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International GSI Program

The English Language Institute’s Instructional Program for Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) offers a diverse range of resources tailored to GSI needs and goals.

The program includes courses, workshops, consulting services, clinics, tutoring, teaching observations, and non-traditional alternatives when appropriate. 

Ongoing collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) and the Language Resource Center (LRC) provide a comprehensive professional development program for current and prospective GSIs.

Important Note for Summer 2022

NOTE TO LSA DEPARTMENTS: ELI 994 will take place IN PERSON this Summer, July 20-August 9, 2022. For more information, please see below or contact ELI’s GSI Advisor Brenda Prouser Imber at Thank you.


The English Language Institute provides comprehensive advising to current and prospective GSIs in order to help them succeed in their instructional roles at the University of Michigan.

Prospective GSIs should contact the ELI’s GSI Advisor Brenda Prouser Imber to make an advising appointment on improving their oral English for GSI work, or for further information about the ELI’s GSI courses: (312-806-0082).


The English Language Institute offers a range of courses specifically-tailored to meet the needs of prospective and in-service GSIs at the University of Michigan. 

ELI 539 Pronunciation in GSI Contexts

10-week course

Permission of Instructor Required

Current and potential GSIs learn to control and monitor the individual pronunciation features that create challenges for listeners, while learning vocabulary structures and strategies that will help build effective discussion/lab section sessions, and productive office hour interactions. Additionally, the class will focus on:

  • Aspects of speaking important for instructors, such as paraphrasing
  • Developing a variety of instructional and check-in or comprehension questions
  • Learning how to use confirmation and clarification techniques to help build and repair interactions

This special course for current and prospective GSIs includes weekly videotaped practice in simulated labs, discussion classes, office hours and Q and A sessions.


ELI 580 Introduction to GSI Work

10-week course

This course is primarily for international GSIs outside LSA. The course focuses on effective strategies and language GSIs need to succeed in teaching contexts such as delivering interactive lectures, managing group work, giving lab instructions, leading discussions, and conducting office hours.

Participants learn how to:

  • Ask more effective questions
  • Respond to students in class
  • Appropriately clarify as needed
  • Develop an awareness of U-M undergraduates’ classroom expectations

Four or five practice teaching sessions on topics from participants’ own fields are videotaped, followed by self, peer, and instructor feedback.(2 credits)


ELI 581 GSI Communication Skills

Permission of Instructor Required

This course focuses on the communication skills international GSIs need to succeed as classroom or lab instructors. Participants expand their language skills in order to:

  • Engage in spontaneous and satisfying interactions with students in and outside of class
  • Develop interactive lectures and active learning in class
  • Understand and respond appropriately to students’ questions
  • Address student concerns during office hours

Activities include videotaped practice teaching exercises, classroom observations, office hour role-plays, and interviews. Participants also participate in discussions and observation, and analysis and practice of various classroom communication strategies using video and transcripts of U-M classes. 

Each participant creates an individual work plan in consultation with the instructor which addresses their classroom communication goals -- e.g. improving pronunciation, or ability to understand and respond to student questions. (1 credit)


ELI 584 GSI Seminar and Practicum

Permission of Instructor Required

This course supports international GSIs in their first GSI teaching assignment. The focus is on providing new GSIs with practical tools to help them become independent, reflective teachers. Participants learn to assess and increase their instructional effectiveness through the use of:

  • Instant Class Assessments
  • Early Feedback Surveys
  • Self-reflective writing
  • Problem-solving via peer discussions

The instructor serves as a consultant for participants’ individual discourse needs and provides language support through individual observations and meetings. 

Note: Successful completion of ELI 584 counts toward qualification for the University of Michigan GSI Teaching Certificate.  Find out more here. (1 credit)

GSI Speaking Clinic

The ELI GSI Speaking Clinic provides Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) with one-on-one coaching that supports them in their instructional roles. Participants are referred by ELI faculty following the Oral English Test (OET) or the completion of one of ELI's GSI courses. Participants may also be referred by their departments and GSI colleagues. No academic credit is awarded for GSI Speaking Clinic participation.

Make an appointment for the GSI Speaking Clinic here

For questions, contact

ELI 994

Summer 2022: ELI 994 will take place IN PERSON. Program dates are July 20- August 9, 2022.

ELI 994 College Teaching in the US: Pedagogy, Culture and Language

Graduate students from non-English-medium undergraduate universities who expect to assume graduate instructor duties in LSA departments in the next academic year must attend ELI 994, a course developed and conducted jointly by the University's English Language Institute (ELI) and the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).

International GSIs improve classroom communication skills and practice reflective teaching methods while, at the same time, receive language and teaching feedback from peers, undergraduates, and instructors. Participants increase awareness and control of the language of the classroom, explore current pedagogical theories, and practice a diverse array of teaching skills in a realistic classroom setting in front of current U-M undergraduates. Participants also learn about the University of Michigan’s diverse undergraduate population, campus culture, and resources. Course assignments include video-recorded practice teaching and feedback, office hour role-plays, and observations. Participants receive feedback from instructors, from experienced GSIs and GSMs, and from current U-M undergraduates. 

Winter Semester: In Winter, ELI 994 is a 10-week course for currently-enrolled GSIs in LSA. (2 credits) 

Summer Semester: In Summer, ELI 994 is a 3-week Intensive course for new LSA graduate students who are expected to teach in their first semester. (2 credits awarded in fall) 

Testing: ELI 994 participants are required to take the GSI OET after completion of the program. Test appointments are scheduled by participants’ department  during the two weeks following the end of the ELI 994 program. The GSI OET test is administered by Michigan Language Assessment. Click here for more information.


ELI 994 is required for all LSA graduate students who:

  • did not receive an undergraduate degree from a U.S. college or university, or
  • did not earn an undergraduate degree in a university in which English was the medium of instruction.

Questions? Please contact ELI’s GSI Advisor Brenda Prouser Imber at