Center for International Development

Iraq English Language Institution

Iraq English Language Institution

The purpose of this grant is to support the Iraq Education Initiative by shortening the time spent by scholarship recipients in English as a Second Language courses in the United States.  Students will spend a year honing their linguistic skills in the ELI before departing for the United States.  Read an article about this grant in The Chronicle for Higher Education, or take some time to read a summary of progress and look at some of the photos associated with this grant.

A major problem in Iraq is that many scholarship recipients are not sufficiently fluent in English to allow them to pursue their studies in the American programs to which they are admitted. These are the students who score between 400 and 450 on the TOEFL, sufficiently high to qualify for a scholarship but not high enough to send to the U.S. immediately.


1. To bring 500 scholarship recipients per year up to 500 on the TOEFL, so that most of them will spend only one semester in ESL courses before they begin their degree-seeking academic program at their U.S. institution.

2. To prepare the scholarship recipients for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT).

3. To prepare the scholarship recipients for living in the United States and studying successfully at a U.S. university.

4. Develop the plans for building out the classroom, lab and office space which will be housed in one of the former residences of Saddam Hussein.

5.  Train 20 Iraqi English teachers.

6. Design the English Language Institute curriculum.