Wisconsin English Second Language Institute

WESLI – Wisconsin English Second Language Institute


WESLI began teaching English in 1981 and has since earned an excellent reputation with universities, educational agencies, and students from all over the world. We offer a variety of intensive English programs to help students achieve their personal, professional and academic goals, including General English, English Plus, University Pathways, Test Preparation, Business English, Tutoring, and a Teacher Training Program.

WESLI has an excellent reputation among universities and colleges for equipping international students with skills to succeed in competitive academic environments. Students from all over the world have had satisfying, memorable cross-cultural experiences at WESLI and in Madison. WESLI averages 100 students per session.

We are located in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, across the street from the Wisconsin State Capitol building. Madison is a medium-sized city, located in the heart of the Midwest, and often ranked #1 for US city livability. Madison is a very safe, friendly and inexpensive city to live in and has a several universities in town, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a top 50 world university.

We have 7 levels of English instruction. These classes are for every English level, beginner to advanced. A variety of topics are offered: American Culture, Business English, Academic Preparation, Test Preparation, and more. In addition, we offer private tutoring and customized programs. We have agreements with over 40 universities and colleges that accept our students without a TOEFL score. Through WESLI Workplace, we offer tailored English programs to suit the needs of your company. WESLI English Online allows students anywhere in the world to improve their English on their own time through online tutoring. We offer monthly start dates. In addition to our intensive English programs, we also have a 5-week Teacher Training (TEFL Certification) Program with a 30-hour Practicum.

At WESLI, we pride ourselves on our individualized teaching, small class sizes, and a diverse student population, welcoming students from all over the world. Many of our teachers and staff have been at WESLI for more than 15 years. In addition, most of our administrative staff members also teach or have taught in the past – we find that this ensures students are always working with people that have a passion for helping students and the experience needed to help. Our teachers and staff strive to create a family-like atmosphere both in and outside of the classroom.

The perfect location, unique environment, excellent program, and moderate cost make WESLI one of the best places in the United States to learn English.

General English
Our General English program is ideal for all language learners wishing to improve the foundations of their English language skills. On average, students will interact with people from 8 different countries in each class, making this a great way to improve conversational English skills. This program covers…
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Pronunciation
  • Vocabulary
This course is designed for...
  • Zero level or true beginning students
  • Students at any level who wish to improve their
  • overall language skills
  • 12 Start Dates
  • Levels from True Beginner to Advanced
  • Average Age 18-45
  • Lesson Length 50 minutes
  • 4 to 20 total contact hours per week
  • 10 hours additional structured practice
  • Classes are offered from 8:30am to 4:50pm, Monday-Friday
  • Part-Time = Any combination of classes from 4 to 20 lessons per week
  • Basic (Part-time) = 20 lessons of Core Classes each week
  • Essential = 24-26 lessons of Core Classes each week
  • Intensive = 30 lessons of Core Classes each week
English Plus
Our English Plus courses are designed for students that wish to improve their overall English skills and learn something new at the same time. These courses run on a 4-week cycle, so you can come for one, or stay for a few!
  • 12 Start Dates
  • Suitable for Intermediate - Advanced Levels
  • Average Age 18-55
  • 20 Lessons per week + 5 hours of an alternative topic
  • Lessons are 50 minutes
  • 25 – 30* Total Contact hours per week (*2 Elective options, ex: Pronunciation and Contemporary Topics)
  • 10 hours of additional structured practice
  • Classes are weekdays, from 8:30 to 3pm
This program covers…
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • 5-Day Elective
  • English + Volunteering
  • English + 50+ (for those 50 years old and older)
  • English + Beer and Cheese
  • English + Golf
Summer Offerings:
  • English + Business Introduction
  • English + Travel Writing & Tourism
  • English + Yoga
  • English + History of Beer
  • English + Music Lessons
  • English + Touring/Outdoors/Hiking
Academic English
This course is designed for...
  • Students wishing to attend university in the US
  • Students needing to improve academic & study skills before attending university
  • Students wanting support in their transition to US university life
  • 26 classroom lessons per week
  • 20 hours of structured practice
  • Core academic language classes
  • Study Skills class
  • 30 classroom lessons per week
  • 20 hours of structured practice
  • Core academic language classes
  • Study Skills class
  • Writing Center
High School
  • 35 classroom lessons per week
  • 20 hours of structured practice
  • Core academic language classes
  • Study Skills class
  • Writing Center
Academic English Course Highlights
  • 12 Start Dates
  • Suitable for Intermediate - Advanced Levels
  • Average Age 18-26
  • Lesson Length is 50 minutes
  • Total Contact Hours per Week are 26-30
  • Plus 20 hours per week of Additional Structured Practice
  • Classes are offered Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:50pm
University Pathway
Wesli University Partnerships Many of our students who come to study our Academic English course will go to university in the USA. WESLI also offers a clear University or College Pathway Program for such students. In addition to the important skills of the coursework, a WESLI Letter of Recommendation is accepted as a substitute for a TOEFL or IELTS score at over 40 universities and colleges. Many of these schools also offer conditional admissions. 1) University & High School Conditional Admission Apply for university or high school at the same time you apply to study at WESLI. After WESLI, you transfer directly to university or high school, without taking a TOEFL or IELTS test. This pathway is for undergraduate and graduate level programs, with some high school programs available. WESLI university partners around the US specialize in Engineering, Business Administration, and Design. Our partners include: Universities
  • The University of Wisconsin Universities & Colleges
  • Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)
  • University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
  • Lawrence University
  • Madison College
  • UW-Stevens Point
  • Marquette University
  • Full Sail University
  • Concordia University
  • Edgewood College
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Wilkes University
30+ other higher learning institutions, including two-year colleges with pathways to larger universities. High Schools
  • Wisconsin Lutheran High School
  • Madison Country Day School
  • Foxcroft Academy
Test Preparation
This course is designed to help students improve their overall test-taking skills, specifically for the TOEFL, IELTS or GRE exams. The program covers…
  • Full-length test simulations
  • Test registration assistance
  • Specific training on all test areas
  • Essential – 26 Lessons per week
  • Intensive – 30 Lessons per week
  • TOEFL, IELTS, GRE Workshops
Lesson = 50 minutes
Business English
Business professionals need English to succeed in global commerce. Improve your English skills to better communicate in the world-wide market. CORPORATE TRAINING & BUSINESS ENGLISH
  • 12 Start Dates
  • Levels Intermediate - Advanced
  • Average Age 30-45
  • Lesson Length 50 mins
  • 20-28 Total Contact Hours/Week
  • 10-15 hours Additional Structured Practice
  • Classes Run 8:30-3pm
This course is designed for...
  • Business professionals
  • Students wishing to improve their English in order to obtain a job at the corporate level
  • Business professionals needing to improve their business writing and communication
This program covers…
  • International Business Terminology & Best Practices
  • Public Speaking & Presentation Skills
  • Pronunciation
  • Communication and Culture
  • Meeting Facilitation Skills
  • Business Writing
  • Résumé Writing
  • 20 lessons per week
  • 10-15 hours structured practice
  • International Business Essentials
  • Business Writing
  • Pronunciation & Public Speaking
  • 30 lessons per week
  • 10-15 hours of structured practice
  • Essential courses plus 6 hours of small group tutoring
  • 40 lessons per week
  • 10-15 hours of structured practice
  • Essential courses plus 8 hours of small group tutoring
Online Learning With Wesli
WESLI IS NOW ONLINE! WESLI is offering several options for students and small groups now online for all levels of English! Begin learning with other WESLI students in our live classes! Begin in any of our group classes and connect with students from around the world. Includes:
  • 10 lessons of interactive live classes with experienced WESLI teachers
  • Small classes ensuring lots to teacher time
  • Free academic consultation with our Academic Director
  • Additional conversation session each week with an American conversation partner
  • Free activities each week
  • 10 hours of structured practice
  • Small class sizes
  • Special discount on future in-country courses


Student Residence/Dormitory – downtown, 3-minute walk to school

Homestay with Family – located around the area, 20-40 bus ride to school

Student Residence/Dormitory

Enjoy the convenience of the downtown WESLI Student Residence!

  • 3-minute walk to WESLI
  • 1 block to restaurants, shops, performances, and the Capitol Square
  • 2 blocks from Lake Mendota and waterfront park with beach
  • On or near bus routes with many arrival/departure times all day

Feel at home with the amenities and access in our apartment-style Residence:

  • Fully furnished (linens, pillows, towels, dishes, silverware)
  • Full kitchen (refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, plus appliances)
  • Living Room and Dining Area
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms per apartment
  • Air Conditioning and Heat
  • Balcony
  • Smart TVs with cable
  • DVD player
  • Wifi
  • Phone (unlimited local calls and emergencies)
  • Community Room for Residence activities and studying

About your room:

  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms per apartment
  • Single room: 1 person per room, private bathroom

Experience independence and community living!

  • Living independently and meeting people from all over the world.
  • There are community rules in the Residence to help everyone have a safe and pleasant stay.

Homestay With An American Family

Experience American life with a family in the Madison area:

  • American culture
  • Practice English in a native environment
  • Safety checked families
  • 20-45 minutes bus ride to WESLI, 5-10 kilometers away
  • Private room
  • Shared meals and responsibilities with host family

Many WESLI homestay families have hosted students for more than 15 years. Relationships between homestay families and students can last a lifetime. Students choosing the Homestay accommodation should be prepared to interact with the family by participating in activities and welcoming invitations to community events. The American family may be a couple or an individual with or without children living in the many diverse neighborhoods on the Madison area in a house or apartment. Choosing a homestay option does not guarantee this accommodation; availability is subject to homestay family availability.