Piedmont Language Institute (PLI)

Piedmont University, CA


Mission Statement;

¡°Bringing countries and people closer together through language learning¡±


Piedmont University¡¯s language program, now beginning with English, seeks to meet the complex communication needs of an increasingly diverse community of language learners both domestically and internationally. The course materials and instructional methods are all research-based, putting a high degree of emphasis on sound linguistic principles of language learning and teaching, especially through a student-centered classroom. We aim to provide the highest quality of service, regardless of student ability, primary language, or sociocultural linguistic factors, so as to exceed the ever increasing expectations of students. In so doing, English language learners that complete coursework at Piedmont will more effectively use the English language to serve their respective communities in the USA and abroad, and contribute to the sharing of knowledge across borders, which ultimately brings people, communities and nations closer together.


¡°Bringing countries and people closer together through language learning¡± encapsulates our three primary objectives:


I. To offer instructional programs that provide second language learners of English with the linguistic, academic, and social skills, as well as the cultural knowledge required to succeed in American universities, society, and the professional and vocational settings where English is commonplace.

II. To provide the teaching and support staff with a professional working environment, adequate resources, and the on-the-job support necessary to carry out their instructional and professional duties to their highest capacity with pride and satisfaction in their work.

III. To encourage respect for linguistic and cultural diversity both on and off campus and promote professionalism, inquiry, and collaboration within the field English language development.




PLI courses are designed to help you develop the English skills you need for the university classroom and the professional workplace. PLI classes also highlight the practical English you need for everyday situations.

Instruction is interactive, encouraging you to practice English through a variety of activities. Your courses focus on academic reading and writing as well as listening, speaking, and pronunciation. Although it is recommended that students have had at least 2 years of English at the high school level before applying, each student¡¯s entrance will be determined case by case. Generally, PLI students must be high school graduates in order to achieve maximum success in the program and the courses are designed to provide English language learners the skills necessary to succeed at the university level and at their place of employment. 

PLI courses do not carry university credit toward an academic degree. Students receive a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory grade for each class. However in some special cases students may receive an official university grade that will help determine promotion within the program.

PLI full-time faculty are experienced ESL instructors trained in language instruction methods and generally hold a minimum of a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), education, linguistics or a related field. PLI instructors speak numerous of languages have experience living abroad.

Program Facilities

Classes are held on the Piedmont University campus in university classrooms. PLI students may use all Piedmont University facilities including the university libraries and any of the several campus computing centers. The Piedmont Language Institute office is located in the Torrance location on the second floor.

Length of Study

PLI offers four instructional terms (quarters) each year. Each quarter (autumn, winter, spring, and summer) is 10 weeks long. PLI offers four levels of instruction: elementary, intermediate, high-intermediate, and advanced. A second quarter of study is available at each level, using different instructional materials, if necessary.

Hours of Study

PLI students may take a variety of courses totaling from 5 to 30 hours of instruction per week. International students are limited to the semi-intensive courses (4 hours per day) and the intensive courses (6 hours per day), which is required for student visa holders.

Placement Procedures

On the opening day of the program you will take the English Placement Examination. This is usually a spoken exam, but for some more advanced courses this test may also cover listening, reading/grammar, and writing.

Your scores on the three parts of this examination provide a profile that determines your initial level of placement in the program. You will take a similar test and an institutional TOEFL when moving from level to level.