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Graduate Courses

The English Language Institute (ELI) offers a wide range of credit-bearing courses for graduate students at the University of Michigan. Courses are designed for international students who are seeking to improve their English in order to achieve academic and professional goals. ELI classes are small, interactive, and provide students with extensive one-on-one feedback. 

  • Students should register via Wolverine Access
  • Open to graduate students in all schools
  • No extra course fees -- included in full-time tuition
  • Courses are credit-bearing
  • Graded Pass/Fail
  • Grades appear on transcript but do not affect GPA

 

Writing

ELI 521 - Writing for Academic Purposes I

In this course you will learn the organizational patterns and strategies graduate students must master in order to write cohesive, coherent and convincing academic papers. This course may be right for you if you are a first or second year graduate student who is writing extensively in English for the first time, or if you are farther along in your graduate studies and are just beginning to write.

Course activities include:

  • 4-6 short writing assignments, each highlighting one key element of a longer academic paper, such as introductions, extended definitions, process descriptions, data analyses, and commentaries
  • Revision of written assignments based on the instructor feedback
  • Online discussions
  • Peer review
  • Online versions of textbook exercises

(1 credit)

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ELI 522 - Research Paper Writing

Note: This advanced writing course is intended for students who have completed ELI 521 Academic Writing I or who have some significant experience as graduate writers in English.

In this course, you will refine and polish the skills you need in order to write research papers and master’s theses. You will improve the flow and coherence of your writing and learn about expectations regarding proper citation of sources. You will receive extensive feedback on your writing from your instructor and peers. This course may be right for you if you are a graduate student who has some significant experience writing academic English and have begun writing longer academic texts for classes or for publication. Students often take this course after taking ELI 521 or before taking ELI 620. 

Course activities include:

  • Analysis of academic texts in your discipline to identify writing conventions you need to master
  • 4-6 short writing assignments, culminating in a final research paper or project
  • Revision of written assignments based on peer and instructor feedback
  • Tasks from the textbook with accompanying class discussions
  • Small group and partner activities

(2 credits)

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ELI 620 - Dissertation Writing and Writing for Publication I

Permission of Instructor Required

This course is designed for PhD students who are engaged in a major writing project as a part of their program. It focuses on the academic genres that PhD students are expected to produce, such as:

  • Papers for publication (abstracts, introductions, and discussions)
  • Conference abstracts
  • Manuscript reviews as well as correspondence with journal editors and reviewers

Participants develop the skills they need to handle complex writing tasks such as creating a research space, imposing order on previous work, maintaining a clear, consistent argument, writing to different audiences, and negotiating knowledge claims. Integral to the course are regular one-on-one consultations with the instructor. 

(2 credits)

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ELI 621 - Dissertation Writing and Writing for Publication II

Permission of Instructor Required

Prerequisite: ELI 620 or Instructor Permission

In this course, PhD students who have completed ELI 620 and are engaged in a major writing project as a part of their program continue refining their writing in the academic genres that they are expected to produce, such as:

  • Papers for publication (abstracts, introductions, and discussions)
  • Book reviews
  • Dissertation proposals
  • Dissertation acknowledgements
  • Texts needed for the job market

Participants refine their ability to handle complex writing tasks such as creating a research space, imposing order on previous work, maintaining a clear, consistent argument, writing to different audiences, and negotiating knowledge claims. Integral to the course are regular one-on-one consultations with the instructor.

(2 credits)

Grammar, Vocabulary, and Reading

ONLINE: ELI 510 - Academic Reading and Vocabulary Acquisition

In this course, you will develop strategies to read texts in your discipline more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. You will learn to read more analytically and critically and improve the range and sophistication of your vocabulary. Some students choose to work on the pronunciation of key discipline-specific terms. This course may be ideal for you if you are a busy graduate student with a heavy reading load. The course is customizable, which means that you can select the most useful course activities for you, with guidance from your instructor. For more information, please contact the instructor: pbogart@umich.edu

Course activities include:

  • Online discussions
  • Application of new reading strategies to reading you’re already doing
  • Exploration of vocabulary self-study websites and apps
  • Short presentations or video blog posts
  • Short written summaries and critiques
  • Vocabulary feedback on writing you’re doing for other courses or in your research
  • Optional in-person meetings with the instructor and other students

(2 credits)

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ELI 512 - Spoken and Written Grammar in Academic Contexts

In this course, you will learn to make effective grammar choices to express yourself clearly and concisely and to connect your ideas logically and smoothly in a range of situations. You will become more aware of grammar usage typical in your own academic discipline. You will learn how to use helpful online tools to discover which words or phrases are frequently used in a variety of contexts. You will also identify and improve some of your own grammar trouble spots. This course may be ideal for you if you are a graduate student wishing to learn how to express yourself more clearly and accurately both on and off campus.

Course activities include:

  • In-class and online discussions
  • Analysis of spoken language and written texts
  • Verb tense analysis
  • Clause combining and punctuation exercises
  • Review the English article system
  • Speaking games and role-plays
  • Error identification and editing

(1 credit)

Speaking, Listening, and Culture

ELI 531 - Language and Communication

10-week course offered in the Fall term. Meets once a week for 90 minutes.

In this highly-interactive course, you will increase your fluency, comfort, and confidence communicating with different types of English speakers in both formal and informal situations. You will learn to express your ideas more clearly and fluently, respond effectively to opposing viewpoints, and clarify misunderstandings. This course is ideal for you if you are a graduate student in your first year and are living and studying in an English speaking environment for the first time. It might also be right for you if you are a more advanced student but have limited opportunities to use English in your daily life. 

Course activities include:

  • In-class discussions

  • Online discussions

  • Office hour role plays

  • Listening assignments

  • Interviews with community members

 (1 credit)

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ELI 532 - Understanding Spoken English

13-week course offered in the Fall and Winter terms. Meets once a week for 90 minutes.

In this course, you will develop the interactive speaking skills you need to effectively participate in seminar-style discussions and other formal group settings. You might consider this course if you are a relatively advanced, comfortable English speaker and want to continue to refine your ability to hold your own in challenging, dynamic speaking situations. Students often select this course after completing ELI 531 Language and Communication, ELI 538 Pronunciation in Context, and ELI 544 Academic Presentations. 

Course activities include:

  • practice using rhetorical strategies in multiple discussion formats, with feedback and evaluation

  • active listening exercises to participate in rapid exchanges

  • 2-minute talks (professional self-introductions)

  • analyze recorded language used for rhetorical strategies

  • 4-6 problem-solution discussions led by Instructor or fellow students

  • improv techniques to develop fluency 

(1 credit)

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ELI 533 - Interactive Listening and Communication

10-week course offered in the Winter term. Meets once a week for 90 minutes.

In this course, you will increase your confidence communicating in English in formal and informal speaking situations.You will learn to participate effectively in seminar discussions, lab sessions, group projects, and casual conversations on campus. You might consider this course if you are a graduate student in your first or second year and feel you could benefit from additional English speaking practice. Students often take this course after completing ELI 531 Language and Communication or ELI 532 Understanding Spoken English.

Course activities include:

  • Small and large-group discussions

  • Office hour role plays

  • Listening assignments

  • Interviews of community members

  • Student video project 

(1 credit)

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ELI 534 - Discussion and Oral Argumentation

13-week course offered in the Fall and Winter terms. Meets once a week for 90 minutes.

In this course, you will develop the interactive speaking skills you need to effectively participate in seminar-style discussions and other formal group settings. You might consider this course if you are a relatively advanced, comfortable English speaker and want to continue to refine your ability to hold your own in challenging, dynamic speaking situations. Students often select this course after completing ELI 531 Language and Communication, ELI 538 Pronunciation in Context, and ELI 544 Academic Presentations. 

Course activities include:

  • practice using rhetorical strategies in multiple discussion formats, with feedback and evaluation

  • active listening exercises to participate in rapid exchanges

  • 2-minute talks (professional self-introductions)

  • analyze recorded language used for rhetorical strategies

  • 4-6 problem-solution discussions led by Instructor or fellow students

  • improv techniques to develop fluency 

(1 credit)

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ELI 544 - Academic Presentations

Offered in the Fall and Winter terms. Meets once a week for two hours.

In this course you will learn to prepare and deliver successful presentations with organized content, smooth delivery, effective visuals, and appropriate nonverbal cues. You will also learn how to handle questions from the audience and manage interruptions. 

You might consider this course if you are a relatively fluent English speaker and are in a field in which frequent presentations are required. This course might also be right for you if you are preparing to go on the job market or present papers at academic conferences.

Students often take this course after Taking ELI 533 Interactive Listening and Communication, ELI 534 Discussion and Oral Argumentation, or ELI 538 Pronunciation in Context. 

Course activities include:

  • 4-5  individual presentations which are video recorded for feedback and analysis

  • Using rubrics to self-assess and assess peers’ presentations

  • Work in small groups to collaborate and provide feedback on presentation preparation

  • Analysis of transcripts of academic presentations for language and discourse features

  • Self-reflections

  • Exercises to develop strategies for recognizing your grammatical mistakes and correcting them

(2 Credits)

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ELI 560 - Language and Culture in Context: Community-Engaged Learning for International Graduate Students

Offered in the Fall term and Winter term.

Gain a greater understanding of US society and culture through an examination of local issues such as education, poverty, homelessness, and food access + insecurity. Improve your language skills through interactions with guest speakers, class discussions and preparation for placements in local community organizations.

(2 credits)

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ELI 561 - Community-Engaged Language Practicum for International Graduate Students

Offered in the Winter term.

Practice your English in real-life interactions and learn about US culture firsthand by interacting with members of the local community of diverse backgrounds through a placement with a local community organization. Further hone your language skills in classroom discussions and written reflections on your experiences.

(2 credits)

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ELI 601 - Speaking in Research Contexts

Offered in the Winter term. Meets once a week for two hours.

In this course, you will learn to talk about your research and career objectives with different audiences and to present yourself as an aspiring professional in academic and social situations. You will receive extensive feedback on your speaking in regular one-on-one consultations with the instructor, as well as from your peers and other visiting speakers and professionals. You might consider this course, even if you are a native speaker of English, if you are an advanced PhD or master’s level student and are relatively comfortable speaking English, but feel you could benefit from additional practice. Students often take this course if they have previously taken ELI 534 Discussion and Oral Argumentation or ELI 544 Academic Presentations or if they are preparing to go on the job market.

Course activities include:

  • 4-5  individual presentations which are video recorded for feedback and analysis

  • Using rubrics to self-assess and assess peers’ presentations

  • Practice job interviews (live or skype) with an outside interviewer

  • Practice social talk in a simulated conference mixer with outside attendees

  • Learning about etiquette in the workplace and socializing outside work

(2 credits)

Pronunciation

ELI 536 - Pronunciation I

Mini-course offered in 7-week and 10-week versions
In this course, you will improve your English pronunciation so that others can understand you easily when you speak. We will review the English sound system, practice difficult sounds (like /r/ /l/ and the many confusing vowel sounds), and look at how to combine sounds in words, phrases, and short sentences with effective stress and intonation. You will identify your own individual pronunciation issues. This course is ideal for you if you feel your pronunciation negatively affects your ability to communicate with others. It may also be right for you if you would like to gain a more thorough understanding of the fundamentals of the English sound system.

Class activities include:

  • Listening exercises to identify pronunciation features in real speech (e.g. TED Talks)
  • Mimicking and practicing these features
  • Video-recorded pronunciation practice with self-evaluation 
  • Practice of pronunciation features in conversation 
  • Introduction to a range of web-based self-study tools 
  • Informal presentations
  • Developing discipline-specific pronunciation word list for your field of study
  • Keeping a journal of real-life pronunciation experiences

(1 credit)

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ELI 537 - Pronunciation II

10-session course. Offered in Winter.

In this course, you will improve your English pronunciation so that others can understand you more easily when you speak. We will review challenging English vowels and consonants, and you will identify your own individual pronunciation issues. We will also work on stress, rhythm, and intonation as well as look at the connection between pronunciation and grammatical accuracy. This course is ideal for you if you feel your pronunciation sometimes negatively affects your ability to communicate with others. Students often take this course after completing ELI 531 Language and Communication or ELI 532 Understanding Spoken English.

Class activities include:

  • Video-recorded pronunciation practice with self-evaluation 
  • Various pair and small group tasks targeting rhythm, intonation, and linking 
  • Short (2-3 min) presentations
  • 1-2 minute “elevator pitch” summary of research interests or career/academic goals 
  •  Role plays that focus on select grammar forms
  • Keeping a journal of real-life pronunciation experiences

(1 credit)

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ELI 538 - Pronunciation in Context

10-session course

In this course, you will improve your English pronunciation so that you can give clear, effective presentations that impress your listeners. You will work on stress, rhythm, and intonation in order to speak more fluently and comfortably. You will identify your own individual pronunciation issues and get individual coaching on tricky sounds. You will also receive extensive individualized feedback from the instructor. This course is ideal for you if your English is generally understandable, but you would like to speak with greater clarity and fluency. Students often take this course after ELI 536 or ELI 537, Pronunciation I or II, or before ELI 544 Academic Presentations.

Class activities include:

  • Brief video-recorded presentations, such as 
  • Informal, personal stories
  • Professional introductions
  • Process descriptions
  • Extended definitions
  • Small group tasks targeting rhythm, intonation, and linking 
  • Review of difficult English consonants and vowels
  • Role plays that focus on specific features of pronunciation
  • Personal journal of real-life pronunciation experiences
  • Self-evaluation assignments

(1 credit)

Discipline-Specific Courses

ELI 530 - Academic Speaking and Writing for Architecture and Urban Planning

This course is open to any graduate student in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. 

In this course, graduate students learn and practice effective presentation and discussion skills; presentations are videotaped and critiqued individually with the instructor. Participants also practice writing summaries and responses that are integrated with reading and discussion. Other topics covered include:

  • Appropriate academic email
  • Citing sources
  • Plagiarism
  • Resumés
  • Vocabulary and culture (via a class blog)

Materials and assignments are drawn from current discipline-specific topics in other classes. For example, architecture students will present their current studio work (in progress) throughout the semester for feedback; and, readings are chosen from the topics covered in the core courses in Architecture and Urban Planning. 

(2 credits)

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ELI 592 - Professional Communication for Quantitative Fields

NEW FOR WINTER 2020!

10-week course offered for the first time in the Winter 2020 term. Meets once a week for 90 minutes.

In this highly interactive course, you will develop practical tools for communicating effectively in a variety of professional and academic situations. You will improve your ability to handle small talk, networking, group/team communication, elevator pitches, and job interviews.  You will develop effective listening strategies and non-verbal communication skills. You will build greater confidence communicating on campus and beyond. 

This course is ideal for you if you are a graduate student in a quantitative field (such as math, quantitative finance and risk management, applied economics, applied statistics, engineering) seeking to build confidence in speaking and listening as you prepare for your professional career. Students often take this course after taking ELI 531 or 536.

Course activities include:

  • Small talk and conversation skills practice

  • Group/team meeting discussion practice

  • Networking simulation (e.g. career fair or Q & A after company presentation)

  • At least two personal elevator pitches

  • Practice in various interview types (e.g. face-to-face, group, phone, video conference)

  • Interview question practice (e.g. situational, behavioral, difficult, wild card, etc.) and strategies for responding

  • Mini presentation explaining technical content to a non-specialist audience

(1 credit)

GSI Courses

For a complete list of GSI Courses, please see our International GSI Program page.