English Language Institute (ELI)

English Language Institute


The English Language Institute (ELI) provides intensive instruction and practice for non-native speakers who want to improve their English skills for academic and professional development. Our English program is designed for both international and local students who want to prepare for (A) studying in an American University and for (B) improving their job opportunities. After completing the English Language Institute, students who meet our GPA program requirements can apply for undergraduate and graduate programs at City College—no TOEFL exam needed!


About the Program

  • 18 hours of class instruction per week.
  • Monday to Thursday from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, with a 30 minute break for lunch.
  • Classes are designed to target academic and professional skills in the four language skills: Reading, Speaking, Listening, and a focus on Writing.
  • Instructors cater the class to student needs and create lessons focusing on communicative language teaching.
  • Instructors incorporate authentic material, textbooks: Grammar and Beyond Essentials & Final Draft, and Cambridge Learning Management System to enhance student learning.
  • Students will be placed in appropriate course levels from level 1 to level 4 with a placement test taken during orientation. Below is the course description for each level.

Level 1: Survival English

Students in this level focus mostly on simple grammar structures that they can use to survive in New York City. Students will develop basic vocabulary skills, and they will learn how to ask and answer questions based on specific real-life situations they may encounter in New York City—such as shopping at the supermarket, calling the police, listening to subway announcements, making doctor’s appointments, etc. They will also learn to write simple sentences and paragraphs for both work and academic development.

Level 2: Fluency and Speed Development

Students in this level focus on rapidly expanding vocabulary and grammar knowledge to speak about a wide range of topics: family, community, culture, work, goals, etc. The students will begin to read short stories and simple newspaper articles. In addition, students will begin to watch and listen to longer videos to improve listening skills. In this level, the students will improve their paragraph writing skills.

Level 3: Accuracy Development

The students in this level focus heavily on grammar accuracy. The students will learn how to correct their own speaking and writing mistakes. They will learn how to write complete essays for their future academic and professional careers. They will read more complex articles and short stories, and they will learn to speak about more abstract topics related to their jobs and interests.

Level 4: Professional & Academic English

The students in this level focus on the English skills needed to be successful in their academic and professional careers. They will learn how to write college research papers, resumes, cover letters, and professional emails. They will practice listening to longer speeches that they may hear at work and at university. In addition, they will learn how speak formally and give high-quality presentations.

Extra English Club

In addition to the 18 hours of classes every week, students will also have the option of joining our English Club—for free! In this club, the students vote on topics that they want to learn more about. Here are some example topics in our very exciting English club:

  • American Culture: Speaking & Listening Practice
  • The Graphic Novel: Pronunciation Practice
  • English for Work: Passing the Job Interview
  • Expanding Vocabulary: Great American Short Stories





Spring Session 1

Jan. 19th- Feb. 23rd, 2021


9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Spring Session 2 March 1st- April 8th, 2021


9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Spring Session 3 April 19th- May 20th, 2021


9:30 AM - 2:30 PM

English Club (Free for all students)


Every Friday

10 AM - 12 PM  


New students who wish to apply to the ELI as a full-time F-1 Student Visa holder must submit a formal application to the ELI. This application is for the Form I-20, which is necessary for the F-1 visa.

To receive a Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20), follow these steps:


  1. Completed I-20 Application Form
  2.  A scanned copy of passport photo page
  3. Affidavit of Support formed signed by your financial sponsor(s) (Included in the Application)
  4. Bank statement or bank letter showing proof of financial support ($16,664.00)
  5. $1,375 Tuition Deposit (registration fee included)


  1. Mail or email application and all supporting documents to the English Language Institute:
    • English Language Institute
      Continuing and Professional Studies
      City College of New York
      160 Convent Avenue
      Shepard Hall, Room 2
      New York, NY 10031
    • E-mail: eli@ccny.cuny.edu
  2.  After ELI receives your application, it takes approximately 1-2 weeks to process your I-20. You will be notified via email. 


  1. After you receive your Form I-20, apply for an F-1 Student Visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.


New Student I-20 Application

Transfer Student Application


*If you are not enrolling as an F-1 student, you do not need to submit an application. You can apply online, in person, or by phone. Contact 212-650-7312 or eli@ccny.cuny.edu with questions.   

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER CLICK LINK HERE--> https://www.campusce.net/ccny/course/course.aspx?catId=13


It is curious to think that English connect with everyone. When I looked at ELI City College in New York, I didn't know what the original experience would be like. The classroom environment is interactive, knowing each other more, thinking about how unique your classmates are, and how different the way of doing activities is. I met qualified teachers who taught me proper grammar in a fun and interesting way.

-Jose Aldazabal (Peru) Fall 2019 English Language Institute 


The ELI program at City College of New York has been a great contribution to my university studies and my daily life. This program helped me to improve my English and personal skills due to its high quality of studies material and qualified professors. One interesting point is that this institute presents proficiency in English exams of any kind which is based on Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Therefore, those skills allowed me to achieve my goals and feel more confident in communicating with other people. The last point is worth emphasizing is I made plentiful international friends which performed my learning fruitful.

-Ronny Vintimilla (Ecuador) Summer 2019 English Language Institute


It was a great experience learning English at ELI at City College. I would highly recommend this program for anyone who is interested in continuing education in the United States. They have great teachers who are knowledgeable, understandable, professional and friendly. Also, they have awesome materials that come from Cambridge University with access to an online website that we use to make homework and practice. But, what I loved more than anything else was the diversity that they have in the classrooms. I have learned more than English!

-Kareem Ahmed (Egypt) Fall 2019 English Language Institute 


I spent one year in the ESL program in City College and it was an amazing experience for me. I started in the beginning level and thanks the program my reading, speaking, listening and writing skills improved a lot. Today I don't feel insecure about speaking in English anymore. I had excellent and dedicated teachers along with professional and helpful administrators. Also, I met people from different countries and learned about their cultures and their personal experiences; something that I will never forget. It is an intensive program with work every day, allowing us to practice constantly what we learned in class. So, if you really want to improve your English skills, this program is totally recommendable because prepares the students for their future life in the university or in their jobs. 

-Nevenka Restovic (Chile) Summer 2019 English Language Institute


Current ELI Policies

  • For student withdrawals, the registration fee is non-refundable. If a student withdraws before the first day of classes, tuition is refunded minus the $25 processing fee.

  • After the first class meeting, no refund will be issued. • Payment must be made in full by the first day of classes, or a $50 late payment fee will be charged.

  • Refund requests must be accompanied by your receipt. The processing of refunds takes one to four weeks.

  • Credit card refunds are credited back to the card used to register for the course(s). Refund via check will be mailed 4 to 6 weeks after cancelled registration


We offer discounts to ELI full-time students interested in registering for a certificate program offered by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The discount will be applied toward the tuition of the Certificate Program. Discounts vary based on the certification.


Dear current and future students: 

Due to COVID-19, we are now offering virtual office hours between the hours of 10AM-12PM, New York City time. If you have any questions about our program or online ESL classes, feel free to click the link below to speak with the manager of the English Language Institute.
If you cannot make the virtual office hours, please send an email to  eli@ccny.cuny.edu  for more information. 




ELI Spring Classes