Michigan State University
Michigan State University
English Language Center
Special Programs
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The English Language Center hosts special programs for participants sponsored by corporations, universities and governmental bodies from all over the world. The ELC will design an academic language program and cultural immersion experience based on the group’s requests. Special Program coordinators will work with each group to develop a program that meets its needs.

Some examples of programs that the ELC has developed and taught in coordination with both on and off campus partners are Business English, Medical English, EFL Teacher Training, and Modern American Language and Culture.

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Curricular Options

Each special program has its own qualified program director and teaching staff trained in English as a Second Language education. Two popular curricular options are:

The Integrated Option

This choice is for groups that wish to join the regular Intensive English Program at the ELC and study with other international students from a variety of language backgrounds.

  • Courses for all levels, from beginner to advanced
  • English Placement test 
  • 18-20 hours per week in English grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Additional content-based instruction in subject areas such as American history and culture
  • Regular field trips to local destinations such as Lake Michigan, Michigan State Capitol, Henry Ford museum, Outlet Malls
  • Group activities such as trips to the Henry Ford Museum, Lake Michigan, and Chicago, as well as attending MSU football and basketball games

For this option, it is common for groups to begin their program at the same time that the ELC intensive program begins each semester in order to ensure a smooth transition for all the students. 

The Non-integrated Option

The Special Program Coordinator works together with the group leader to design a curriculum and schedule that is appropriate for the group's needs. This option requires advanced planning of several months.

  • Beginner to advanced levels
  • Placement tests
  • Number of lessons and skill areas are decided on by the requesting institution. For example:
  • American culture focusing on speaking and listening skills, with an emphasis on preparing groups for their visits to places of interest: 15 to 20 hours per week
  • Academic skills for 15 hours per week
  • Optional local activities and weekend excursions

Examples of Current Special Programs:

Business English Programs

These programs are designed for non-native English speakers who want to develop effective communication skills in business situations. 

PDPI Brazil English Teachers Program

The PDPI Brazil English Teachers Program at MSU is a six-week English language certificate program for in-service English teachers from Brazil. The program consists of English language study and practice in Teaching English as a Foreign Language methodology, as well as exposure to U.S. culture and society.

Fulbright English for Graduate Studies Program (EGSP)

This goal of this program is to prepare new Fulbright scholars for graduate studies in the United States.

Preparation for Academic Life (PAL)

This program is designed for academically bound students with regular or provisional admission to MSU. This three-week intensive summer program helps international students prepare for academic course work at MSU.

Online Academic Training

This short online course helps international students make the transition to American academic life.

English for Visiting Professionals: Advanced Communication Skills

This series of workshops will cover oral and written communication strategies, grammar and guidance for effective personal interaction.

English Partners in Communication

EPIC offers classes each spring on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to improve conversation skills and strategies for adult speakers of English as a second language at MSU and in the Greater Lansing area.

Online TESOL Certificate

The Online TESOL certificate is a series of stand-alone courses that are designed to provide an in-depth analysis of important concepts in TESOL today.


If you would like to inquire about creating a special program for your group, contact External Programs Coordinator Mark Albee at malbee@msu.edu.