Programs | English Language Institute


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The English Language Institute (ELI) offers seven-week courses year round, transition courses in Fall and Spring terms, and special short-term programs upon request. You can learn more about the seven-week courses, transition courses, and short-term programs from previous years here. However, the faculty and staff of the ELI are happy to work with international schools and agents to create additional programs tailored to meet student needs.

Seven-Week Program

The ELI has five seven-week terms each year. To find specific term dates, please visit the ELI calendar. All ELI students take classes in the seven-week program. Students choose how many terms they want to study based on their academic and personal goals as well as their visa status. In seven-week courses:

  • Students study core English skills, including Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, and Grammar
  • Admission is flexible, so students can enter the ELI at the beginning of any term
  • ELI Transition students can take specific undergraduate classes while finishing their ELI program

Transition Program

What is the ELI Transition Program?

The ELI Transition Program is for students who want to enter a four-year degree program at Pacific University after they finish their ELI program. In the Transition Program, students receive specialized ESL support while they move from ELI courses to undergraduate courses. This program allows ELI Transition students to take freshman classes, for Pacific University credit, while taking advanced level ELI classes. This program prepares students to succeed in their undergraduate program at Pacific University. There are several types of classes that are part of the ELI Transition Program:

  • ESL Classes | These are academic ESL classes for to help students develop their core English skills.
  • ELI Transition Classes | These are college preparatory classes that teach students how to succeed in an American-style university. Students learn how to write college essays, listen to lectures, speak about academic topics, read academic texts, and use learning strategies in undergraduate classes.
  • Undergraduate Transition Classes | In these classes, ELI Transition students attend a regular undergraduate course chosen by the ELI. An ELI instructor attends classes with the ELI Transition students and meets with them after class to guide them through undergraduate assignments, projects, and to help these students better understand the lectures.
  • Regular Undergraduate Classes | In these classes, ELI Transition students attend a regular undergraduate course, which they choose themselves. The student is responsible for attending class, completing assignments, and taking exams independently.

Who can join the ELI Transition Program?

Students who score TOEFL iBT 53 (PBT 475, IELTS 5.0) or more can enroll in the ELI Transition Program.

The ELI Transition Program is divided into three levels:

Level 1  

Minimum TOEFL iBT 53 (PBT 475, IELTS 5.0) Score

  • 2 ESL Classes
  • 1 ELI Transition Class
  • Earn 6 credits (applied to language proficiently) for ESL classes after successful completion of program
  • Earn 3 credits for each ELI Transition class successfully completed*

Level 2

Minimum TOEFL iBT 61 (PBT 500, IELTS 5.5) Score

  • 1 ESL Class
  • 1 ELI Transition Class
  • 1 Undergraduate Transition Class
  • Earn 4 credits for each Undergraduate Transition class successfully completed*

Level 3

Minimum TOEFL iBT 70 (PBT 525, IELTS 6.5) Score

  • 1 ESL Class
  • 1 ELI Transition Class
  • 1 Undergraduate Transition Class
  • 1 Regular Undergraduate Class
  • Earn 4 credits for each regular undergraduate class successfully completed*

*Students must earn a C grade or higher to successfully complete a class and earn credit.

How do students finish the ELI Transition Program?

When ELI Transition students achieve a TOEFL iBT 79 (PBT 550, IELTS 6.5) score, they can leave the ELI Transition Program and take undergraduate classes full-time. ELI Transition student can get up to 20 Pacific University credits in the ELI Transition Program. These credits can be used toward graduation at Pacific University.

Short-Term Programs

The English Language Institute can plan short-term programs for groups who want a customized learning experience. These special programs focus on an academic area or a skill, such as TOEFL preparation, Business English, or American Language & Culture. Short-term programs combine classes and weekly trips, and they typically include:

  • 12-15 hours in the classroom
  • Chaperoned field trips to popular places in the Pacific Northwest, such as the Oregon coast, the Columbia Gorge, Multnomah Falls, the Tillamook State Forest, and downtown Portland
  • Possible extended day trips, such as the Oregon State Fair, white-water rafting on the Deschutes River, and Portland Trailblazers or Seattle Mariners game 

If you are interested in enrolling a group of students in one of these special programs or working with the ELI to create a new program, please email In your email, please provide (a) special program needs, (b) tentative dates, and (c) potential number of students.

American Language & Culture Program

The ELI American Language & Culture Program is a special program for groups with students who want to:

  • Improve their English communication skills
  • Practice everyday vocabulary and learn common phrases in English
  • Better understand American people and culture
  • Combine classes with trips and activities about American Language & Culture

The American Language & Culture classes:

  • Are located at Pacific University's Forest Grove campus
  • Include many activities, such as topic talks, group discussions, informal presentations, cultural readings, and writing practice for everyday English
  • Can include practice and materials for academic English
  • Give students many opportunities to practice their new English skills on and off campus
  • Can include day field trips that are about topics and activities presented in class

International Business

The ELI's English for International Business Program is a special program for groups with students who want to: 

  • Improve their professional English skills
  • Practice skills for a work environment by doing activities based on business themes
  • Develop business vocabulary for meetings, telephone & email conversations, and talking with other professionals
  • Improve presentation skills and technical writing
  • Learn more about American companies & business practices

The International Business Program classes:

  • Are located at Pacific University's Forest Grove campus
  • Provide many speaking and writing practice for business situations
  • Include independent projects with instructor guidance so students can target relevant topics and English skills for International Business
  • Include extra activities related to business, such as guest speakers and trips to local businesses
  • May include meetings with major US businesses; Nike, Adidas, Intel, Starbucks, Columbia Sports, REI, and Microsoft have headquarters in this region