English Language Institute


The English Language Institute at Carson-Newman University offers an intensive English as a Second Language Program for international students who wish to improve their English language proficiency to the level needed to enter colleges and universities in the United States. Depending on which level students place upon taking placement exams, the ELI program provides between 15 – 25 hours per week of formal instruction for full-time students in the four skill areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as grammar and computer instruction. Levels 1, 2, & 3 study for 25 hours of formal instruction per week, and Level 4 students study for 15 hours of formal instruction per week.Students who graduate from the ELI and successfully complete six semester hours at Carson-Newman University will receive 12 credit hours in English as a Second Language to be used as undergraduate foreign language credit.

The ELI occupies the white house at 721 Ken Sparks Way, known as “The Tennessee Jenkins House,” and houses two classrooms, offices for the ELI instructors, a computer lab, and a kitchen. The ELI house provides a great environment for international students to improve their English language proficiency and learn about American culture.

Program Specifics

The goal of the Carson-Newman English Language Institute is to increase the English language proficiency of non-native English speakers to the level needed for study at a college or university in the United States. Full-time students enrolled in the ELI receive from 15 – 25 hours per week of instruction in reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and American culture.

Carson-Newman’s program is characterized by:

  • Low student/teacher ratio.
  • Personal attention.
  • Computer-assisted instruction.
  • Integrated activities with native English speakers (sports, music, clubs, and conversation partners).
  • Current instructional methods and materials.
  • Academic credit earned toward bachelor’s degree.
  • Visitation of college classes.


Esther Mbugua

Interim Director, English Language Institute