CUNY - College of Staten Island - English Language Institute



CUNY - College of Staten Island: The English Language Institute (ELI) of the Center for Global Engagement has offered innovative academic programs for students learning English as a Second Language since the late 1970’s. Our course of study is designed to challenge and engage students. Students are immersed in the language, culture, and ethnicity of New York City. Classes range from beginner to the advanced level.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Consul General of Mexico in New York talks to Mexican ELI students at the College of Staten Island

New York, November 16, 2017

Consul General of Mexico in New York talks to Mexican ELI students at the College of Staten Island

Mexican students are at the English Language Institute of the College of Staten Island for a month funded by their government. The Consul General of Mexico in New York learned about the progress the students have had improving their language level and experience in New York City.

On November 16, the Consul General of Mexico in New York, Mr. Diego Gómez Pickering, visited the College of Staten Island (CSI)/The City University of New York (CUNY) and had a meeting with Mexican students who are at the English Language Institute (ELI) taking classes for a month to improve their language level. These Mexican students are at ELI for a month in a special program with English classes, conferences, and more with a scholarship funded by the Mexican government.

Consul Gómez spent the morning talking to ELI students asking about their academic backgrounds, English improvement, and future goals. “Being here at CSI and having been able to speak with the dozen of Mexican students that today are studying English, improving their English skills, through the 100,000 Proyecta program, funded by the Mexican government, is an extraordinary experience,” Gómez said.



Students introduced themselves and talked about where they were from and which Mexican institution they studied in. Some of them shared they were from Los Mochis in Sinaloa, Matamoros in Tamaulipas, and Minatitlan in Veracruz, in majors such as engineering, business management, architecture, among others.

“Being here at CSI with the dozen of Mexican students that today are studying English, improving their English skills, is an extraordinary experience,” Gómez said.

The Consul General Gómez also had a chance to talk with the Deputy Director of the Center for Global Engagement of CSI, Ms. Barbara Clark, and the Director of the English Language Institute, Mr. Gonzalo Villena, who shared what CSI has accomplished in the international field and how the ELI program has participated for many years welcoming Mexican students in the scholarship program, Proyecta 100,000, funded by the Mexican government, which covers not only English classes for one month but also housing at a family homestay, academic activities such as conferences, workshops, lectures, Broadway shows, and a tour around Manhattan.



Students had the honor to meet the Consul General and talked about their English classes and experience living in New York. ELI student, Ricardo Ayala, commented he almost fell when he knew he got the scholarship. “When I learned I got the scholarship, I was actually returning from vacations. When the airplane landed and I read the email that I got the scholarship, I almost fell,” Ricardo expressed.

“The College of Staten Island, as part of the City University of New York, the CUNY system, is an excellent choice, especially at the English Language Institute to improve the English skills,” Consul Gómez concluded.

Ricardo is part of a group of Mexican students who joined the English Language Institute’s Fall term for the month of November. Today, they are part of a class with students from all over the world studying English, with countries such as Albania, Ecuador, Japan, Italy, Sri Lanka, Turkey, among others. The Intensive English Program (IEP) is the most important course of ELI which covers courses focused on grammar, reading and writing, speaking, and a special course which trains students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The program has 18 hours per week and students have an intensive training to improve their English skills with very experienced teachers certified by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

“When I learned I got the scholarship, I was actually returning from vacations. When the airplane landed and I read the email that I got the scholarship, I almost fell,” Ricardo expressed.

During the meeting with Consul General Gómez, which was held in English showing how much they had learned, the Consul also told ELI students the benefits and advantages of learning English, how much they could contribute to their community once they return to Mexico, and how well this was for their majors. “As Consul of Mexico in New York, I’m leaving convinced that the College of Staten Island, as part of the City University of New York, the CUNY system, is an excellent choice, especially at the English Language Institute to improve the English skills and to create a better future in New York, and between Mexico and the United States”, Consul Gómez concluded.



This important visit strengthened the relation the College of Staten Island and the English Language Institute have with the Consulate of Mexico in New York, as a means to support Mexican students at CSI and ELI, regarding the services that the Consulate offers to their national citizens. ELI highly expects to host future Mexican students in this scholarship program and welcomes more Mexican students who live in New York or Mexico and are interested in learning English.





Friday, November 17, 2017

To Be Stuffed

When you are “stuffed,” you ate a lot of food and can’t eat anymore.
Example: After thanksgiving dinner, Jenny was stuffed!


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Saturday, November 11, 2017

To Talk Turkey

When you “talk turkey,” you talk about something serious.
Example: After he got the job, it was time for Alex to talk turkey with his boss. They had to discuss Alex’s starting salary.
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Director of the English Language Institute awarded as member of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars


Director of the English Language Institute awarded as member of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars

The membership was recognized for the achievements and leadership at the English Language Institute of the College of Staten Island

The Director of the English Language Institute (ELI), Mr. Gonzalo Villena, was awarded with the membership of the Phi Beta Delta (PBD) Honor Society for International Scholars last November 1 during the Induction Ceremony held at the College of Staten Island (CSI).

At the Center for the Arts of the College of Staten Island/The City University of New York (CUNY), the 2017-2018 Induction Ceremony was held with several inductees among CSI students, scholars, and staff.

The College of Staten Island is part of the chapter of the PBD Honor Society for International Scholars, which is the nation’s first honor society in the USA dedicated to recognizing individuals who have demonstrated scholarly achievement and performed outstanding service and leadership in the area of international education.

“The 2017-2018 Induction Ceremony was held with several inductees among CSI students, scholars, and staff.”

CSI authorities, who gave the new inductees their corresponding medals and a warm welcome, led the Induction Ceremony. During the event, authorities mentioned the PBD’s main goals in order to represent this Society. The goals of this organization include the recognition of individual achievement in the area of international understanding, the advancement of international programming, research and scholarly exchange, among others. During the ceremony, an honorary membership was acknowledged to the main lecture speaker guest, the Consul General of Peru in New York, Ambassador María Teresa Merino Villarán de Hart.



The Director of ELI has 20 years of experience in international education with a Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification and English training around the world. He has also been the head of an international area in a university with campuses in South America and in Miami, and has traveled to more than 20 countries promoting and recruiting international students. “It’s a privilege to represent ELI and the College of Staten Island for students who want to learn English in New York and a big responsibility to accept this membership since it will set ELI’s mission towards students’ learning, knowledge, and growth,” Villena said.

"The goals of this organization include the recognition of individual achievement in the area of international understanding."

This is a special recognition to the English Language Institute since it means the real commitment that the ELI has in order to promote not only English learning as a language acquisition but also learning about new cultures, international experience, and personal growth. ELI offers semester and summer terms to international and local students who come to New York from all over the world to improve their English skills at the largest CUNY campus with cultural and academic activities and field trips. Currently, ELI has received almost 100 students these past terms from Albania, China, Ecuador, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Macedonia, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, among other countries.

“ELI offers semester and summer terms to international and local students who come to New York from all over the world.”

The PBD Honor Society was founded at California State University in 1986 with 38 members –or chapters, and has served as a means of network among students and faculty in the United States and countries such as Canada, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, among others.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Mexican students joined the English Language Institute Fall term

Mexican students joined the English Language Institute Fall term

Mexican government offered scholarships to study English in the USA. The College of Staten Island was chosen among other universities to host students for one month with English classes, academic activities and field trips.

A group of nine Mexican students arrived last October 30 in New York to study at the English Language Institute (ELI) of the College of Staten Island (CSI)/The City University of New York (CUNY) with English classes, conferences, academic activities, and field trips. They received a warm welcome session from Deputy Director, Ms. Barbara Clark, and ELI Director, Mr. Gonzalo Villena, both from the Center for Global Engagement of CSI.



The students learned about their one-month program with an orientation that explained about their stay in New York and at CSI. Ms. Clark talked about topics related to their visa status, safety issues, transportation, among other important topics that will let the students have a great time in New York City. The orientation also brought information of their daily activities and academic duties. They took an English placement test before starting classes, which will cover grammar, reading, writing, and speaking skills plus TOEFL workshop training.

Fun program
During their program, they will have weekly meetings with the CSI International Student Club, films and fun activities during the International Education Week, and information sessions. The English program will also let them practice their language skills during the Culture Day event, where they will have the chance to speak in English about Mexico.

The students learned about their one-month program with an orientation that explained about their stay in New York and at CSI.

Students will not only study English but also have fun. They will have a tour around Manhattan in hop-on hop-off buses where they will see famous tourist attractions such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, the World Trade Center, among others, plus a Broadway show.

Scholarship from Mexico
Participants come from different cities in Mexico. The Mexican government offered more than one thousand scholarships to study in the United States with full coverage. Students selected had to show high academic grades in

“I applied for this government scholarship and, fortunately, I got it to improve my English level,” Cielo expressed.

their own institutions in order to get the scholarship called Student Training Program Proyecta 100,000 United States 2017 coordinated through the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mexican Agency of International Development Cooperation. Students will live with host families during the entire program, which will let them learn about their culture during Thanksgiving and family activities.

Aurora Soto from Sinaloa, Mexico expressed her expectations while in New York. “We are so thankful for this opportunity and we invite all of you to study here because it’s a great experience,” Aurora said.



Cielo Valdez, also from Sinaloa, mentioned after the orientation she was fortunate to be at CSI. “I applied for this government scholarship and, fortunately, I got it to improve my English level,” Cielo expressed.


This will show a great mix of more than 12 nationalities in the classrooms since this Fall term ELI has students from all over the world.

Lynette Ochoa, originally from Los Mochis in Sinaloa, was excited to be at CSI and enjoyed her campus tour. “I hope you can come here and know this campus. It is really, really, really beautiful. You have to come here, you have to know it,” Lynette said.

Fall term
Students will join the ELI Fall term that usually runs from August to December. Mexican students will have a great opportunity to meet international students who are also learning English at ELI. This will show a great mix of more than 12 nationalities in the classrooms since this Fall term ELI has students from all over the world such as Albania, China, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, Korea, Macedonia, Peru, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, and Vietnam, among others.

The English Language Institute at the College of Staten Island welcomes once again these students and wishes the best of fun. ELI has been nominated as host sponsor of this program for the third year in a row which shows the confidence international institutions have in ELI, since it has welcomed different groups with government scholarships and grants as well as English as Second Language (ESL) customized and faculty-led programs. ELI is a member of the EnglishUSA association, which shows the high standard institutions such as the ELI has to have in ESL programs.

ELI offers semester and summer terms during its Intensive English Program at the largest CUNY campus in the city, with 204 acres full of modern facilities, ESL training teachers, and English-related activities. ELI is part of the Center for Global Engagement of CSI, international area of the College, focused on offering the best English program in New York City, with a genuine program that includes the most famous English test to apply for an academic degree called TOEFL, in which ELI teachers have an exclusive test-preparation course. Founded in 1976, the Center for Global Engagement has developed its English program customized for international students who want to learn English in New York and in the USA, for local students, and especially for foreign governments that want to bring their students to learn English for academic and/or business purposes.

Students interested in applying to ELI may find it really easily online filling out an application form and start classes at any time of the year.








Thursday, November 2, 2017

Have your Heart in your Throat

When “your heart is in your throat,” you feel nervous or scared.
Example: After receiving a text saying “we need to talk,” from her boyfriend, Susanna felt her heart in her throat.


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Out of the Woods

When you are “out of the woods,” you are out of a bad situation.
Example: After spending three days in the hospital, the doctors told Julia that she was out of the woods now because her fever dropped.




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