Language teaching and learning in the United States may be very different than in the home country of our students. Here, we use a communicative-based approach that is learner-centered. This means that students must attend and participate in all classes for their own learning as well as for the learning of their classmates. Poor attendance and participation inevitably negatively affect their grade. Each student is expected to contribute to the total learning environment by attending all classes and being prepared and ready to communicate in English. Attendance is critical to learning.

100% attendance is expected.
Absences are counted per class period:
i.e. one Writing & Grammar class is one class period; one Listening & Speaking class is one class period, etc.

All attendance will be tracked for classroom purposes as well as for visa purposes. Each course will maintain an attendance policy as well as a policy for make-up work. Each will be clearly outlined on the course syllabus and reviewed during the first week of class.

For each course, a suggested percentage of 10-20% of your overall grade should be devoted to attendance. Percentages reaching up to 20% should also incorporate another measure such as participation. Each instructor has the freedom to adapt their own framework for grading that could be a raw percentage of classes attended or a scale where every absence or several absences leads to a decrease in points earned.

The ELI acknowledges that excused absences may occur and a student will not be penalized for an excused absence as long as they provide official documentation (doctor’s note, court document, etc.). Excused absences are instances that are deemed unavoidable by the office.

Excused absences are defined as:

  1. Personal illness. A physician’s note is required. Student should submit a copy to their instructor. If instructor receives a physician’s note from a student, the absence should not be marked on the chart in Google Drive.
  2. Family Emergency. Situations may occur unexpectedly with family members, such as sick children who cannot attend daycare/school. In this event, it is expected that the student communicates with the instructor and makes up the work. If absence is justified in the opinion of the instructor, it does not need to be marked in the chart on Google Drive.

An excused absence without documentation can only be approved by the ELI Administration, and are reserved for the circumstances listed above. All medical absences must be accompanied with a doctor’s note. On average, no more than 2 excused absences are allowed per class per session. Any absences that meet the criteria for an excused absence beyond the two will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

The ELI supports the policy that a student is eligible for make-up work if they have missed class or assignments due to circumstances that are considered excused absences based on the criteria stated above. This policy will be upheld unless stated otherwise on an individual course syllabus. Any alternate policies need to be cleared with the ELI Administration.

Students who drop below 80% attendance will have their SEVIS record terminated. For this reason, it is helpful for teachers to check in with students and report any attendance issues to administration as early on as possible (for example, if a student unexpectedly misses three days of class in a row without communication) so that we can reach out to the student to issue a warning before visa termination becomes necessary. All attendance related issues MUST be reported in writing.

A student with excessive unexcused absences will be a candidate for dismissal from the program. See an ELI administrator for more information.


Being “on time” in the United States means being in the classroom and ready to learn at the scheduled start time. Arriving after the start of the class can be considered disrespectful and disruptive to the teacher and the other students. Instructors can mark lateness at their own discretion. For visa purposes, 3 latenessess will be counted as an absence when marked on the course attendance sheets. Administration will not adjust grades based on attendance, and it is up to the discretion of each instructor to place weight on attendance and participation as they see appropriate for their course.


All new students are given placement testing.
New students are placed into class levels based on the results of this testing.
Returning students are placed into class levels based on several factors:

  • previous session final grades
  • reports and recommendations from every instructor
  • new placement testing, if necessary


Students are eligible to move up to the next level only if:

  • final grade for the course is at least 82%
  • student attended at least 80% of classes
  • student has completed all 16 weeks at current level

If you are a beginner student, and each level takes at least 16 weeks to complete, then you can estimate that it would take a year and a half to complete our program.
If you entered the program at a higher than beginner level, then it would most likely take less time.

Level 001 = 16 weeks
Level 002 = 16 weeks
Level 003 = 16 weeks

Placement Testing

New students take a placement test, either by appointment or at New-Student Orientation, which is held before the start of each session. The computer-based placement test (Accuplacer) includes four sections: Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, Grammar and Vocabulary. They then complete a writing sample; and, have an individual interview with a faculty member or administrator (speaking and pronunciation).

Accuplacer score results are printed; writing samples are graded by Writing faculty; and, interview results are recorded and scored by the interviewer. Results are then reviewed by the Director and Assistant Director, and students are placed into the proper level for each course based on the results of the corresponding section(s) of the placement test. For example, to be placed into the correct level for Listening and Speaking class, student scores for Listening Comprehension, Interview, and Vocabulary are all taken into consideration.

Students are tested prior to the first day of classes. On the first day of classes, all new students receive a copy of their class schedule, with their specific classes, levels, and classroom locations highlighted. Students are encouraged/required to attend their assigned classes for the first week of class before making any official request to change levels (up or down).