Many international students study in the USA so they can learn to speak English, and many universities across the United States offer excellent opportunities for students to advance their English skills. However, fewer than 400 institutions are recognized by the Commission for English Language Accreditation (CEA) for their English language programs. The University of the Pacific International (UOPI) completed the CEA accreditation process this summer for its sixteen-week English program which helps international students learn English grammar and speaking skills.
The CEA vetting process reviews every aspect of an institution’s English language program, including:
A clearly communicated and periodically evaluated mission statement that guides the program.
A supportive, appropriate curriculum that helps students achieve their English language goals.
A faculty that is trained and available to students as needed.
Student services—including counseling and advising—that are accessible to everyone enrolled in the program.
“In obtaining CEA accreditation, a program documents not only that it complies with the requirements of the standards, but also contributes to the overall quality of the field through this achievement,” said CEA Executive Director Heidi E. Vellenga, PhD.
More about the English Language Institute at UOPI
The UOPI English Language Institute’s Intensive English Program is flexible—students can begin their English studies at multiple points during a semester. It is also an immersive way to learn English grammar and more, focusing on real-life and classroom experiences. The program was designed to help students feel safe and supported as they learn.
“When I first came to America, it was really difficult for me to communicate with others,” said Yifeng, a computer science major from China. “After studying at UOP International for a semester, my English, communication, and writing skills improved a lot.”
Students of the program can choose between two tracks—an eight-week option or the sixteen-week CEA-accredited program. The eight-week program has two course levels—upper and lower—and was created for students joining mid-semester. Through classroom and on-campus experiential learning activities, students focus on:
Reading and writing
Speaking and listening
Topics in American culture, such as movies, sports, or music
The sixteen-week CEA-accredited program starts at the beginning of the semester and is more intensive, aligning with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Students in this longer program focus on:
Applied Integrated Skills—focusing on academic listening, speaking, and reading practice
Grammar in Context—students learn English grammar through academic writing assignments
Special Academic Topics, focusing on a language skill or content area
Why is learning English important?
English is the language of international business, and it is also the most popular language for academic research. More than one-quarter of the world’s population speaks English, with the vast majority being non-native speakers.
According to a 2016 global employer survey analyzing language skills in the global workplace:
80% of academic journals are written exclusively in English
In areas where English is not the official language, 69% of employers say the language is important for their organization
70% of enterprise- and large enterprise-level organizations in countries where English is not an official language say that it is significant to their operations
Students attending the UOPI English Language Institute know how important the program is to their continued success at university and in their careers.
“UOPI has good connections for international students like me; they [also] helped me improve my English by giving me a chance to talk with native speakers and teachers,” said Jenny, a UOPI student from Vietnam. “UOPI helped me build up my resume, create my LinkedIn profile, and apply to jobs. As a result, I got an offer to help middle school students work on engineering projects.”
Through CEA accreditation, UOPI joins a recognized group of programs and institutions that provide student-centered programming and have demonstrated they have the resources necessary to further their English instruction mission.
Find out more about how to learn English at the University of the Pacific >
The University of the Pacific UOPI English Language Institute is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation for the period August 2020 through August 2025 and agrees to uphold the CEA Standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. CEA is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for English language programs and institutions in the U.S. For further information about this accreditation, please contact CEA, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 630, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 665-3400, www.cea-accredit.org.