The English Language Center (ELC) at Michigan State University offers a full ESL program. The ELC’s primary goal is to help international students develop proficiency in and comprehension of written and spoken English.

The Mission of the Michigan State University English Language Center is to:

  • Empower international students to become full participants in the university community through excellent instruction in language, cultural awareness, and study skills;
  • Assist international students with their academic and non-academic needs and connect them to other MSU resources;
  • Serve MSU faculty and departments, helping them meet the needs of their international students and contributing to a more inclusive community;
  • Provide quality programs for learners with specialized English needs and goals;
  • Develop and conduct high quality English language proficiency assessment;
  • Contribute to the advancement of and provide leadership for the TESOL profession.

Vision and Plans

MSU is a World Grant institution that fosters a culture of global openness. The ELC embraces this mission through its teaching and testing initiatives which support MSU students and the MSU community at large. The ELC exports its expertise through its international testing, online initiatives, and programs for foreign universities and governments. As a unit, we are dedicated to serving the international student population who, because English is not their first language, often need support and additional English instruction prior to beginning their academic programs and during the early months and even years of their programs. It is also a support unit for the broader community given the numerous issues that arise from the large number of international students. In that capacity, the ELC enriches the educational experiences of domestic and international students and of the entire MSU community.

We have established numerous goals for the next 3-5 years, among which are

1. Support the international student community through:

a. Globalizing the campus

Continue our successful mentorship program bringing 1) ELC (pre-matriculation) students, 2) domestic students, and 3) advanced undergraduate international students. The project “Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity Through International Student Mentorships” makes uses of triads who complete a series of tasks designed to help the provisionally-admitted students prepare for future academic success and integrate students into the MSU community in sustained and meaningful ways

b. Providing support services for international students.

Serve as a leader on campus to support the unmet needs of the international student population and the needs of departments with large groups of international students.

2. Provide leadership to the state of Michigan and beyond in the field of ESL.

The ELC’s core faculty are deeply committed teachers and have extensive experience working with international students. Our collective expertise allows us to provide national and regional leadership and consultancy activities.

3. Promote intercultural awareness

We currently work collaboratively and will continue in this vein with many units on campus to support and recruit diversity in the student body (and to promote intercultural awareness on the part of international and domestic students). We will do this through providing service learning opportunities for ELC students through collaborations with local schools.

4. Export expertise and increase national/international reputation

  • Testing. The ELC has been working collaboratively with American College of Greece in Athens and Anatolia College in northern Greece.  The ELC has also worked with the Italian Ministry of Education and the US Embassy in Rome to meet requirements for testing in Italy.
  • Diversification of activities is a major goal and we continue to seek opportunities to expand the offerings outside of Greece.
  • Development of a web-based version of our own internal test which can be used at universities in the U.S.

5. Reverse study abroad initiatives

The ELC pursues various types of special programs bringing international students to campus for short non-degree programs

Current examples include:

a. Programming for matriculated students (e.g., LLM students in the College of Law; Masters in Accounting Preparation)

b. Co-coordinating specialized programming (e.g., Institute for Global Health; Fisheries and Wildlife; American Semester Abroad; Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities)

6. Online initiatives

The ELC continues to develop on-line training modules for a variety of audiences both internal to and external to MSU.  The ELC also offers the MSUELT, EAP exams, and ITA tests online with remote proctoring.