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SU Launches English Language Institute

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University opens its new English Language Institute (ELI) in fall 2010, offering the region’s only full-time intensive instruction in English to non-native speakers.  The initiative is part of the University’s strategic plan to increase its number of international students.

“Salisbury University has always welcomed international students to our campus,” said President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.  “Their unique experiences and perspectives are integral to creating a diverse learning environment.  This allows the University to better prepare all of our students to succeed in a global economy and increasingly interdependent world.”

Currently, there are 61 non-immigrant international students studying abroad at SU.  The University aims to triple that population in the next few years.

“Building a campus community that reflects the global character of the world makes our University more attractive to all students,” said Jane Dané, dean of enrollment management.

Dr. Sam SongDr. Sam Song, a native of Anhui, China, has been named institute director.  He brings a decade of experience directing English Language Institutes in China and has worked in international education for more than 20 years.  He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

“Dr. Song truly brings a wealth of expertise to our campus,” said Dr. Diane Allen, SU provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.  “Under his leadership, the new ELI will work to advance two of our most important strategic goals:  diversifying our student body and internationalizing our learning community.”

All classes will be taught by professors with master’s degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and instructional experience.  SU’s English Department is collaborating with the ELI to prepare faculty.

“Our master’s program in TESOL is graduating high-quality trained professionals,” said Dr. Elizabeth Curtin, English Department chair.  “We are eager to provide our alumni with career opportunities right in our own community.”

English Language Institutes are effective strategies for universities to attract international students and empower them to be academically successful once their language skills are sufficiently developed.  The University of Delaware, Towson University and the University of Maryland College Park have successfully housed similar institutes for decades.  SU’s new institute is only facility of its kind on the Lower Shore.

Although the primary goal of the ELI is to provide instruction to non-immigrant students, it will also serve members of the local immigrant population.  The full-time, 18-hour per week instruction will complement part-time language classes already offered by religious, educational and non-profit organizations in the area.

The new English Language Institute is currently accepting applications for its fall 2010 cohort.  For more information visit the SU Web site at