Stephen F. Austin State University

Curriculum and Activities

ELI studentd

Curriculum and Activities

ELI provides a range of intensive English instruction. Students will be placed in appropriate levels after their language skills are assessed by ELI staff through classroom observation and standardized testing. A full program of courses typically consists of around 20 hours of instruction, including conversation hours, computer lab time, and formal instruction in reading, writing, grammar, and listening/speaking. The Proficiency Scale outlines the specific student learning outcomes for each academic class at each level.


The English Language Institute at SFA has two levels; each level has four academic classes. Each class meets twice a week and lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. Those classes are:

These classes focus on a solid review of English grammar and the techniques necessary for successful academic reading, writing, note-taking, and speaking at the university level.

These classes offer training in advanced academic skills, providing practice in critical thinking, abstraction, and oral/written expression that prepares students for American university expectations.


In addition, the program offers Conversation Partners Labs and American Language and Culture Labs (AL&C).

Conversation Partners Labs (CP) are conducted by two current university students. This lab includes activities to strengthen language skills in an informal setting and introduce students to cultural aspects of life at a university from the American students' perspective. CP Labs meet two times a week for 1.5 hours per session for most of the semester for a total of 22 sessions.

American Language and Culture Labs (AL&C) are taught by the English Language Institute Coordinator. This lab uses viewing and analysis of American television programs to strengthen language skills and illustrate aspects of American culture. AL&C Labs meet five times a semester for 2 hours each.

Weekly ELI meetings, four Friday Activity days, and a field trip are also part of the program each semester. These elements of the program provide important social, cultural, and leadership opportunities and are an integral part of the curriculum. Each semester of ELI lasts 14 - 15 weeks for an average of 18 hours of instructional time per week for full-time students. Half-time students attend 2 academic classes and one of the labs plus all ELI and activities .


The ELI has a professional teaching staff; each teacher has at least a master's degree and experience in teaching English as a second language. Students have access to university computer facilities, a tutoring center, and a new student center, which houses a movie theater, restaurants, a book store, and cafes.

Academic Year Calendars

In general the semesters are as follows:

Fall Semester = late-August through late-December

Spring Semester = mid-January through mid-May

Sample Daily/Weekly Schedule

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 - 10:00 Grammar

Reading and



Reading and


10:00 - 10:45
11:00 - 12:00

Listening and



Listening and


12:00 - 12:45



1:00 - 1:30 ELI Meeting
1:30 - 2:00
2:00 - :2:30

American Language

& Culture Lab

2:30 - 4:00 Conversation Partners Lab Conversation Partners Lab

Note: Additional free tutoring is often available through the Honors Program.

Everyday Life with ELI

Life with ELI Slideshow

Friday Activities

Four times each semester ELI arranges trips and excursions for our international students to sporting events, museums, art exhibits, and concerts, or simply a getting together with he ELI family to cook or play games. Usually these activities take place in and around Nacogdoches and provide students with an opportunity to share time in relaxed, informal settings.

Friday Activities Slideshow

Field Trips

Once per term ELI takes the students on a field trip. This trip may include visiting numerous museums, restaurants, and other places of interest where students have the opportunity to explore the city and its rich cultural life.
Field Trip to Fort Worth

International Student Association

ISA's purposes are to foster understanding among SFA students from all nations, and to foster a greater appreciation for diverse cultural, religious, and political philosophies; to promote and support academic, athletic, cultural, and social activities in order to stimulate the participation and interaction of the International Students in University and community life; to serve as the liaison between the Administration and the International Students and to promote an interaction with International Students attending other colleges and universities. Students participate in activities such as the Fall International Week, International Fashion Show, Food Festivals, and more.