UT Tyler

Intensive English Language Institute

IELI Program

The IELI Program is organized into two eight-week sessions each semester (168 instructional hours per 8-week session), and an intensive eight-week summer session (see information on dates and registration deadlines). Classes meet five days each week, providing students with 21 classroom hours Monday - Friday, with daily homework assignments to reinforce the lesson. IELI classes do not exceed an average of 12 - 15 students each.

Progression from Beginning to Advanced Levels of the IELI

The IELI offers seven levels of instruction from beginning to advanced. To ensure each student is in the correct level of study, placement testing (the Pearson Test of English) is required the week before their first session begins. After placement testing, students are assigned classes based on their English proficiency test results.

Instructional Level

Upon exit from each level described below, students will be able to:

Level 1: Beginning

Read and write simple English text; answer simple spoken questions; and participate in basic academic tasks with significant support.

Level 2: High Beginning

Understand passages on common topics; read and write simple paragraphs; ask and answer a variety of simple questions with support.

Level 3: Low Intermediate

Understand longer passages on common topics in more detail; write detailed paragraphs; understand, converse, and give short presentations with minimal support.

Level 4: Mid Intermediate

Understand a variety of mid-intermediate level passages; write short essays; organize and present academic papers to peers with minimal support; and participate in simple discussions.

Level 5: High Intermediate

Understand high-intermediate passages; write multiparagraph, organized essays; present academic papers to the class; and participate in discussions of academic topics. Texas Success Initiative (TSI) preparation occurs.

Level 6: Low Advanced

Comprehend complex passages; compose organized essays appropriate for academic topics; and actively participate in discussions of academic topics. Undergraduate students must complete Level 6 to receive an English proficiency waiver for admission into UT Tyler.

Completion of Level 6 fulfills UT Tyler's undergraduate admission English proficiency requirement. (Note: The TOEFL, PTE and IELTS score requirements at UT Tyler will be met/satisfied for undergraduate students who receive no grade lower than an A in Level 6).

Level 7: Advanced

Comprehend most academic passages; compose well-organized essays and research papers suitable for academic purposes; and actively participate in scholarly discussions. Graduate students must complete Level 7 to receive an English proficiency waiver for admission into UT Tyler.

Completion of Level 7 fulfills minimum graduate admission requirements for many programs at UT Tyler. (Note: TOEFL, PTE and IELTS score requirements at UT Tyler will be met/satisfied for undergraduate students who receive no grade lower than a B in Level 7).


Regular 8-Week Session Schedule (One Semester Consists of Two 8-Week Sessions)

IELI Class Schedule


Day and Time


Listening and Speaking

M/W/F 9 - 10:30 a.m.

4.5 hours/week


M/W/F 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

4.5 hours/week

Language & Culture Education (new students)

M/W 1 - 2:30 p.m.

3 hours/week

Listening & Note-taking Skills (advanced students)

M/W 1 - 2:30 p.m.

3 hours/week

Reading & Discussion

T/TH 9 - 11:15 a.m.

4.5 hours/week

Writing & Editing/Research

T/TH 12:30 - 2:45 p.m.

4.5 hours/week






Total weekly hours

21 hours/week

Total program instructional hours

168 hours (8-week session)


IELI Curriculum

The IELI core curriculum includes courses in listening and speaking, reading, writing and grammar. Newly entering students also take an American culture course to help them adjust to life in the U.S. and on campus. In addition to the core requirements, advanced students (Levels 5-7) also take a course in listening and note-taking skills, as well as prepare for the Texas Success Initiative (TSI).

For incoming, first-time freshman students, ACT or SAT test preparation seminars are available at an additional cost. IELI students must receive a final grade of at least 80% (B) for both 8-week sessions in each of the fall and spring semesters to successfully advance to the next level. Students who make rapid progress may be able to advance to the next level at mid-term during each fall and spring semester.


Full-time enrollment for each eight-week session meets for 21 class hours/week (four classes and lab) resulting in 168 total hours.

Full-time enrollment for each 16-week session meets for 21 class hours/week (four classes and lab) resulting in 336 total hours included in one of the seven (7) levels of instruction offered at the IELI.

Additional Experiences

Additional field trips are available throughout the semester. NOTE: Short-term English language development experiences are also available for individual students or groups/delegations.


  • Attendance Requirements

    IELI students are expected to attend all classes and remain in class the entire period. IELI instructors record absences and tardiness daily. Students arriving more than 5 minutes late to class will be counted tardy. Three (3) late arrivals to class are equivalent to one (1) absence. Students with five (5) unexcused absences occurring during one eight-week period may not be allowed to advance to the next level or may be dropped from the IELI classes they are enrolled in without refund of tuition, fees or books.

    NOTE: 100% attendance is expected in all Seminar sessions.

    Students who have not attended IELI classes for more than one 16-week semester must retake placement exams to receive level placements and new class assignments. Returning IELI students who enter after Friday of the first week of classes may be required to take a placement test and complete any missed classwork before the last day of the second week of classes.

  • Admissions to UT Tyler 

    Admission to UT Tyler requires a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 79, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 and 6 or greater in all sub-sections, or Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 53.

    Undergraduate students: TOEFL, PTE, AND IELTS scores will be waived for individuals who complete Level 6 of the University of Texas at Tyler Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) with no grade lower than an A or those who complete Level 7 with no grade lower than a B. For specific admissions criteria for UT Tyler, please refer to the International Undergraduate and Graduate Student Admissions descriptions in the UT Tyler Academic Catalog. NOTE: The Educational Testing Service (ETS) code for TOEFL for The University of Texas at Tyler is 6850.

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Overview of IELI Classes

  • Study Schedule

    The IELI follows a standard university semester schedule with 2 sessions occurring within each 16-week semester. There are 5 entry points per year: January, March, June, August and October. 

    Students entering the program in Level 1 (Beginning), should plan to spend at least 4 semesters and 1 summer session to complete Level 7 (Advanced) of the IELI program (2 consecutive years of study to progress from Beginning to Advanced proficiency levels).

    The recommended time frame of study for students entering Level 1 (Beginning) and exiting Level 7 (Advanced) is described below:

    Semester 1:Two eight-week sessions (Level 1) 

    Semester 2:Two eight-week sessions (Level 2)  

    Summer:One eight-week intensive summer session (Level 3)

    Semester 3:One eight-week session (Level 4); One eight-week session (Level 5) *Texas Success Initiative(TSI) preparation occurs during Level 5.

    Semester 4:Two eight-week sessions (Levels 6-7)

    Study Buddy Program

    All students are highly encouraged to participate in the Study Buddy Program, which pairs English Language Learners with American students to study, build friendships, and experience American culture. 

    Class Styles 

    Classes are built on a task-based curriculum with a communicative approach. Classes may have students of different levels. Multilevel classes provide opportunities for student collaboration and learning reinforcement, and give a sense of continuum in learning. By creating an atmosphere that allows students to improve study habits, social interaction, self-motivation, and a spirit of cooperation, multilevel classrooms are proven to increase student learning and understanding of class topics.

    The types of activities that are common among the IELI classes are as follows:

    lectures or presentation of lessons
    textbook activities and comprehension checks
    small group / pair work
    audio and video recording of presentations
    practice activities, including worksheets, games, interviewing, etc.
    presentation activities, including speeches, panel presentations, PowerPoint
    timed writing, timed reading, and timed speaking activities
    course field trips and other authentic source learning
    community involvement, including campus events and clubs
    computer activities, including online searches and English practice
    individualized feedback, or student-teacher conferences
    activities involving interviews conducted in academic departments
    homework (preparation or reinforcement of classroom lessons)
    assessments (wide range of methods)

    Deadlines and Dates...
UT Tyler