The American Language Institute (A.L.I.) at The University of Toledo provides students, scholars, and area residents of international origin with the language skills and the cultural background for successful engagement with the university and the community. Its learner-centered activities, both on and off campus, provide opportunities for meaningful interaction and foster the use of authentic language and the development of cross-cultural skills.
The American Language Institute has been welcoming the world to Toledo, Ohio since the fall of 1977. The Institute was originally founded as a branch of The University of Toledo Continuing Education program with original director Pam Sharpe, instructors Richard Tucker and Patricia Russell, and seventeen dedicated students.
The Institute grew very rapidly in the early years, and by 1979, the A.L.I. had expanded to over 100 students and a faculty of sixteen. In the early years, the majority of students at the Institute hailed from the Gulf Nations and Venezuela, but as the A.L.I. continued to evolve over the next three decades, there were influxes of students from countries such as Malaysia, Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, The People’s Republic of China, and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In all, the American Language Institute has offered ESL instruction to students from over sixty different nations, with enrollment as of this writing currently averaging around 450 students per semester and a student-to-teacher ratio of approximately 17:1. Since the first years of the 21st century, the A.L.I. has expanded its approaches and now employs a variety of instructional methods, including the latest in technologically advanced Computer Assisted Language Learning in fully mediated classrooms as well as experiential and project-based learning that takes English as a Second Language Instruction beyond the confines of the traditional classroom setting.