YUELI celebrates 20 years of excellence

Each year, over 1,500 international students move through the York University English Language Institute’s (YUELI) comprehensive English as a Second Language program.

Left: YUELI celebrated its 20th anniversary on Oct. 20

On Thursday, Oct. 20, YUELI celebrated its 20th anniversary and the official opening of its new offices located in the courtyard level Founders College. 

“Many students who come to YUELI find out about what we do by word of mouth,” explained Calum MacKechnie, director of YUELI. “Their family or friends have come to York to learn English and then returned home and talked about what we do at YUELI. We are also promoted through Canadian Education Centres located around the world and some find out about us through the Internet.”

Right: Sheila Embleton (left), York’s vice-president academic, with Calum MacKechnie, director of YUELI

The students, some from as far away as China, Japan and Russia, arrive at YUELI to learn English. The institute’s programming offers conversational English as well as instruction in reading, understanding and writing English.

“If they complete the entire program, they come out with a certificate that means the University will waive the TOEFL [standardized language test] requirement as long as they have the academic requirements,” said MacKechnie.

Many YUELI students go on to apply to York University and the institute plays an important role in the University’s internationalization efforts. “We have a very strong and growing reputation in the field of teaching English language,” said MacKechnie. “Many of these students go on to York. We play our part in the internationalization of York and we help to enhance the diversity of the University.”

Right: Sheila Embleton prepares to cut the ribbon and officially open YUELI’s new offices in Founders College

“I am pleased to be here today on the 20th anniversary of YUELI,” said Sheila Embleton, vice-president academic, York University. “It would be nice to say ‘When YUELI first opened its doors in 1985’, however it is not entirely clear that YUELI even had doors in 1985. YUELI lived in borrowed space for many years. Later it had a handful of offices that were very cramped. It has developed into a very high quality, well-known centre for the instruction of English language. The students come from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. YUELI offers innovative programming and is well respected. Every year, they offer new programs in addition to their standard programs.

“This institute carries the York name. It is the York University English Language Institute and it is one of our faces internationally. It is important in our international recruitment efforts abroad and our international image and reputation,” said Embleton. “That outstanding reputation is a result of the hard work and dedication of all of the people who have worked in YUELI over the years.”

More about YUELI

Since 1985, YUELI has provided non-credit English as a Second Language courses designed primarily to improve English language skills for university entrance or for professional advancement. The institute’s goal is to teach students the kinds of language, critical thinking and study skills required to be a successful undergraduate or graduate student in a university where English is the language of instruction. While studying at YUELI, students have access to the full range of campus services.  This summer YUELI moved into new premises on the ground floor of Founders College, room 035.

Visit the YUELI  Web site for more information.