English Language Institute (University of Michigan) Records

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English Language Institute (University of Michigan) records

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger English Language Institute (University of Michigan) record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the collection's online finding aid.

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

University of Michigan department responsible in part for the development of materials for the teaching of English as a second language. The English Language Institute records contain correspondence, notes from staff meetings, publications, reports, photographs, and administrative records, especially records of South East Asia Regional English Program and the Ford-Japan Project. The records also include files of directors Charles C. Fries and Robert Lado and administrator George E. Luther. Also includes photos of Institute staff, students, and activities, including international students at the University of Michigan and the institute's South East Asia Regional English Project (1957-1965).

The English Language Institute (ELI) was founded by Charles C. Fries in 1941 as the first full-time intensive English Language Institute in the United States and was at the forefront of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching and ESL teacher training. ELI's special interest and involvement in language testing began more than fifty years ago with the work of Robert Lado. Since the early 1950s, ELI has been developing and administering various language tests, some designed for use within the University of Michigan and others for use nationally and internationally. By the late 1950s, the ELI had international language programs in countries on five continents. One of the most extensive was the Southeast Asian Regional English Project (SEAREP), with a budget of nearly two million dollars under contract to the United States Agency for International Development (AID). During the 1960s and 70s, ELI developed experimental teaching methods, materials, and teacher training programs to aid in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language. Large-scale research and development of teaching materials including textbooks and audiotapes were produced and marketed through the University of Michigan Press.

In 1986, the ELI adopted a new mission: to provide a full range of courses in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) for non-native speaking students, staff, visiting scholars, and faculty at the University of Michigan and to carry out relevant research. The new courses were designed to help non-native speakers enhance their linguistic and communicative skills to become effective, fully participating members of the academic community both during their campus career and beyond. In support of this new mission in the university, the ELI has engaged in research and development across a number of key areas, including ESP instruction and particularly task-based instruction, applied to discourse analysis, language assessment, applications of audio and video technology within language instruction, and adult second language acquisition.

At present ELI has forged links with the world, providing research facilities and consultation for visiting scholars from China, Tadzhikistan, South Africa, Sweden, and Brazil, to name a few. The Morley Scholarship Fund, established under director John Swales, has provided financial support for several researchers. The testing program has also expanded from two to three overseas testing operations, and on campus the ELI offers thirty courses at the graduate and undergraduate level for students, researchers, visiting scholars, and university staff in a variety of subjects. Other offerings include International Graduate Student Instructor spring and summer workshops for LS&A and Engineering, speaking and writing clinics, and pre-sessional summer programs in EAP: English for Business Studies, and English for Legal Studies. The ELI website can be found at http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli/.

Please note:

Copyright has been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan.

Access to digitized sound recordings may be limited to the reading room of the Bentley Historical Library, located on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.

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