School for the Advancement of English Language and Learning (SAELL)

The School for the Advancement of English Language and Learning (SAELL) was established in 2013 as a commitment to international students and Northeastern’s goal of having an internationalized curriculum. The mission of SAELL is to holistically build international students’ English proficiency to help them achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.

Common European Framework Reference-CEFR Standards

SAELL at Northeastern is the only program in the U.S. based on the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR). SAELL levels have a direct correlation to the CEFR bands. Because SAELL has been founded upon the CEFR bands and standards, students can expect that their English language study with SAELL will be internationally recognized according to CEFR standards.

SAELL levels CEFR bands
BASICS A1 and A2
Independent 1 B1-
Independent 2 B1+
Independent 3 B2-

In each SAELL level, teachers prepare students for undergraduate and graduate study at Northeastern Illinois University or other higher education institutions. Students complete tasks relating to their future academic study.  All courses focus on improving students’ reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar and vocabulary skills in an integrated manner.

At the BASICS level, students focus on elementary and pre-intermediate use of general English. At the INDEPENDENT 1 level, students focus on English for academic purposes. At the advanced INDEPENDENT 2 and INDEPENDENT 3 levels, students focus on English for academic purposes, content-based instruction, and academic writing.

Contact Information

Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue, Lech Walesa Hall 3069
Chicago, IL  60625