Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

English Language Center

Susan M. Gass, Director

The English Language Center, founded in 1961, serves the international student population who often need support and additional English instruction prior to beginning an academic program and during the early stages of their programs. It is also a support unit for the broader community given the numerous issues that arise when providing instruction to international students. English language skills without continuing their academic work at Michigan State University.  For information about the University English language proficiency requirements, refer to the statements on International Student Admission in the Undergraduate Education and International Student Admission in the Graduate Education sections of this catalog.

The instructional services of the Center are utilized by international students (1) who have been provisionally admitted to an MSU degree program with insufficient English language proficiency, (2) who plan to apply for admission to MSU degree programs after they have demonstrated English language proficiency, and (3) who do not plan to apply for admission to degree programs but who want to improve their English language skills.  In addition to providing English language instruction, the English Language Center is responsible for evaluating the English language proficiency of persons whose native language is not English.  Additionally, the English Language Center screens all international teaching assistants to ensure appropriate English language speaking abilities. 

The English Language Center offers both part– and full–time English language instructional programs.  The part–time program consists of individual courses, each of which focuses on reading, oral skills, or writing.  The full–time program consists of course work, involves daily instruction integrating grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

The English Language Center also 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.

The English Language Center sponsors international institutes, conferences, and symposia on second language acquisition and second language teaching.

The English Language Center is closely connected to the Master of Arts degree program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, and the Second Language Studies 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.