Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


MLI Information Booklet

Intensive English

Intensive English

What is the Intensive English Program?
Intensive English students live on Maui and study at MLI until they are ready to advance to the credit program at University of Hawaii Maui College. Students typically stay in this program for 8 weeks- 18 months. At the end of their time in the program, students will feel confident and have the skills to take courses at the university with native English speakers. Some students take these courses for professional or personal enrichment as well. Intensive English Program is an open-enrollment program and therefore students can enter at any time. This program can also accommodate visitors staying for a shorter period of time.

What is the Maui Language Institute?
MLI is an intensive, English as a Second Language program located on the beautiful, tropical island of Maui. MLI provides international students from around the world English language instruction of the highest quality from trained, experienced ESL professionals.

What types of students attend the Maui Language Institute?
MLI is intended for all students who want to improve their English skills for academic, professional, or personal reasons. MLI is able to accommodate the learning needs and goals of a multitude of different students.

When are the courses for the Maui Language Institute?
MLI courses are offered year round (from January to December) in 8-week sessions.

MLI has an open enrollment policy, and students can enter the program at any time during the year. Students may enter MLI in mid-session with permission from the director.

Please visit the schedule/tuition section of our website for more information on MLI's academic calendar.

Why is the Maui Language Institute the perfect choice for ESL students?
MLI provides superior English language instruction in a warm, stimulating environment. MLI classes are small and intimate allowing students to have individualized attention from our highly qualified and experienced faculty.

MLI curriculum balances skilled-based classes with content-based classes to create an opportunity for students to improve their language abilities and to use English in meaningful and purposeful ways.

MLI also encourages students to use English beyond our classroom, whether in college, in business, or in students' personal lives.

With MLI's location on the warm, beautiful sunny island of Maui, students have a unique opportunity to study at a first-class language program on one of the most popular and highly rated tropical islands in the world.

Where do the students stay on Maui?
Students arrange their own housing. There are many options within commuting distance including hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, condos, etc. Those who wish to be close to campus may contact:

SAM (Study Abroad on Maui)

Semester Abroad on Maui (SAM)

What is UH SAM?
The program offers university students an opportunity to study abroad on Maui in the Maui Language Institute English as a Second Language program. Students are integrated into the regular ESL program where they have an opportunity to meet international students from many countries. Students also have an opportunity to meet local students through the various campus clubs and student life activities.

What does UH SAM stand for?
The University of Hawaii Semester Abroad on Maui (or SAM, for short)

Where do the students live?
Some students are housed in Kulanaa`o Apartments, the fully furnished apartment-style housing accommodates four students per unit and amenities include high speed internet, cable, an interior courtyard, study areas, a lounge, laundry facilities, front desk with mail distribution, and on-site advisors. Students may also opt to live in a homestay or rent a room in a nearby home.

What is the duration of the program?
Programs are generally eight weeks in length, beginning in Fall I, Fall II, Spring I, Spring II and Summer I. However, universities may opt for a shorter or longer version of the program, with more flexible starting and ending dates.

What is the goal of the program?
The goal of the program is to allow students to use and improve their English abilities in both an academic setting as well as a different cultural setting. Through real and meaningful use of English, students will obtain confidence, gain understanding of the world outside their own country, and become familiar with the culture of the Hawaiian Islands. With such an experience, students will be able to return to their home country with a larger world perspective and even greater motivation for continued study.

Are there any special events/activities through the Maui Language Institute program?
MLI hosts an excursion every eight weeks. Typically students participate in seasonal field trips such as whale watching in the spring or beach parties during the summer. Every field trip is faculty chaperoned. At the end of each eight-week session, students have the opportunity to present work from their Performing Arts classes and students celebrate the end of the session with a potluck featuring flavors from all over the world. MLI students may also take advantage of all campus services and clubs and have the opportunity to meet local speakers through the student life programs on campus.

Are there any special services specifically for the SAM students?
Yes. Although the SAM students are integrated into the regular program and enjoy all the benefits of student life on Maui, there are student services specifically for groups of 5 or more that include a lei airport pickup, shopping excursions, a special 2-day orientation to the campus, as well as volunteer opportunities. Each program concludes with a farewell party and certificate ceremony.

Do SAM students take regular Maui College classes?
No. The SAM program is for students who wish to improve their English language skills with instructors trained to address the specific needs of second language learners.

What do the students study?
MLI classes are divided in skills based courses (Writing and Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary, and Speaking and Listening), and content based courses, where English is applied to other subject areas such as Film Studies, Performing Arts, Debate and American Cultural Studies. The classes are lively and experiential, and students have ample opportunity to engage in a variety of practice situations ranging from role playing, to small group discussion, to public presentations and performances. The total number of contact hours over the 8 week period is 144 (24 hours per course).

Who are the SAM instructors?
The SAM program is taught by the regular faculty of the Maui Language Institute, most of whom have Masters or PhD degrees. The faculty members also teach regular courses for the college and the UH University Center on Maui. The instructors are seasoned ESL teachers with years of experience working with in the second language field both in the United States and abroad. Several of the faculty members have taught in the Japanese university system. In addition, MLI has two professional counselors/faculty to assist the students in their transition and throughout their semester on Maui.

How are students evaluated?
Standard methods of evaluation are used at MLI such as tests, class participation, presentations, homework, and essays. Students should expect to have approximately one hour of homework each day. The Learning Center is available to students where they may sign up for free tutorials if they need additional assistance. Private lessons are also available through the Maui Language Institute, though are generally not required.

Do SAM students have the opportunity to do volunteer work in the community?
Yes. A volunteer opportunity will be part of each eight-week session. Activities include traditional fishpond restoration, native plant restoration, and marine life preservation.

What is the typical student schedule?
Students are in class from Monday through Thursday from 9am - 1:30pm each day. SAM students will attend one 8-week session. During each 8-week session, students participate in an excursion, and at the end of each 8-week session, MLI celebrates with a potluck and performances generated from the Performing Arts classes. At the end of the program, SAM students will participate in a certificate ceremony commemorating their time at MLI.

How do students gain credit for the courses?
Interested universities assess the content of the MLI curriculum and the contact hours to determine equivalencies in their own curriculum. Decisions must be made with regard to which courses students will be credited for in their home universities, and how many credit hours will be allotted for the MLI courses. For example, MLI’s Intermediate Film Studies course, with an emphasis on listening and 24 contact hours, might be deemed to be equal to a listening course at the sophomore level in the home university. MLI works closely with the universities in providing curricular materials, textbook references, and assessment methods. Students receive a progress report at the end of each eight-week session with grades and comments, a copy of which is retained for the home university.

How does my university get involved?
Please contact us at:
Telephone: (808) 984-3499
Fax: (808) 984-3587

Short Term Programs

Short Term Programs

What are STP's programs?
STP's are short-term programs at MLI custom-designed for visiting student groups. These highly successful and popular programs allow students to maximize their short visits to Maui both in terms of their English classroom experience as well as their time spent exploring Maui.

What can students gain from a STP's program?
STP's programs give visiting student groups an opportunity to increase their confidence and abilities in English through meaningful and purposeful classroom activities centered on interesting and relevant topics.

What do students study in the STP's classroom?
Classroom curriculum usually balances conversational and English skills practice with intensive, custom-designed ESL classes.

Do students get a chance to explore and experience Maui?
In addition to the classroom curriculum, students have a chance to explore Maui on classroom-related excursions. After spending some time in class learning about different aspects of Maui and Island Life, students explore the wonders of Maui through a "living classroom." Students are immediately able to apply their newly obtained knowledge on our fun, educational field trips.

For example, if the theme for the day is coral reefs and marine life, students would spend part of their classroom time learning about coral reefs and marine life in Hawai‘i through ESL tasks and activities. The ESL tasks and activities are designed to elicit language learning and increased confidence in using English. Later, students would be taken to the Maui Ocean Center for a guided tour and the chance to see living examples of the coral reef, tropical fish, and other marine life discussed in class.

STP's programs are an ideal way to make learning come alive!

How long are STP's programs?
STP's programs usually range from 1 week to 2 weeks in length. Some STP's programs in the past have had itineraries of 10 days. The length of the STP's program is very flexible as each program is custom-designed for each student group.

When are STP's programs available for student groups?
STP's programs are available at any time during the year. During the summer (July to August), MLI welcomes the majority of their STP's groups, however, STP's programs can be custom-designed for nearly any time of the year.

Since each program is designed specifically for each visiting group, the time and length of the program is flexible.

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