English Language Institute Overview
The English Language Institute (ELI) at George Mason University was established in 1981. Its mission is to provide quality instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) that will develop the language and academic skills, as well as the cultural awareness needed for the academic, personal and/or professional purposes of its students. In addition to classroom instruction, students receive a wide variety of support services designed to facilitate their transition to life and study at a college or university in the United States.
George Mason University is located on 677 beautifully wooded acres in Fairfax, Virginia, just 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. The campus provides a quiet, safe place to study. An easy-to-use transportation system provides access to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with its many attractions.
Fall and Spring semesters are 15 weeks; Summer term is 10 weeks. Full-time students are in class 20 hours per week. Students with appropriate placement test scores or ELI faculty recommendation may be permitted to enroll in academic courses on a part-time basis. Optional workshops are given frequently and students can work independently in a dedicated, up-to-date computer lab. The ELI's Global Experience Project allows ELI students to spend at least one hour a week in conversation with American students at George Mason.
Five levels of instruction are offered: high-beginner, low-intermediate, intermediate, high-intermediate, and advanced. Average class size is 12-13 students, and, whenever possible, not more than 15 students are enrolled per class. Additionally, a special series of courses is offered to advanced level undergraduate students to ease their transition into academic courses at the university. Another special series, Preparation for Graduate Study, is offered to advanced level graduate students to ease their transition into graduate programs at the university.
ELI faculty are all experienced professionals with a minimum of a master's degree in the Teaching of English as a Second Language, Linguistics, or an equivalent field.
Students come from an average of 25 countries each semester. Approximately 58% are from Asia, 9% from Southeast Asia, 20% from the Middle East, 7% from South America, 2% from Europe, and 4% from other areas.