level per session, but may repeat or skip levels in some cases.  If a student fails to achieve the learning objectives for a level, the course must be repeated the following session.

Note: Students may not register for classes after the 5th class day.

Core Curriculum

ELI students must maintain 20 classroom contact hours of core curriculum classes per week in their level. Core classes are:

  • Listening & Speaking: Students develop oral communication abilities with a variety of media and activities.
  • Reading & Writing: Students work on literacy skills to increase fluency while reading and writing texts.
  • Grammar: Students study the structure of English and apply it using integrated tasks.
  • Vocabulary: Students study the vocabulary of English and apply itusing integrated tasks.


Electives are optional, and students may enroll in none, one, or two electives, based on their preferences.  All electives are graded on a pass or fail basis, and attendance is required if you are enrolled in the course. Availability is subject to enrollment.

  • TOEFL Preparation: Students will gain the skills, strategies and confidence they need to improve their performance on the TOEFL exam.
  • IELTS Preparation: Students will gain the skills, strategies and confidence they need to improve their performance on the IELTS exam.
  • Conversation Practice: Students will improve conversational skills through authentic experience and practical application of concepts learned in the core curriculum, including grammar, vocabulary, and idiomatic expression.

Class Sizes

Enrollment is limited to eighteen students per class. If fewer than five students register for a particular core level, the ELI may choose to cancel classes for that level.

Assessment & Evaluation

To be successful, a language program must assess students’ achievement of learning objectives and evaluate staff, textbooks and services.  The ELI assesses students using:

  • Grades based on attendance, participation, coursework and testing
  • Student achievement of leveled learning outcomes

To evaluate the effectiveness of the staff, textbooks and overall program, the ELI uses:

  • Annual performance appraisals for staff based on evaluation by the supervisor
  • Classroom observations by supervisor and external curriculum consultants
  • Student evaluations of the program services, materials, activities and staff

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

Each semester, the Sam Houston State University Testing Center provides multiple chances to take the TOEFL iBT for use in university admissions .  For more information on the test or to register, please click the button below:


ELI students may qualify to waive the TOEFL requirement for admission to SHSU Undergraduate Admissions.  See the following policy for more information:


Students have several options for where to stay during their time in Huntsville.  Dorm housing is available but sometimes can be difficult to secure.  Surrounding the university are a number of apartment complexes, including some that offer free transportation to and from the campus.  Also, some students find local friends to stay with, which decreases expenses significantly.  If you need help finding a place to live, please contact our office or visit


Our professional staff in the Office of International Programs provides free advising and assistance with immigration issues for all ELI students.


Health insurance is required for all ELI students.  For more information, please click the button below:

Student Health Center Insurance Policy

To find out more about studying at English language programs in the United States, please click the button below :

Education USA

Contact Us

English Language Institute
Director of OIP, Barbara Eckenfels Barbara Eckenfels
Executive Director, Office of International Programs   936.294..4455  F116 
Courtney Miller, ELI Secretary Courtney Miller
Secretary of English Language Institute   936.294.4991 F116 A

Email:               Phone: (936) 294-3446

Office of International Programs
Farrington Building, Suite 116, Huntsville, TX 77340
Phone: 936-294-4737

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