The ELI’s main role in the university is to provide general instruction in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) to a range of UHM students who have English as a second language (primarily international students, but a growing number of immigrants and other student populations, as well). However, besides offering classes to help students who have English as a second language, the ELI serves the university, the local community, and the national and international community in a number of ways.
Whenever there are distinct, identifiable, and homogenous groups of ELI students, we stand ready to modify existing curriculum, or develop entirely new courses, as part of our support mission to both faculty and students. Indeed, in terms of UHM policy and the instructional needs of UH faculty, it is a requirement that students who do not meet established academic English criteria at the time of admission get assistance from the ELI. Thus, faculty who expect to be working with groups consisting largely of international or immigrant students may find that the ELI’s assistance actually lightens their instructional tasks.
Online ELI Courses
In Fall 2001, the ELI began developing online sections of its courses, in response to the university’s interest in developing online degree programs. Online sections allow UHM students on outer islands, on the mainland U.S., and across the world an alternative means of meeting UHM’s ELI requirements, without having to be physically present on campus.
We quickly found that these courses were quite popular, not just with distance-learning students, but also with on-campus students who faced scheduling problems, or otherwise would benefit from taking one or more of our ELI courses in online format.
At the same time, careful review showed that online learning was far more difficult for students at the intermediate level of proficiency (in terms of ELI placements); as a result, we have made an informed decision not to offer our intermediate level courses (ELI 70, 72 and 73) in online format.
Vietnam Executive MBA (VEMBA) Program
The ELI has been supporting the delivery of the Shidler College of Business Administration’s Vietnam Executive MBA (VEMBA) program, an on-site program taught in cohorts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In connection with the VEMBA program, we have modified existing courses to reflect an English for Business Purposes (EBP) perspective. This required a needs analysis and curriculum development, some of which was done on-site in Hanoi, and some of which involved cooperation with faculty from the College of Business Administration.
The first ELI/EBP course for VEMBA students was offerred in Hanoi during Summer 2004, with a follow-up online course in Fall of that year. Similar courses have continued with subsequent cohorts of the VEMBA program.
Additional Business-Focused Programs
The needs analysis and curriculum development being done for the VEMBA program will also serve as a baseline for EBP courses for additional programs that the College of Business Administration is currently exploring.