English Language Institute
Coming up short on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) does not have to hurt your dream of pursuing a degree in the United States.
Here at Lakeland College, we are proud of our comprehensive, affordable English Language Institute (ELI), a school within our school that will significantly strengthen your English language skills and prepare you for a rich, successful U.S. college experience.
Features of Lakeland’s ELI program include:
- 18 hours of English classes per week
- Classes in reading, writing, speaking, listening and U.S. culture
- The opportunity to earn college credits toward your future Lakeland College degree
- The chance to live and participate in activities with students from the U.S.
- Having a “Conversation Partner” (a native English speaker who will help you improve your English speaking skills)
- TOEFL/IELTS not being required to enter the program
- Start dates in January and August
Name: Yang Jiacheng
Hometown: Yantai, China
When Yang Jiacheng arrived from China two years ago, he was excited – but also a bit nervous.
“I knew if I could study here, I could achieve my dreams, but my English was not very good,” Yang says. “I was afraid to speak English with Americans.”
Now, thanks in part to a strong semester at the on-campus English Language Institute, Yang speaks confidently and with ease. His friendly smile and approachable demeanor fit right in with Lakeland’s culture.
“The people are nice to me here,” says Yang, a senior who’s majoring in chemistry and minoring in math. “I am comfortable. The environment is good. All of the professors treat me extremely well. When I have academic questions, I go to their office and they are always very patient with me.”
During his semester as an ELI student, Yang learned English grammar, conversation and reading and studied American culture. He quickly took an interest in Lakeland’s sports teams, and he enjoys the food.
“It was a good way for me to understand American ways,” says Yang of the ELI, adding that he benefitted greatly from being paired up with an American “Conversation Partner” through the ELI. “ELI is a good program and everyone helped me a lot.”
“The ELI helped him make the transition linguistically and culturally to American academic life,” says Tim Fojtik, director of the English Language Institute. “In the ELI, we do our best to prepare students to develop not only necessary skills, but also the necessary habits to succeed academically here. Yang followed the program perfectly, and I think it prepared him well.”
Prior to coming to Wisconsin, Yang studied at the East China Institute of Technology, a sister school to Lakeland. While improving his English skills at the ELI, he got to know faculty members in Lakeland’s natural sciences division and sat in on some chemistry classes just to learn how they are conducted.
Now Yang is thriving here. Not only is he on track to graduate in the spring; he’s also a tutor in chemistry and math and recently completed Lakeland’s highly regarded Lakeland Undergraduate Research Experience (LURE) program. He smiles proudly when talking about the poster in Chase Hall that commemorates his LURE project on biodiesel fuel.
After graduation, Yang plans to attend Ph.D. graduate school, possibly at UW-Madison or in California. Someday, he’d like to become a professor in the U.S. What a great goal for a young man who, just a couple of short years ago, wasn’t comfortable speaking English.
Take a clear path to college
After completing your ELI studies, you will re-take the TOEFL. But the score you earn will not determine your future. Instead, if you fail to meet the required score, Lakeland will evaluate you based on ELI classroom grades, an interview with you in English, a timed writing exercise and ELI teacher recommendations. An overwhelming number of ELI graduates advance directly to Lakeland College!