Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a TOEFL 600 (250 on the computer-based TOEFL) to be exempt from the ELI when I need only a TOEFL 500 (173 on the computer-based TOEFL) to be admitted to UH-Manoa?

Over the years, we have found that students who fall between the 500 and 600 range on TOEFL clearly benefit from ELI classes. However, we believe that students who reach the TOEFL 500 level are capable of handling some regular university classes at the same time they are getting help from ELI classes.

 

If I have less than 500 on TOEFL, can I still come to the University of Hawai`i?

Yes! If you have a score of 430 or more on the TOEFL, you can be admitted into the Hawai`i English Language Program (HELP). Students at the higher levels of HELP can get conditional admission into UH Manoa. For more information, see HELP's website or contact HELP at eslhelp@hawaii.edu.

 

I'm an exchange student, here for only one year. Do I still need to clear the ELI?

Yes. Every student who has English as a second language needs to clear the ELI. If you meet exemption criteria, you can be exempted without taking the ELI Placement Test. If you don't meet exemption criteria, you need to take the test. However, after you have taken the ELI Placement Test, we have a somewhat different schedule for completion of the ELI courses if you are an exchange student. Be sure to ask the ELI Office, or Director or Coordinator about this.

 

I'm a transfer student, and I already took some English classes. Do I need to clear the ELI?

Yes. If you meet any of our exemption criteria, you can be exempted without taking the ELI Placement Test. If you don't meet exemption criteria, you need to take the test. If you have taken the equivalent of ENG 100 or ESL 100 (as determined by UH-Manoa's Office of Admissions & Records), you won't need to take the writing part of the test, but you will still need to take the listening and speaking parts. If you are not sure whether or not you have cleared the ELI, you should check with the ELI Office (Moore 570).

 

I was exempt from the ELI, but I think I need help with listening and speaking (or reading, or writing). Can I still take ELI classes?

Yes! We would be happy to allow you to take an ELI class. We ask, however, that you register for the course, attend regularly and complete all the work. Often you will be working with other students, and if you do not attend regularly and keep up with the assignments, you hurt your group members as well as yourself.

 

Do ELI classes count for credit?

At this time, only the credits from ELI 100 count toward a bachelor's degree. Other ELI courses do not count toward graduation. (However, each ELI course counts as a 3-credit course when you register. This limits how many non-ELI courses you can take in any one semester.)

However, there is some good news. Even though you cannot, at this time, get credit for most ELI classes, you may be eligible to get up to 16 credits for free (called "back credits") for your native language. For more information about this policy, click here.

Does the ELI provide tutoring for students who have English as a second language?

The answer is both yes and no.

Yes. There are many trained, professional tutors who are getting Master's and PhD degrees in the Department of Second Language Studies, and we would be glad to post an announcement asking for a tutor for you. To contact the Department of SLS Job Officer, send a message to kenton@hawaii.edu.

No. We're afraid that the university has no free tutoring center for students who have English as a second language. We would like to have one, but at this time one doesn't exist. However, if you need help with writing, there is The Writing Workshop, a writing tutoring service for all UHM students. The Writing Workshop is located in Kuykendall 402. To make an appointment, call 956-7619.

 

Click here for additional questions and answers
about the ELI Placement Test

 

Photo: Chris Evans/SOEST