About the ELI

Our Vision

To serve as the primary resource for knowledge, expertise, and best practices in all aspects of English as an Additional Language teaching and learning for all members of the University of Chicago community

Our Mission

Through academic, professional, and intercultural programming, the English Language Institute supports individuals for whom English is an additional language at the University of Chicago.

What We Do

The English Language Institute (ELI) empowers University of Chicago students and scholars who speak English as an additional language to bring their proficiency and confidence to new levels.

The ELI serves students and researchers at all proficiency and academic levels—from undergraduates to postdoctoral scholars—and at every school and division of the University. Part of the Division of the Humanities and UChicagoGRAD, the ELI works closely with University faculty, students, and administrators to ensure that curricula are relevant, challenging, and tailored to the unique needs of University of Chicago affiliates.

Our Values


We are recognized by the Provost’s Office as the single authority for English as an Additional Language to members of the University of Chicago community.

Chicago as Classroom™

We utilize student-centered, localized, and authentic tasks and materials that support practical language acquisition.


We provide students with the communicative tools and intercultural knowledge to achieve their goals at UChicago and beyond.

Engaging Curriculum

We believe that some of the best learning happens with materials and tasks that are relevant and engaging.


We strive to make content and knowledge accessible both in and out of the classroom.

Intercultural Communication

We create opportunities for meaningful interaction among people from diverse cultural backgrounds.


We engage with continuing developments and innovative trends in language pedagogy.


We embrace the power of change that can be achieved through language learning and intercultural experience.


We actively participate in university initiatives with the goal of ensuring equal opportunities for the international community.


We insist on the equal treatment of all cultures and peoples.

I took Spoken Communication: Fluency Building because I want to better understand people when they are talking and know how to answer questions in a proper way. My instructor shared with us a lot of useful skills in English speaking, I met a lot of friends there, and I enjoyed myself very much. If you are new to UChicago and want to learn local English, you should come and take this interesting course.”



I took Spoken Communication: Conversation in Context because I wanted to find ways to communicate better and to think more like an American in order to be better understood. My instructor was wonderful and always had an answer for my questions; if you follow his advice, you will be very happy with the results. I definitely feel more confident after taking this class.”


Lecturer, Romance Languages

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