Please read the following to learn about the mission, purpose, and history of the ELI. If you still can’t find answers to your questions, please read the FAQ page, read 'How can we serve you?', or contact us.

The English Language Institute (ELI) exists to meet the language-learning needs of non-native English speakers through superior English language training. It also exists to provide the UAB community with top-notch training options, both for current and future students and employees. Additionally, the ELI exists to serve as a cross-cultural training resource for Americans and internationals in the Birmingham area. Part-time and full-time English language courses are offered through our institute. As a special service to local companies, classes and training are available on site.

Mission Statement
The English Language Institute (ELI) strives to foster communication among cultures through quality English language programs and cross-cultural training opportunities.

In order to do this effectively, the ELI will remain committed to the following:

• Provide English language instruction, using industry best practices in pedagogy, that enables non-native speakers to acquire the skills necessary to meet their goals, with a particular emphasis on academic and professional preparation in the higher levels

• Maintain appropriate support services for full-time students to aid in their transition to life and studies in the United States, including access to orientation information, immigration counseling, academic advising, social opportunities, and cross-cultural training

• Offer part-time courses that meet the English language or cross-cultural learning needs of UAB students, UAB employees, and the Birmingham international community at large

• Serve businesses or community agencies in the Birmingham metropolitan area through delivering specialized English language and/or cross-cultural training services as needed

• Advance UAB’s reputation for excellence through serving as a resource for international education, a venue for cross-cultural encounters, and an extension of UAB’s international reach across the world 

The idea for the ELI emerged as members of Birmingham's higher education community considered the need for professional English language instruction in the region. Established as a special project of a local educational collaboration called the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE), the program was developed to provide a professionally-staffed “center” in adult English language and cross-cultural instruction for the member institutions and the region. Named the English Language and Culture Institute (ELCI), the program held its first class in Fall semester of 2001, and BACHE housed the program through December of 2003.

In January of 2004, the ELCI was relocated to the School of Education of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In the years since, the program has experienced steady growth, both in service to UAB and through meeting ESL training needs in the greater Birmingham region. In 2009, the ELCI received approval from the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama system to serve as a designated "institute" at UAB. In the same year, the ELCI opened its Intensive English Program to pre-degree students and short-term students needing to improve their English for academic or professional purposes.

The ELCI was renamed the UAB English Language Institute (ELI) in November 2010 and is now part of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. The English Language Institute looks forward to continued growth, and it remains committed to deliver English language and cross-cultural training programs with the high standard of quality that is the ELI's hallmark.

For more information on the ELI, read about our English Language Training or contact us at or (205) 975-6638.
   phone-white-icon  205.975.6638
UAB English Language Institute
EB 126
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1250