English Language Institute (ELI)

NNU's ELI (English Language Institute) courses are designed for English as a second or additional language learners who plan to pursue a degree at Northwest Nazarene University. ELI courses provide academic English preparation to develop ESL students' language skills for reading in an academic context, writing research papers and comprehending academic lectures.


Mission Statement:
The mission of the English Language Institute (ELI) at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) is to provide English-as-second-language speakers with opportunities for improving English language skills for academic work and familiarization with the American university environment. The English support courses develop students' language skills and cultural competence which prepare them for success in academic courses taught in English.

The ELI courses rely on experienced and professionally trained English instructors who deliver academic English courses. Each course is designed to prepare students for academic study in English by developing their English language skills for reading in an academic context, writing research papers, and comprehending academic lectures. These courses will provide support for success in traditional undergraduate courses.


Students from countries outside the United States for whom English is not their native language are required to submit an official TOEFL or IELTS score. Students must receive a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL (IBT), with a minimum of 20 on each subsection, or an IELTS score of 6.0 or greater to be admitted to the university.

Students with a TOEFL IBT score of 78 or below, or an IELTS score of 5.5 or below may be required to take English support classes through NNU's English Language Institute (ELI).

Students may continue in traditional courses without English support classes in one of the three following ways:

  1. Earning a score of 79 or above on the TOEFL, or an IELTS score of 6.0 or greater.
  2. Completion of two semesters with English support courses and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or above.
  3. After completing one semester of English support courses at NNU, a student may petition to take traditional classes without English support. The ELI committee will review samples of the student's written work in English and conduct an interview with the student. The committee will then determine whether to grant the student's petition.

Why choose NNU's ELI program?

Studying at the English Language Institute, you will:

  • Learn English in an academic setting with instructors who understand your language needs
  • Take language courses and traditional undergraduate courses in parallel
  • Interact with American students on campus
  • Study in a safe and supportive environment

ELI Coordinator

Joe Willey

ELI Curriculum

Fall Semester
Fall semester, students will enroll in 2-3* courses of English language study and support courses. Additional credits may be taken in approved courses.  A total of 12 - 18 credits is possible during the fall semester.

Spring Semester
In the spring semester students will enroll in 1-2* English language study courses and up to a total of 18 approved credits. A total of 12 - 18 credits is possible during the spring semester.

With successful completion of these courses, students will have earned credits toward an academic degree.

Semester Courses Descriptions  
Fall ENGL1061
Academic Language Acquisition I
Course-specific Language Support
Academic Language Use in Writing*
Spring ENGL1062
Academic Language Acquisition II
Academic Language Use in Writing*

*ENGL1071 is offered both in the fall and spring. You only need to take this course during your first semester in ELI.