ELI at Millersville: A flexible option for English language learners

As an international student, the journey through higher education can often seem daunting and contain more complications than your local counterparts would experience. There is a lot to consider when making the move to study abroad – tuition fees, accommodation, making new friends, adjusting to a new culture, homesickness, and for many, a potential language barrier.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to study at a world-class US university but you’re concerned that your English language skills aren’t quite up to scratch. Above all, you want to make the most of the academic environment and the social and cultural experiences you’ll encounter along the way.

And in this you’re not alone. Choosing to study abroad is an extremely bold and brave decision, with the language barrier standing as one of the most common anxieties expressed by foreign students looking to make the move. While there’s no doubt that at times the inability to communicate will be an issue, it is perhaps not as much of an issue as you may think.

Millersville University understands this pressing concern, wanting you to get the most from your studies and truly enjoy your unique experience as an overseas student. In order to achieve this, staff know they need to bridge the gap between academic excellence and linguistically-diverse students, and Millersville’s English Language Institute (ELI) strives to do just that.

Fostering a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the ELI takes the pressure out of transitioning to a brand-new culture, offering flexible, rolling student admissions that can be tailored to your needs. International students can enjoy their English learning experience knowing they are taking a significant step towards academic advancement. Surrounded by their peers and other culturally-diverse newcomers, students embark on an English language learning journey that blends academic study with cultural immersion.

Upon arrival, ELI students are given a placement test in order for the School to gauge exactly what skills should be developed to ensure a successful academic transition. You can complete the program in one or two semesters, depending on your current level of proficiency, while students are able to concurrently enroll in academic courses in levels 4, 5 and 6.

The six levels of intensive English training provided by the ELI are designed to get students to a level that meets admission requirements for both undergraduate and graduate programs. This is achieved through first-class teaching with dedicated TESOL-trained instructors in intimate learning sessions. Full-time ELI students receive 18-22 hours per week of English instruction, allowing them to fully engage in the learning process and gain practice through their studies to feel confident in engaging with native speakers.

In addition to academics, the program offers cultural activities and field trips on and off campus. Cultural immersion is widely recognised as one of the best, and most rapid ways to pick up a new language. Speaking the language every day will ensure you see marked improvement in your ability to converse, and with it, you will notice a considerable boost in confidence.

When surrounded by the language they wish to learn, students quickly gain confidence functioning in society using their newly-acquired expertise, widening their vocabulary by interacting in everyday conversation. ELI maximizes this learning avenue by ensuring students are exposed to a broad range of cultural activities, field trips and guest speakers.

Successful completion of the ELI learning course not only improves your language skills, but opens up a whole world of opportunity and acts as the launchpad into an exciting academic career in one of the many exceptional degree courses offered by Millersville.

Undergraduate degrees, of which there are over 100, are split into three schools – the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Science and Technology – and cover an incredibly broad discipline portfolio.

Millersville is well-known for the quality of its degrees, earning a place as a top destination for teacher education, while ranking in the number one spot in “Your degree will earn you the most from these colleges” list, published on CNNMoney.com, for graduates with an education degree.

The University’s teaching staff is made up of highly experienced educators, with approximately 98 percent of full-time Faculty holding doctoral-level degrees.

“At Millersville, excellence in teaching and learning is our highest priority,” says Dr. Mike Jackson, Dean of the College of Science and Technology. “Our departments have a long history of providing students with the depth and breadth of education needed for success.”

By mastering English through the ELI, you will also have the chance to engage in the many meaningful community outreach programs the university runs through its Civic and Community Engagement initiative.

The program works to provide opportunities for students to use their newfound knowledge in finding solutions to challenges within both the local and global communities. You can see your education being put to good use and gain valuable experience through engaging with American communities, an opportunity you may not have had without the boost of the ELI learning course.

Learning English through the ELI will not only allow you to enrol in first-rate higher education intuitions such as Millersville itself, but will also increase your communication confidence and open up a whole world of literature, pop culture, business, and experiences you otherwise might not have had. Programs like those offered through the ELI help you bridge the gap to academic excellence, inspiring you to tackle the existing language barrier while easing the transition into your brand-new student life.

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