UToledo’s American Language Institute Highlighted by Pearson

June 16, 2020 | News, UToday
By Cathy Zimmer

The University of Toledo American Language Institute (ALI) is taking language learning online.

Dr. Ting Li, curriculum coordinator for the institute, was interviewed by Pearson, highlighting ALI’s transition to online services for its English as a Second Language (ELS) classes.


The piece titled “Educator Story: Moving ESL Courses Online to Keep Learning Moving Forward” highlighted The University of Toledo’s intensive English Language Learning Program, which helps non-native speakers of English achieve success both academically and professionally.

In fall 2016, ALI standardized its curriculum in alignment with the Common European Framework of Reference and Global Scale of English, which is the guiding framework for Pearson’s ESL textbook series, “NorthStar and Focus on Grammar.”

Although other intensive English programs have been using Pearson products, according to Pearson, ALI is leading the way in systematically aligning ESL students’ learning objectives and the program’s progressive level structure with teaching materials, assessment methods, and virtual learning tools. In 2018, Pearson invited ALI to collaborate in a case study to highlight best practices in using Pearson products.

Some of the article’s key recommendations, drawn from Li’s work, were:

• Get the entire faculty together to complete intensive online training both in person (if possible) and virtually.

• Create a supportive and collaborative work environment.

• Have a leader that trusts fully in the faculty’s abilities as this breeds confidence and a willingness to ask for assistance.

• Offer consistent online structure and links to avoid confusion for students.

• Be adaptable to the modern technological age and see it as an opportunity to engage students and reduce administrative burden.

Read the Pearson article.

“We are so proud of the strides ALI has made,” said Sara Clark, director of the Center for International Studies and Programs. “Sharing their best practice with others institutions will help them to focus their efforts in serving their students.”

Pearson is the world’s learning company with more than 22,500 employees operating in 70 countries. It provides content, assessment and digital services to learners, educational institutions, employers, governments and other partners globally. The company helps equip learners with the skills they need to enhance their employability prospects and to succeed in the changing world of work.

The American Language Institute is the Intensive English Program at The University of Toledo, offering English language classes to students from all over the world. ALI falls under the Center for International Studies and Programs, which supports internationalization by creating links among students, scholars, faculty, staff and the community that foster cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

Click to access the login or register cheese