The mission of the English Language Programs (ELP) is to provide service to the University of Pennsylvania's community of students, faculty, and administrators and to foster the achievement of University and School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) goals through programmatic initiatives. The ELP is committed to providing programs that enhance the diversity of the Penn community and develop Penn's international dimension. The ELP strives for excellence in its educational endeavors, strengthening the link between theory, research, and practice. We strive to promote interest in and respect for all cultures. We value our ability to be flexible and responsive to clients' changing needs and to meet their expectations of effective and responsible programming. We are dedicated to providing an environment that promotes professional excellence. ELP faculty and staff provide service to and leadership in our professional organizations and support their standards. The ELP is self-supporting and contributes significant revenues to SAS and the University.

Programs and Services: The ELP offers instruction in English as a second or international language and exposure to the cultures of the United States. We also offer teacher training, testing, consulting services, and cross-cultural training. In addition, we contribute to the ESL profession as a whole by our work as researchers, presenters, and educators. To support all of our language and culture related activities:

  • we provide materials in well-articulated curricula; we use methods informed by our practical experience, theoretical discussions, and research findings on second language learning and teaching;
  • we conduct research into the nature of second language teaching and learning; we investigate the use of English by native speakers and non-native speakers;
  • we provide our faculty and staff with resources and support that promote their professional growth and enable them to fulfill their responsibilities;
  • we utilize the human and physical resources of the university, Philadelphia, and wider communities.

Clients: The ELP's market is international, national, and local in scope. We serve adults whose purpose is to learn English for a variety of social, professional, academic, or personal reasons. Other clients include second and foreign language teachers, native speakers of US English who wish to communicate successfully with international colleagues and intermediaries who refer or sponsor individuals or groups for English instruction.

Unique Characteristics: As an integral part of Penn, a top-ranked major research and teaching university located in the city regarded as the birthplace of US democracy, the ELP makes available to its clients a rich range of university and community resources, including:

  • excellent on-campus location surrounded by trees, monuments, and historic and modern buildings;access to libraries, computing facilities located in residence halls and academic buildings, a digital language learning laboratory, and theaters, museums and art galleries;
  • opportunities for qualified students to take academic courses for credit (e.g., the College of General Studies and the Wharton Evening School);
  • student services that include: accommodations in campus residence halls and with homestay families; orientation to Penn and Philadelphia; organized social and cultural activities; opportunities to join student clubs and organizations; recreational facilities; and a radio station and daily newspaper;
  • a diverse student body of undergraduate and graduate students and opportunities for cultural and language exchange with them;
  • training for faculty and staff and opportunities for development that encourage them to grow professionally and to enhance their careers within the University;
  • rich historic, cultural, intellectual and commercial resources available in and near Philadelphia, the second largest city on the East coast, that offer a wide array of attractions and opportunities for learning and research.

Vision: The ELP will strive for gains in the following three areas:

  • recognition by clients, alumni, fellow professionals and competitors for the application of best practices in all aspects of the design, staffing, and delivery of programs;
  • development of projects that sustain growth and employ the most suitable technology;
  • collaboration on projects and programming with other partners both inside and outside of the University locally, nationally, and internationally.

The central mission of the Intensive Program is to provide high quality instruction in English as a second language (ESL) to adults who wish to improve their proficiency in English for a variety of professional, academic, and social purposes, and who wish to increase their understanding of life in the United States as it relates to those purposes. To this end, we are committed to providing our learners with curricula, classroom materials, and teaching methods that are well informed by practical experience, theoretical discussion, and research findings on second language learning and teaching.

In keeping with the mission of the University of Pennsylvania, we also conduct research into the nature of second language teaching and learning, and we investigate how native speakers and non-native speakers use English. We are also dedicated to providing our faculty and staff with resources and support that will promote their professional growth.