School of Professional Studies

Students learning English as a second language at Clark University

American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI)

The Institute

Clark University's American Language and Culture Institute, known to students around the world as ALCI, offers intensive ESL programs for students who want to improve their English-language skills for academic, professional or personal reasons. Major features include:

  • Small classes taught by dedicated, trained professions
  • A diverse international student population
  • University libraries and computer labs
  • Athletic facilities (swimming, squash, racquetball, tennis, weight lifting, etc.)
  • Clark social activities, campus lectures and films
  • Day trips to local and regional places of interest.
  • Ongoing academic and cross-cultural advising
  • Conditional/provisional admission to Clark University degree programs.
  • Five week programs beginning in May and July
  • Fifteen week programs beginning in January and August

Programs and Course Offerings

ALCI offers programs in Basic English as a Second Language (BESL), English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and American Studies (AMST). Courses studied depend on the student's level of instruction. Not all courses are offered every semester. Courses now in the catalog, but subject to change, are:

Basic ESL

BESL courses focus on the needs of all students at the High Beginning and Low Intermediate levels.

  • Listening and Speaking
  • Reading and Writing
  • Integrated Skills
  • Grammar

English for Academic Purposes

EAP courses focus on the needs of students at the Intermediate or High Intermediate through Pre-Academic levels who are pursuing or plan to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree at an American college or university. EAP courses are also appropriate for international students who want only to improve their English language skills.

  • Vocabulary and Conversation
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • TOEFL Preparation
  • Public Speaking
  • Academic Skills
  • English for Business
  • American Studies

American Studies courses focus on the needs of students at the academic level. These interdisciplinary content courses in American Studies develop and imporve English-language skills, while fostering knowledge about American society and culture.

  • American Art
  • American Literature
  • American Music
  • Issues in Contemporary American Society
  • U.S. History and Government


Clark University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.


New students are given a placement test at the beginning of the semester. The institutional Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is offered at the end of each semester


ALCI certificates are awarded to all students who satisfactorily fulfill program requirements.