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, May 27, 2017

To Look Up

When something is "looking up," it is improving.

Example: After several bad breakups, Olivia's love life was finally looking up

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

English Language Institute students attended their Graduation Ceremony
Class of Spring 2017 finished their semester term after 4 months

NEW YORK, MAY 12, 2017

The College of Staten Island/The City University of New York with its English Language Institute (ELI) felt proud last May, Friday 12th when it organized the graduation ceremony for students who came from thirteen different countries to study English during the semester term of Spring 2017.

TheCenter for Global Engagement of the College of Staten Island (CSI) welcomed several students for the Spring term during mid-January and placed them in different English language levels. Students came from countries such as China, Mexico, Russia, among others. During English classes, students learned skills that now allow them to communicate better.

During graduation, the Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement at CSI, Dr. Stephen Ferst, offered an opening speech with very meaningful words to students. “This graduation changes the perspective; it’s the celebration of the mountain that you have climbed. I know you have personal stories to tell, we watched you grow, we watched your English skills come alive”, Dr. Ferst said.

Students enjoyed their graduation ceremony after more than 4 months learning skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and getting prepared for the TOEFL test, which was included in their program. ELI is well-known for its experienced teachers who have been at CSI for a long time and who have taught students from all over the world. Students thanked their teachers with some presents mentioning how much they appreciated their efforts to teach them improve their English skills. Students thanked their teachers, Ms. Gail Hernandez, David Bridston, Thomas Speirs, and Drew Bostinto for their daily effort to learn the language.

Teacher David Bridston mentioned what his students learned during this term but also mentioned that his students got “prepared for the writing test, studied a lot of grammar, read a lot of essays from some very famous writers”, among other activities. Mrs. Hernandez stood at the podium and said that “it is always sad to say good-bye, especially to such a wonderful class, I’m so proud and happy to have been your ESL [English as a Second Language] teacher, you have come so far and I know you have amazing lives”. Teacher Bostinto expressed that he was “proud of all the progress we have made in a relatively short amount of time”. Finally, teacher Speirs commented, “we all had such a wonderful time. I like the community that we have”.

Students also offered beautiful speeches full of sensitivity. Student Mohammad Asfour from Palestine said a story about how he overcame his English skills by thanking ELI teachers and his classmates, “Mr. Drew, Mr. David, Mr. Thomas, Ms. Gail, what an honor to be one of your students, you made us laugh, you gave us important information, and you gave us a beautiful language which is English”.
Student Carmela Ingravallo from Italy said “thank you for teaching us a new language with passion, you now have a place in our hearts”.

Our Deputy Director of the Center for Global Engagement and Director of the International Student & Scholar Services, Ms. Barbara Clark offered some closing words by saying “as you continue in this journey, these experiences will enrich your future success, and successes are so much better when you follow what you love”.

Students registered into classes at the English Language Institute at the College of Staten Island, which is strategically located near the tourist area of Manhattan, where students also spent some time during field trips. Teachers usually take them to the zoo, museums, Wall Street, or Times Square.

ELI offers different terms during the year, two semester terms from January to May and from August to December, and two summer terms in June and July. Students who participated in this graduation were from Algeria, China, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Palestine, Poland, Russia, SriLanka, Syria, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Graduation was celebrated at the Green Dolphin Lounge at CSI, where students invited their relatives and friends.

The Center for Global Engagement invites students interested in learning English to see more about its programs at ELI and enjoy the best experience in New York City.

English Language Institute
Center for Global Engagement
College of Staten Island/CUNY

International office Facebook:
ELI Skype account: elistudy_1 or
CSI student housing Youtube:

Friday, May 19, 2017

To keep one's options open

When you "keep your options open," you avoid doing something that will prevent future opportunities.

Example: Although Lucas invited her to his party, Madeline waited to reply to him in order to keep her options open.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

To Know the Ropes

When you "know the ropes," you understand how something works.

Example: Since Olivia knows the ropes best, she will train Aleks for the job.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Studying English in New York? 5 tips to study in New York

English in New York? Why? But more importantly, how
Five useful tips to study English abroad and enjoy the city meanwhile

Everyone knows the importance of learning English and the multiple outcomes speaking English brings. It is useful for studying and especially in the USA, almost necessary when working in an English-speaking country, and even when listening to music!

There are many tips for improving your English skills, but we will try to go deep in practical details to brighten those skills when studying English abroad and enjoy the city a little better. Here there are some common tips:

  1. Exposure. As much as you watch, see, read, listen in English, you will have more chances to practice the language.
  2. Read everything. Not only will the New York Times newspaper show you a good article to practice formal written English, but also listening to music with lyrics, translating slang to English from your language, and even reading the restaurant menu and supermarket ads will help us be prepared for any situation.
  3. Sign up in English classes with cultural components. There are many English institutions that offer English classes, but you will be surprised if you register in English classes with cultural field trips, academic excursions, or business English courses with visits to companies.
  4. English apps in your cell phone. Our cell phones are almost all the time used more as apps than as a telephone! So, why don't we download an app to practice English? Find one that it's not boring for you or that you may end up deleting from your phone.
  5.  Social media. Add your favorite social media and pages to your accounts. Fan of Twitter or Instagram? Add a page so you can enjoy the photos and learn some words and phrases they may add to their posts. Can't live without Facebook? Join groups or follow pages where there are English grammar or vocabulary tips, or "Like" some pages where you can enjoy English in a fun way.

How can you do that in New York?

Learning English in a big city like New York may bring many challenges, so the tips shown above should be done with a little bit of fun, don't you think?

Certainly, exposition to the language will be all around the city. For example, studying English on a university campus will bring many opportunities since you will have the chance to attend conferences, participate in debates, meet friends during group homework, or even reading campus news. Let us know how many words you can remember and use after a little walk around your borough in New York. Go to Times Square and read all the billboards and you will have a good, free vocabulary class!

Find your own best way to learn a language. If you are a visual learner, pay attention to images on newspapers, magazines, or Facebook posts. This will help you, subconsciously, learn new expressions, words, and be more culturally aware.

Signing up in an English class is the most traditional way to learn the language. It helps us have a better, guided way to learn what we really need to learn. Dr. Stephen Ferst, Executive Director of the Center for Global Engagement of the CUNY College of Staten Island, invites everyone to register at the English Language Institute (ELI) at CSI so “you can take advantage of all the learning we have to offer at ELI, improve your English, and take advantage of everything that New York City has to offer, certainly the greatest city in the world”, he says.

Living and studying English in Staten Island will make your stay a little easier if you decide to study in New York, since you will not be overwhelmed with the huzzle and rush of Manhattan, and you will find out that Staten Island gives you a quiet environment but close to Manhattan in a 25-minute free ferry ride.

Our cell phones are a powerful tool to do everything. Take advantage of it. There are many apps that will help you practice the language with vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or any skill you would like to improve. Pick a fun app to spend some minutes a day to practice English.

Social media is definitely the trendy way people are connected to the world. We are sure you are fan of one of them. Join a group in Facebook where you can learn English, enjoy a music app so you can spot some English words while listening to your favorite song, or share some Twitter posts. There are many Facebook pages from New York where you can enjoy the language and learn at the same time.

We hope these tips can help you a little more to learn English in a more fun way, and if it is in New York, even better! As New York is the city that never sleeps, English is the language that will always be there for you 24/7.

English Language Institute (ELI)
Center for Global Engagement
CUNY College of Staten Island, New York

Friday, May 5, 2017

To Look Into

When you "look into something," you investigate or seek information about it.

Example: After seeing the open house, Luna decided to look into buying it.

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