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ELI Students Create Magazines

This term in the Writing 105 (pre-intermediate) class, students used their writing skills to create magazines. During the term, they learned how to write and organize paragraphs and essays using their opinions as well as evidence from outside readings. For the magazine, students worked in groups to choose a topic, researched their topic, and wrote headline articles, additional short writings, and even made advertisements!

We are very proud of their hard work. Please click on the image to read the magazine!

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Norah from Mongolia

Norah is originally from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia but currently lived in Tennessee. She attended the ELI for one term in early 2017. She is now studying at Pellissippi State Community College. She just started this Fall! Although she only studied at the ELI for one term (2 months), it seems she has learned a lot. According to Norah:

“Some skills that I had learned from ELI really help me right now in college. For example, my speaking/listening class helped me learn how to outline and prepare for speeches. My reading class gave me some good tips about how to summarize and think critically. Now I use these tips in college.”

She is just getting started in her college career but hopes to gain valuable skills and possibly major in computer programming – a great choice! Whatever she decides, we know she will succeed!

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Thais from Brazil

This is Thais. She attended the ELI for two terms in 2014 as part of a special Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP). After attending the ELI, she attended the University of Tennessee for two semesters, taking Chemical Engineering classes. She went back to Brazil in December 2016 to finish her degree. Currently, she is in her last semester of college. She works as English tutor in her university and as research assistant in a solar energy research group. How exciting!

Thais told us that the ELI was like a key to open new doors for her future. Here is what she said:

“In my first day of class, I was told that learning English is to get a key that opens a door to a vast new world. As a researcher, I can say that English is essential to have access to the most recent information about what is being discovered and published in the most prestigious academic journals and magazines. So, without the ELI and its wonderful teachers, I wouldn’t be able to keep learning and researching about solar energy technologies and to work for a clean energy future for my country.”

That is amazing. We are so glad that we could help you, and help Brazil, too!

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Maha from Saudi Arabia

Maha attended the ELI for two terms in 2016. In one of those terms, she participated in a big debate that was watched by about 50 other students! She has some very kind words about the ELI:

“The ELI means so much to me. It is basically where I started.”

Currently she is a sophomore studying health sciences at Saint Louis University in Missouri. She is majoring in Medical Laboratory Science. She has just started doing research with one of the department’s faculty members, too, which is very impressive because it’s not that common for undergraduates. So, that’s quite an achievement. And yet, she says, “Despite all of that, I’m still learning English”. We also asked her what she does in her free time. Here’s what she said:

“No free time in college. You guys were right! 🙂 But if there is any, I like reading, watching movies, and hanging out with friends.”

The ELI tries to prepare students not only for English but also for life as a university student. That means learning that being busy is part of the job.

We remember Maha as a strong, independent, and motivated student. We are so happy she is doing well and on her way to doing great things!

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Mustafa from Iraq

This is Mustafa Al Jumaily. He studied at the ELI for two terms in 2015. He is currently a PhD student in computer engineering at our university, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He thanks the ELI for helping him meet the TOEFL and GRE requirements for study at UT.

He is living an exciting graduate student life. He has worked on human gesture recognition using Wi-Fi and has recently submitted a paper for publication about his work. He is also working on developing 5G (so much better than 4G) wireless communication. In addition, he is also a local author! He has published six articles in UT’s student newspaper, the Daily Beacon. His writings are quite interesting and are usually about the international student experience. You can find his articles here.

We look forward to reading more of his writing, enjoying the faster internet that he will provide us in the future, and calling him Dr. Mustafa Al Jumaily!

CIE Hosts Undergraduate Group from Argentina

The UTK Center for International Education (CIE) is hosting a group of 20 undergraduates from Argentina. The students arrived in Knoxville on Friday, January 5, and will be on campus through February 24—the program coincides with the summer vacation period in Argentina.  The students are in their third and fourth-year as undergraduates at various universities in Argentina. While on campus, the group will be attending selected classes related to their academic majors, and participate in community service and leadership development activities.

The students are sponsored by the U.S.- Argentina Fulbright Commission in Buenos Aires. They were selected through a highly competitive process, and are among a group of 280 of high participating in similar programs at 15 campuses in the U.S.

Many of the students intend to pursue graduate degrees after completing their undergraduate studies in Argentina.

CIE’s Office of International Partnerships and Exchanges and English Language Institute (ELI) are responsible for the program. Questions may be directed to Jim Hamrick at ELI,by email at,  or by phone at 865 974 3404.

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Morgane from France

Morgan at the ELI Easter Party

Meet Morgane Perret, who is originally from France. She studied at the ELI for two terms in 2016. According to Morgane, the ELI helped her to learn English and be able to study in the US. Here is what she told us about the ELI:

“I am really glad that I went to the ELI because I am more open-minded now that I was before. I was able to meet wonderful people there, such as the teachers and also students. Studying at the ELI has been a really important experience in my life and I am really happy of what they helped me accomplish.”

What is Morgane doing now? After she left the ELI, she was planning on going back to France. However, she also applied to Pellissippi State Community College, a nearby college in Knoxville. She was accepted and is now studying education. This is her first semester.

Morgane was a great student to have at the ELI and we are so happy she is still in Knoxville. We are sure she’ll do great at Pellissippi!

ELI Alumni Spotlight: Bingshu from China

Meet Wu Bingshu from Qingdao, China! He studied at the ELI for two terms in 2015. After that, he began studying at the University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business (one of the top businesses schools in the United States). He is currently a junior now! Wow. That means he is almost finished! Time really flies.

He says that the ELI helped him a great deal:

“My English was not good to attend UT directly. ELI helped me to improve my English skills including listening, writing, speaking, and reading a lot.”

Being a business student means he is very busy. So, what does he do when he is not busy? In Bingshu’s free time, he likes to play basketball, which helps him meet new friends. He also likes video games, which helps him relax.

We wish the best for Bingshu and hope that he puts his business skills to good use!

ELI Teaching Associate Anthony Schmidt Awarded Grant

Anthony Schimdt is the recipient of the 2017 University of Pittsburgh Travel Award for IEP Instructors.

The award is used for expenses associated with attending the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Seattle, Washington, USA on 21-24 March 2017. He will be recognized at the keynote session at the Convention and an Awards Reception. At the TESOL Convention, Anthony will be giving a presentation entitled: “Off Course: A Comparison of EAP Writing Coursebooks and University Writing Tasks.”

Proyecta Students Visit Cades Cove

On November 26, the students from Proyecta visited the beautiful Cades Cove located in Sevier County Tennessee to enjoy the natural beauty of the Smokey Mountains.  They were able to see the majestic mountains in their beautiful autumn colors and see some wildlife during the drive.  Although it was cold, the trip allowed the students to see new landscapes during their time here in the United States.

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