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Open to local and international students!

Spring 2024: January 16 - May 10

Summer 1 - 2024: May 28 - July 3

Summer 2 - 2024: July 8 - August 15

Fall 2024: August 19 - December 6

Apply now:

Whatsapp Contact Number WhatsApp with us here or call/text us: +1.929.376.8302 in English, Español, Português, Français

Staten Island
Staten Island is about four times the size of Manhattan and has a population of approximately 473,000. It is noted for its parks and recreational areas, in addition to several notable cultural sites. Manhattan and other "boroughs" of New York City are easily accessible by public transportation. How to go to Staten Island from the airport?

The campus
The College is set on a large campus with woodlands and open spaces in Staten Island. Its attractive facilities include technologically advanced laboratories, a Sports and Recreation Center and a Center for the Performing and Creative Arts.

Campus location
The College is twenty-five minutes by ferry from Manhattan. Our students have easy access to the rich cultural life of the City by way of a ferry shuttle ride located on the CSI campus. The ferry shuttle travels directly to the Staten Island ferry.

ELI location
Students can learn English at the main CSI Willowbrook campus, where the English Language Institute is.

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Contact Information

English Language Institute

Center for Global Engagement

Building 2A, Room 206
Email English Language Institute

Monday to Friday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
By email:

ELI academic program

The ELI offers intensive, comprehensive English language instruction and cultural orientation throughout the year. The program covers all aspects of spoken and written English, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Classes are given at three levels of proficiency, from beginner to advanced. Course content includes the proper use of English structures, fluency and accuracy of expression with acceptable pronunciation, listening and reading comprehension, and writing for personal, academic, and professional purposes. Students communicate in English from the first lesson at the beginner level. At all levels they work on integrated skills, focusing on the active, knowledgeable use of the language, rather than mere passive comprehension.

ELI courses:

  • Reading & Writing
  • Grammar
  • Communications (Conversation)
  • TOEFL Workshop - What is this?

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Basic components of the curriculum

There are four basic components of the curriculum: Reading and Writing, Grammar, Communications (Conversation) and TOEFL Workshop (test preparation and skill enhancement).

The focus in these classes is on developing and strengthening students' abilities to read and interpret texts in English and to write for academic or business purposes. This course helps international students prepare for university writing requirements. Writing activities include journals, reports, argumentative essays, literary criticism, and creative writing. The advanced levels also cover research paper formats and style, and library and electronic media research.

In grammar classes, emphasis is on developing an awareness of and facility in the use of accurate and appropriate structures in spoken and written English. Grammatical forms are practiced in meaningful situations, and students learn to express their ideas clearly and accurately. Classwork and homework assignments stress the interdependence of grammar and communication. Students become aware of all aspects of grammatical structures, including form, meaning, syntax and use.


In these classes, students develop an ability to communicate in English with ease and confidence, and with acceptable pronunciation. Emphasis is on effective listening and on speaking with increased fluency, accuracy, and vigor. Advanced level students practice the use of cultural cues and appropriate tone and style in discussions, presentations, debates, and interviews. Course content draws upon students' multicultural experiences and explores various aspects of American culture and institutions. Qualified advanced level students have an option of taking one regular college course while attending the ELI.

In this class students are prepared for exams, such as the TOEFL ITP and the CSI entrance exams including the CAT-W and the CUNY Assessment Test in Reading. Students learn important test taking strategies and improve their overall English proficiency, including their listening, reading and writing skills.

Students have an official TOEFL ITP test at the end of the semester or summer term. The TOEFL ITP test is included in the program at no extra cost.

TOEFL is not included in the evening classes.

What is TOEFL for?

ELI Exam waiver
PURPOSE: After passing the full-time English Language Institute (ELI) Intensive English Program at the College of Staten Island ELI Final Exam with a certificate, students do NOT need a TOEFL score to apply to CUNY undergraduate and graduate programs that require a minimum TOEFL score of 61. Nonetheless, ELI students will take a TOEFL ITP test administered by ELI at the end of each semester or summer term.
ELI Final Test
The ELI Final Test will be administered at the end of each semester and summer term. This three-hour test will be face-to-face or administered online, which will place students into the levels that will grant those who make 100 points or more with an ELI certificate a recommendation to those CUNY colleges which have a minimum TOEFL requirement of 61.
The test will evaluate speaking and writing skills as well as grammar and vocabulary proficiency. The speaking questions will entail a conversation that will evaluate fluency, listening comprehension, pronunciation, and grammar proficiency. The writing test will evaluate academic written expressions, coherence and cohesion.
TOEFL Score Comparisons


TOEFL Computer-based




ELI Final Test

0 – 8

0 – 30

0 – 310

0 – 1.0


0 – 9

9 – 18

33 – 60

310 – 343

1.0 – 1.5


10 – 19

19 – 29

63 – 90

347 – 393

2.0 – 2.5


20 – 29

30 – 40

93 – 120

397 – 433

3.0 – 3.5


30 – 39

41 – 44

123 – 150

437 - 447



40 – 49

45 – 46

151 – 152

450 - 453



50 -69

47 – 53

152 - 153

457 - 477



70 - 99

53 - 64

153 – 180

477 – 510

4.5 – 5.0


100 – 109

65 – 78

183 – 210

513 – 547

5.5 – 6.0


110 – 119

79 – 95

213 – 240

550 – 587

6.5 – 7.0


120 – 129

96 – 110

243 – 270

590 – 637

7.5 – 8.0


130 – 139

111 – 120

273 – 300

640 – 677

8.0 – 9.0


140 - 150

Source: TOEFL iBT Score Comparisons
Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)




Beginner / Pre-elementary






Upper Intermediate





Source: Council of Europe
ELI Advanced Level
The ELI Final Test will be administered to ELI intermediate and advanced students only. ELI advanced students who get 100 or more on the ELI Final Test will not need a passing TOEFL ITP test to be accepted by a CUNY school. ELI intermediate students who get 100 or more on the ELI Final Test will not need a passing TOEFL ITP test to be accepted by a CUNY school, but they will still need to register in the following ELI advanced term.
Document requirements
ELI will issue the following document to confirm the ELI student has reached out the required level:

  • Letter of recommendation signed by ELI/CSI Director.

The letter of recommendation will be issued not only with a passing ELI Final Test score but also with a 100% attendance report.

ELI has daytime classes only (no evening classes are offered by ELI at this moment). During the fall and spring semesters, classes meet Tuesday through Friday, generally between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. In the summer session, classes meet Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Daytime - Main campus
Semester: 9:00 am to 2:30 pm - Tuesday to Friday - 18 hours of classes per week
Summer: 9:00 am to 3:30 pm - Monday to Thursday - 22 hours of classes per week

ELI schedule - Main campus:

Reading & Writing

  • Semester: 9:00 am - 10:10 am
  • Summer: 9:00 am - 10:30 am



  • Semester: 10:10 am - 11:30 am
  • Summer: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm



  • Semester: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Summer: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm


Communications (Conversation)

  • Semester: 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
  • Summer: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm



  • Semester: 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
  • Summer: 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Students can attend semester (16 weeks) and summer (6 weeks) terms. They can also come for one or more weeks and join the groups that already started*. Do you want to come during the summer only? Do you want to come for one year? No problem!

- Spring semester: January - May
- Fall semester: August - December

- Summer 1: June - July
- Summer 2: July - August

*Non-F-1 students only. F-1 visa students have to register for the entire term(s).


Students are placed into levels on the basis of a placement TOEFL test, a writing sample, an oral comprehension test and an interview with the Academic Coordinator. Workshops, clubs, and all co-curricular learning activities are open to students in all levels.

ELI levels:
- Beginner
- Intermediate
- Advanced

The ELI administers an Institutional Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ITP) in December, July, August, and December. The course helps students work on effective test-taking strategies while increasing English proficiency. The TOEFL ITP test is included in the program at no extra cost.

At the end of the fall, spring and summer sessions, certificates of completion are awarded. Graduation ceremonies are held in fall and spring semester only. These ceremonies are held in December and May. Each student's progress is monitored carefully by the instructors and Academic Coordinator. Mid-term progress reports and detailed final evaluations are prepared for each student.

The certficate is given by the College of Staten Island/The City University of New York (CUNY) and the English Language Institute.

Classes at the English Language Institute are taught by a dedicated team of highly professional, experienced teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Instructors use innovative teaching approaches and carefully selected materials, computer laboratories, and the resources of the media center, which stimulate active student participation and facilitate learning.

The Center for Global Engagement's staff, ELI instructors and staff create a very supportive environment for the students. They provide academic and personal counseling, introduction to the local community, and information about cultural and educational events to facilitate adjustment.

The Center staff counsel students about visas, personal matters, and health insurance and assist the ELI students in the college application and admission process after students complete the English program.

The English Language Institute is part of the Center for Global Engagement at the College of Staten Island/CUNY. Students are encouraged to attend ELI field trips, lectures, exhibits, concerts, and other events offered by the College. Please visit the Events and Programs section of the Center’s site to know more about the activities available.

In addition to the above activities, ELI also organizes cultural and social activities for our students. On their field trips, students explore the exciting cultural and historic landmarks of New York City and the local area.


ELI Activities

  • ELI field trips
  • ELI Culture Day every semester
  • International Coffee Hour – social event
  • A visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MET, or other local New York City museums and cultural institutions
  • World on Wednesday Lecture Series
  • CLUE Events – exciting events that include attending sports events, festive campus activities, lectures from various authors and much more
  • Student club activities
  • 22 classroom hours of instruction in the summer intensive programs and 18 hours in the fall and spring sessions.
  • TOEFL test preparation.
  • TOEFL ITP test.
  • Highly qualified instructors.
  • Small classes.
  • Introduction to U.S. life.
  • Housing available on campus and host family housing assistance in the local community.
  • Field trips to New York City cultural institutions and events.
  • Facilitated admission into the College of Staten Island.
  • The English Language Institute is a member of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and EnglishUSA.

Customized programs are designed for groups of 10 or more students upon request. The Center and ELI can contract with an educational institution, commercial enterprise, government agency or other entity to bring individual or small groups to the College of Staten Island for a course in Intensive English, training in a specialized field, and/or introduction to American culture and government. An arrival welcome program is available for an additional fee, which includes: airport pickup, homestays with families, an introduction to the community and special cultural opportunities in New York and the regions.



This program is designed to introduce trainees to American culture, government and education and to enhance their English language ability. Through formal academic programs, visits to public and private institutions, and social events with Americans in informal settings, the participants will become more acquainted with individual Americans and with the American way of life. As requested, special topics can be built into the program.

CSI offers on-campus housing, please visit for more information. Homestay arrangements can be made for participants. This will enable them to get a first-hand view of how Americans live. From this local housing, the College will be accessible by public transportation.

Please see our website for specific information about program cost per session


Participants will be tested and interviewed upon their arrival at the College. Based on the results of the tests and interviews, the participants will be placed in the English Language Institute at the appropriate level. The program includes classes in grammar, reading and writing and communication practice and a workshop class which helps to improve specific exam skills, including the TOEFL exam. An American cultural component is built into the curriculum.
In addition, briefings on topics in American culture, education, business and government will be delivered by faculty members. Discussions and seminars will enable participants to integrate the information received.

Meals can be obtained in the College cafeteria or in restaurants on Staten Island and elsewhere at a reasonable cost. For special group programs, breakfast and dinner may be taken in the homes where the participants are staying.

Special group program participants of 10 or more may be met at the airport and driven to their homestay homes at an additional cost. A transportation card for daily round-trip transportation can be provided to participants of a group program, once the participating institution or sponsor chooses this additional option.
Other local travel will be by public transportation on buses and trains. Buses and trains cost $2.75 each way or $5.50 for a round trip. The Staten Island Ferry connecting Staten Island to Manhattan is free.


Medical insurance is mandatory. The cost varies depending on the length of the particular program students are enrolled in.



Contact ELI to design a program tailored exactly for your group: