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.

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.

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.

Contact Information

English Language Institute
Center for Global Engagement
Building 2A, Room 206
Phone : 718.982.2100
Contact Via Email

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.

Basic components of the curriculum

There are four basic components of the curriculum: Reading and Writing, Grammar, Self-Expression and Workshop (test preparation and skill enhancement).

Reading and Writing

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.

Grammar Courses

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.
A special feature of the intensive program is a significant component of American culture and institutions which helps integrate international students into US academic life. A number of workshops and clubs are offered regularly and they are open to all ELI program participants.
Each semester, with their teachers, ELI students explore a number of New York City's exciting cultural and historic landmarks. They may visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the United Nations, Central Park, ethnic neighborhoods, restaurants, theaters, and much more. Many have opportunities to spend a holiday with American families.


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. Class hours are eighteen per week in the fall and spring and twenty two hours per week in the summer sessions.

Program Sessions

 The winter intersession starts in early January, and the spring session starts in late January. The summer sessions begin in May and late June and the fall session begins in August.


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.


The ELI administers an Institutional Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in December, May, and August. Workshop classes offer preparation for the TOEFL, CAT-W and CUNY Assessment Test in Reading. The course helps students work on effective test-taking strategies while increasing English proficiency.


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.

Faculty and Staff

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 International Service at the College of Staten Island. Students are encouraged to attend 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

  • 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.

Program Features

  • 22 classroom hours of instruction in the summer intensive programs and 18 hours in the fall and spring sessions.
  • Specialized workshops
  • TOEFL preparation
  • Highly qualified instructors
  • Small classes
  • Personal attention
  • Introduction to U.S. life
  • Housing available on campus and 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).

Customized Programs

Customized programs are designed for groups of 10 or more students upon request. The Center 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 American families, an introduction to the community and special cultural opportunities in New York and the regions.


Program in American Language and Culture

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.