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 several 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
  • International Graduate Teaching Fellow Program
  • online distance education (e-learning) program
  • special short-term program

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

This program consists of a seven-level curriculum and an elective curriculum.

The curriculum is divided into integrated-skill core courses focusing on reading, writing, grammar, speaking, and listening. Students take the core courses and one or more elective courses for a total of 18–22 credits of instruction.

The elective curriculum consists of courses that focus on areas of special concern or interest to students, including targeted skill practice for academic writing, reading fluency, and pronunciation, as well as a rotating selection of courses on subjects such as journalism, current events, English as a world language, the world of hip-hop, and English conversation.

Workshops in test preparation are offered each term at no cost to the students. 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 receive 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 the Conversation Partner, Student Activities and Community Service Programs.

Short-Term Programs

The institute designs and teaches short-term programs for groups of students. Programs may target areas of interest such as business, university preparation, American language and culture, or second-language teaching methodology.

Student Services

The institute’s services for students in the intensive and short-term programs include host families, advising, an extensive orientation program before classes begin, and planned activities in Eugene and 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. Students are advised to study English for a minimum of six months prior to admission. 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 the institute’s admissions office staff.

Academic English for International Students

This program is offered to matriculated students who have scored between 500 and 575 on the paper-based TOEFL, between 61 and 88 on the Internet-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 are available in fall. 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, and International Student and Scholar Services in the Office of International Affairs.

Academic English for International Graduate Students

Graduate-level English 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 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 Office of International Affairs, and the Graduate School.

International Graduate Teaching Fellow Program

English courses are offered to international teaching assistants who need or want help in improving English for use in the classroom. Courses are offered to improve listening and speaking abilities, pronunciation, and university-level teaching and classroom interaction skills. Information about this program is available from the institute office, the Office of International Affairs, and the Graduate School.

Distance Learning

The institute offers several online e-learning courses and video conferencing workshops in language-teacher training. Specialized distance courses can also be designed upon request.


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)

Sandra Clark, instructor (intensive English language teaching, content-based instruction, critical thinking). BA, 1982, San Jose State; MA, 2004, Portland State. (2011)

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)

Tara Gabsi, instructor (intensive English-language teaching, curriculum development). BA, 1995, Montana State; MA, 2000, Montana. (2011)

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)

Maiko Hata, instructor (academic advising, learning disabilities, learning strategies). BA, 1997, Doshisha Women’s College of Liberal Arts; MA, 1998, Monterey Institute of International Studies. (2008)

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

Deborah Healey, instructor (computer-assisted language learning, teacher education, English language teaching). BA, 1974, Queen’s (Ontario); MA, 1976, PhD, 1993, Oregon. (2009)

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

Sherie Henderson, senior instructor (critical thinking, best practices). BA, 1973, Southern Oregon College; AB, 1978, Prairie Bible College; MEd, 2001, Regent. (2012)

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, adjunct 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)

Sean McClelland, instructor (academic listening and speaking skills, e-learning, mobile assisted language learning). BA, 2010, MA, 2011, Oregon. (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)

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)

Becki Quick, instructor (curriculum development, academic reading, community connections in learning). BA, 1994, Evergreen State College; MA, 2009, New School. (2011)

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, 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)

Karen Ulloa, instructor (intensive English instruction for lower levels, curriculum and materials design). BA, 1988, Oregon; MA, 2010, Southern 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.


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.