English Language Center

The English Language Center (ELC), established in 1961, serves the English language needs of MSU’s international students, scholars and visitors. In particular, the ELC serves two types of students: those admitted directly for intensive English study and those provisionally admitted who need to take intensive English courses in order to meet minimum language requirements. Currently, the ELC is housed in the College of Arts and Letters with 25 full time faculty, a number of graduate students, and a professional staff. All of the faculty and staff have many years of teaching and administrative experience in country and abroad.

Our students and partners come from all over the world. We have students who take multiple semesters with us and we have partners who collaborate on a wide-variety of projects. Some of our partnerships have celebrated ten years or more together. We also have students who stay for a shorter time, even just a few weeks. Thanks to you all, we are a center that delivers on English language instruction and testing. If you need more information on any of our services, courses, or partnerships, please contact us. 

The ELC serves the overall university by providing a range of testing services, including Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK), a nationally-recognized test of spoken English proficiency that is published by ETS, the Educational Testing Service and International Teaching Assistant Oral Interview (ITAOI), and a test for international students who wish to be teaching assistants at MSU. Besides its service to MSU, the ELC testing division has also gained recognition in the international arena, providing testing services to entities in China, Chile, Greece, the Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

Throughout the year, the English Language Center designs and conducts special programs for groups of persons who have English language learning goals other than those normally served through the part-time and full-time English language instructional programs. These programs combine cultural enrichment with language instruction. Some programs are sponsored jointly with academic units on campus and allow students to receive training in the discipline with a simultaneous focus on language.

ELC students share their experience circa 2012

As well as providing language training, the ELC has also been creating and delivering specially designed teacher training and professional programs for more than 20 years to governmental bodies, educational institutions, and private companies around the world. For example, the ELC has developed and provided ESL instruction to numerous Japanese, Korean and Chinese university students, business English and leadership training to Japanese corporate trainees for the last 8 years, and EFL Methodology training for K to 12 pre-service and in-service teachers from South Korea, Saudi Arabia, China and Panama. In addition to these programs, the ELC has also developed a teacher-training program that focuses on Young Adult Literature, which has been extremely successful with a number of US State Department groups from South America, Ukraine, and the Middle East. In addition to this successful program, the ELC has also designed courses in Medical English, Accounting English, and Business English for students from a variety of countries, and programming for the Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program.

The English Language Center sponsors international institutes, conferences, and symposia on second language acquisition and second language teaching, thereby serving as a focal point on campus for information about second language learning and teaching.

Later ELC Promotional video circa 2014

As a center in the College of Arts & Letters, the ELC is closely connected to the Master of Arts degree program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, and the Second Language Studies (SLS) Doctor of Philosophy program in the College of Arts and Letters. Students in those programs participate in the second language learning and teaching activities of the center. Additionally, the ELC is also associated and works closely with CAL units like the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA), the Writing Center, the Community Language School, and the Less-Commonly-Taught Language Program. These units share the same collaborative spirit within CAL, which fosters frequent collaboration and sharing of ideas.

ELC’s current promotional video circa 2016

Michigan State University

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University (MSU) is a research-intensive land-grant university that offers more than 200 programs of study for undergraduates and graduate students, taught by more than 5,000 academic faculty members in seventeen degree-granting colleges. About 50,000 students attend MSU, which is one of the leading universities in international research, education, and outreach programs.

According to Open Doors 2015, the annual report on international education, MSU is 8th in the nation in study abroad programs, sending about 3000 students to more than 275 locations on all seven continents, and places in the top ten of public universities for its number of international students. MSU has long been a national leader in attracting international students to its campus, with 15% international students from more than 130 different countries currently in attendance.

U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU

  • MSU is 33rd among the nation’s public universities
  • For the past 24 years, MSU has been the leader in the nation for graduate programs in elementary and secondary education
  • MSU is in the top 100 on the World University Rankings 2018 list published by Times Higher Education

Early ELC promotional video circa 1989