American English Institute

Cheryl A. Ernst, Executive Director
541-346-3917 fax
1787 Agate St.
5212 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-5212

The American English Institute offers English language programs for adults who want to improve their English proficiency in order to perform effectively in an academic or professional setting:

  • Intensive English Program
  • Academic English for International Students Program
  • Academic English for International Graduate Students Program
  • Other innovative program offerings

Institute instructors are university faculty members with specialized training in linguistics, applied linguistics, or teaching English as a second language. Classes begin in September, January, March, and June.

Intensive English Program

The Intensive English Program (IEP) consists of a seven-level curriculum with electives. Students may enroll for the full 10-week term or one of two four-week sessions: 1) the first four weeks of the program or 2) the last four weeks of the program.

The curriculum is divided into integrated skills courses focusing on reading and writing, grammar, and speaking and listening. Students take the core courses and one or more elective courses for a total of 18 to 22 hours of instruction per week.

The elective courses focus on areas of special concern or interest to students, including targeted skill practice for academic vocabulary, reading fluency, pronunciation, and test preparation. A rotating selection of courses may include on subjects such as journalism, current events, English as a world language, the world of hip-hop, and English conversation.

Students in good academic standing may enroll, with approval from the institute, in one regular university course (mathematics, foreign languages, or music performance) at an additional cost. Students who have partially completed the program may enroll in other university courses, with advising and approval from the institute.

Students receive additional language and study support through the Tutoring Office, where trained and supervised tutors help students with course work, conversation, listening, reading, composition, and pronunciation.

In addition to academics, students may participate in a selection of extracurricular activities. These activities include a conversation partner program, culturally and socially relevant activities, and volunteer and community-service programs.

Student Services

The institute’s services for students in the intensive and short-term programs include host families, advising, an extensive orientation program prior to the start of classes, coordinated interaction through tutoring, conversation partners, and planned activities in Eugene and around Oregon.

Admission Procedures

The institute’s Intensive English Program is open to students who have successfully completed secondary school and are able to demonstrate sufficient financial support for study at the institute. To apply, submit the following materials:

  1. An American English Institute application form

  2. Original or certified copies of the most recent degree or diploma received

  3. A personal (or guarantor’s) bank statement showing the exact amount available for the period of study, or evidence of a scholarship

  4. A nonrefundable application fee of $110

Admission to the Intensive English Program does not imply admission to any other school or program at the University of Oregon. Inquiries about admission should be directed to members of the institute’s admissions office staff at

Academic English for International Students

This program is offered to matriculated students who have scored between 61 and 87 on the internet-based TOEFL, between 500 and 575 on the paper-based TOEFL, or below 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination, or who request additional training in English as a second language for academic work. Courses are offered in listening, speaking, reading and vocabulary, and writing. International First-year Interest Groups (iFIG) are available in fall and winter. A placement test is required before registering. These courses earn university credit and are taken at the same time as other university course work. Information about this program is available from the American English Institute main office, its advising office, the First-Year Programs office, and International Student and Scholar Services in the Office of International Affairs.

Academic English for International Graduate Students

Graduate-level English (GRST) courses provide language support in academic writing and oral communication skills to international graduate students. These include two levels of graduate and scholarly writing in which students develop and polish skills in academic discourse conventions, vocabulary choice, and the grammatical accuracy needed for a variety of graduate-level writing tasks. Other courses focus on advanced speaking and presentation skills, specifically fluency, pronunciation, pragmatics, and strategic competence needed for clear, effective communication in various academic contexts, including professional contexts and teaching as a graduate employee (GE). Testing is provided for the GE English language requirement. Information about this program is available from the American English Institute office, the UO Office of International Affairs, and the UO Graduate School.

Innovative Programming

The American English Institute offers customized on-campus, online, and hybrid courses, workshops, and webinars. Specialized programs, curriculum, and materials can also be designed upon request in academic or professional areas of interest such as English-language learning, teacher training, university preparation, English for specific purposes, and US language and culture. A minimum number of students is required to offer these specialized programs. 


Edward Adamson, instructor (academic vocabulary, writing and grammar). BA, 1997, Wisconsin, Madison; MEd, 2006, Minnesota, Twin Cities. (2011)

Agnieszka Alboszta, instructor (critical thinking, distance education). BA, 1993, Minnesota, Twin Cities; MA, 2000, California Institute of Integral Studies. (2003)

John Busch, instructor (English linguistics, reading and vocabulary). BA 1982, Minnesota, Twin Cities; MA, 2007, Oregon. (2013)

Thomas Delaney, instructor (Teaching English to speakers of other languages, testing and assessment, differences in language learning); Academic English for International Speakers coordinator. BA, 1994, Loyola Marymount; MA, 1998, Monterey Institute of International Studies; PhD, 2009, Auckland. (2006)

Angela Dornbusch, senior instructor; head academic advisor. BA, 1995, St. Olaf College; MA, 2006, San Francisco State. (2012)

Nancy C. Elliott, instructor (oral communication skills, English dialectology and sociolinguistics). BA, 1982, MA, 1986, Kansas; PhD, 2000, Indiana, Bloomington. (2010)

Robert K. Elliott, instructor (pronunciation and intonation, international GE training, distance education). BA, 1988, California, Los Angeles; MA, 1994, San Francisco State. (2007)

Alicia R. Going, instructor. BA, 1987, Seattle; MA, 1995, School for International Training. (2003)

Andy Halvorsen, senior instructor (teacher training, distance education). BA, 1996, Western Washington; MEd, 2003, Seattle; PhD, 2014, Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. (2013)

Monica Hatch, instructor (academic English for international students). BA, 1994, Georgia; MA, 2011, Georgia State. (2011)

Char Heitman, senior instructor (teacher training, cross-cultural communication, oral skills and fluency). BA, 1988, Northern Iowa; MA, 1993, Iowa. (1997)

Laura G. Holland, senior instructor (intensive English-language teaching, teacher training, online distance education). BS, 1981, Wheelock College; MA, 1991, Columbia. (2010)

Britt Johnson, senior instructor (English as a second language reading, writing, grammar; curriculum; faculty community of practice). BA, 1992, Colorado. (2012)

Daria Kadrova, instructor (lower-level reading and writing). BA, 2008, MA, 2009, Kirovohrad State Pedagogical. (2013).

Jessica Lynch, instructor (intensive English instruction, academic English for international students, assessments). BA, 2006, Oregon; MA, 2008, New Mexico State. (2011)

Tonya Mildon, instructor (academic writing, academic oral communication, academic success). BA, 1990, Washington (Seattle); MA, 2000, Central Washington. (2011)

Jennifer Morris, senior instructor (intermediate and advanced academic writing; reading and grammar, curriculum development). BA, 1991, California, Santa Cruz; MA, 1996, Leicester. (2011)

Sueanne Parker, senior Instructor (grammar, critical reading, test preparation). BA, 2001, Western Washington; MA, 2005, Seattle Pacific. (2006)

Patricia Pashby, senior instructor (second-language teaching, teacher training, vocabulary acquisition); coordinator, international graduate teaching fellow program. BA, 1987, MA, 1990, San Francisco State; EdD, 2002, San Francisco. (2001)

Lara M. Ravitch, instructor (curriculum design, assessment, content-based instruction). BA, 1998, Connecticut College; MA, 2002, Monterey Institute of International Studies. (2011)

Jennifer Rice, instructor (English as a second language oral-aural skills, curriculum and materials design, objectives-based course assessment). BS, 2000, Ashland; MA, 2002, Western Oregon. (2010)

Korey Rice, instructor (discussion skills assessment, curriculum development). BA, 1999, Ashland; MS, 2004, Shenandoah. (2004)

Robin Rogers, instructor (curriculum development, materials writing, assessment procedures). BS, 2001, George Fox; MA, 2006, Seattle Pacific. (2010)

Janine Sepulveda, instructor (reading, writing, grammar). BA, 1991, Oregon; MA, 1995, Monterey Institute of International Studies. (1995)

Beth Sheppard, instructor (speaking and listening instruction). BA, 2002, California, Berkeley; MA, 2008, Oregon. (2008)

Thomas Tasker, senior instructor (academic reading and writing, curriculum development). MA, 1992, Illinois, Chicago. (2013)

Ilsa Trummer, instructor (reading, writing, grammar, and oral communication skills). BA, 2008, MA, 2011, Oregon. (2011)

Linda Wesley, instructor (intensive English instruction, distance education). BA, 1987, MA, 1997, Western Kentucky. (2013)

Misti Williamsen, instructor (academic reading and writing, curriculum development, listening and speaking instruction). BA, 2005, MA, 2010, Oregon. (2010)

The date in parentheses at the end of each entry is the first year on the University of Oregon faculty.

Academic English for International Students Courses

Course usage information

AEIS 101. Introductory Academic Oral Communication. 4 Credits.

Focuses on strategies to improve aural-oral academic communication through discussions, seminars, dialogue, videos, and lectures. Sequence with AEIS 102.
Pre- or coreq: placement test.

Course usage information

AEIS 102. Advanced Academic Oral Communication. 4 Credits.

Focuses on strategies to improve aural-oral academic communication through discussions, seminars, dialogue, and presentations. Sequence with AEIS 101.
Pre- or coreq: placement test or AEIS 101 with a grade of C– or better.

Course usage information

AEIS 107. Reading Academic Discourse. 4 Credits.

Focuses on interactive reading of academic text, building reading strategies for better comprehension, speed, and confidence, and developing critical reading skills.
Prereq: placement test.

Course usage information

AEIS 108. Advanced Reading Academic Discourse. 4 Credits.

Focuses on interactive reading of academic text, reading strategies for better comprehension, speed, and confidence, and further development of critical, interpretive and evaluative reading. Sequence with AEIS 107 (optional).
Prereq: placement test or AEIS 107 with a grade of C– or better.

Course usage information

AEIS 110. Introductory Academic Writing. 4 Credits.

Introduces conventions of expository essay writing. Emphasizes clear, effective written communication and development of editing skills. Covers grammar in context. Sequence with AEIS 111, 112.
Prereq: placement test.

Course usage information

AEIS 111. Intermediate Academic Writing. 4 Credits.

Intermediate writing for nonnative speakers of English. Critical analysis of academic texts leading to summary, paraphrase, essay-examination responses, and expository essays. Sequence with AEIS 110, 112.
Prereq: placement test or C– or better or P in AEIS 110.

Course usage information

AEIS 112. Advanced Academic Writing. 4 Credits.

Advanced writing for nonnative speakers of English. Critical reading of academic texts for response in various academic modes: reporting research, critical analysis, and argumentation. Sequence with AEIS 110, 111.
Prereq: placement test or C– or better or P in AEIS 111.

Course usage information

AEIS 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

AEIS 610. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Graduate Studies Courses

Course usage information

GRST 602. Supervised College Teaching. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

GRST 605. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-4 Credits.


Course usage information

GRST 607. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

GRST 608. Colloquium: [Topic]. 1-9 Credits.


Course usage information

GRST 610. Experimental Course. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

GRST 621. Academic Discourse. 4 Credits.

For international graduate students. Strategies for effective interaction and discussion in academic settings, including lectures, seminars, and campus events. Feedback on intelligibility, accurate language use, and cultural appropriateness.

Course usage information

GRST 624. Teaching in United States Universities. 4 Credits.

Strategies for successful communication with undergraduates. Focuses on increasing cross-cultural awareness and developing language and interaction skills for effective instruction. Topics include presenting material, fielding questions, leading discussions, supervising labs.

Course usage information

GRST 626. Professional Presentations. 4 Credits.

Concepts and principles of academic and professional presentations for graduate students, focusing primarily on the needs of international students. Includes both theory and application in terms of cultural norms, rhetorical style, and linguistic performance. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.

Course usage information

GRST 631. Graduate and Scholarly Writing I. 4 Credits.

Prepares first-year international graduate students to write academic papers; emphasis on fluency, organization, discourse conventions, accuracy, documentation, and appropriateness for writing tasks, including summaries, reviews, projects, reports, and research papers.

Course usage information

GRST 632. Graduate and Scholarly Writing II. 4 Credits.

For advanced international graduate students currently writing about their own research; emphasis on conventions for writing proposals, theses, dissertations, and articles for publication, with attention to accuracy in language use.
Prereq: GRST 631.