Classroom Enviroment

At ELI, you will receive the time and attention you deserve.

For more than 20 years, ELI has provided full-time classroom instruction in all skill areas. Students will learn Integrated Reading, Writing & Vocabulary and Integrated Speaking, Listening, Note taking and Grammar. Two-hour per week elective classes are also offered each semester. Students can start with a basic understanding of the English language and quickly progress to advanced levels. You will take two required core classes and an optional elective each term.

Program Features

  • You will be engaged in 18-20 hours per week of instructional classes
  • ELI Classes are generally small to ensure individualized attention
  • 4 levels of instruction from low-beginning to advanced
  • Instruction is student-centered and interactive
  • Classes are supplemented with opportunities for students to improve their English outside of the classroom
  • Easy to build strong relationships with your instructors and learn in a safe and fun environment! 

Term Calendar

You can find detailed session dates on the academic calendar ELI program course calendar closely follows University of Montana academic calendar, with two semesters in one academic year. ELI semesters are broken into Session I and Session II, each approximately 8 weeks long.

Placement and Levels

ELI courses are divided into 4 levels from low-beginning to advanced. To support your quick progress, each level may be completed in one session. This system allows you to move through two levels each semester and graduate from ELI quicker. You will be placed into a level of instruction based on your performance on your ELI placement exam. 

To advance to the next level, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency of at least 80% of the Student Learning Outcomes (SLCs) at the end of each session. SLCs are explained to you during the beginning of each course. 

For more information, please see the Academic Information section of the Student Guide

Core Classes

As a student, you will enroll in two required core classes, plus an optional elective, each term. You can expect 18-20 hours of classroom instruction per week. 

Classes are diveded into 4 levels according to language proficicency. Core classes include learning and practicing reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking, listening, note taking, and grammar. When you reach Level 6, you will have the opportunity to apply for the Bridge program to help you slowly intergrate into the university academic enviroment. 

teacher in the classroom


Two hours per week are dedicated to optional elective courses offered each session. These courses focus on a variety of topics such as cross-cultural communication, pronunciation, non-fiction reading, TOEFL preparation and study skills.

TOEFL Preparation Course

Welcome to the TOEFL Preparation Course!  The focus of this course is to improve your understanding of and practice for the paper based Test of English as a Foreign Language (known as the PBT or ITP).  In-class activities will include test-taking strategies, focused practice exercises, error correction, vocabulary building, and practice tests.  We will also do some practice exercises for the internet based TOEFL (IBT).  Whether or not you plan to take the TOEFL test, the listening and reading strategies as well as the grammar and vocabulary taught in this course will help you to increase your command of academic English as a second language.

Students will have the opportunity to take two institutional TOEFL tests this semester and have the scores reported to the University of Montana and its affiliates. One test is provided to ELI students free of charge; if you want to take both tests, you will need to pay a fee of approximately $50.