Our Mission

The primary mission of the Intensive English Institute (IEI) is to enable international students to gain proficiency in the use of the English language for academic, professional, or other purposes. In addition, the IEI advances the campus missions of teaching, research, and outreach by supporting graduate teaching assistants in their professional development, offering opportunities for faculty and graduate students to conduct research, collaborating with other campus units in their international partnerships, and implementing programs designed to connect Illinois students and community members with international students in our program.

To achieve our primary mission, the Intensive English Institute provides:

  • A challenging and supportive instructional environment for all learners, with an emphasis on preparing students to succeed in an academic environment;
  • Experienced faculty who have strong academic credentials and continue to pursue professional development opportunities;
  • An up-to-date curriculum which reflects student needs as well as the latest developments in ESL teaching methodologies, technology, and materials development;
  • Opportunities for students to experience campus and American culture and engage in communicative language practice.

The IEI fulfills its additional missions by providing:

  • A robust professional development program for graduate teaching assistants, including pre-semester orientations, supervision and support for teaching, formative and summative feedback, and financial support for attending professional conferences.
  • A context for graduate students and faculty to conduct (approved) research on second language learning and teaching.
  • Resources for campus units to develop programs with their international partners that include English language support and/or introductions to U.S., local, and campus culture.
  • Structured programs (ConvoPartners and student internships) that enable campus and community members to develop relationships with students from all over the world.