The idea of setting up a specialist English Language Institute was mooted by our former
Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1981.
In 1996, the Minister of Education at the time, YB Dato' Seri Mohd Najib b. Tun Haji Abd
Razak directed the Teacher Education Division (TED) to revive the idea of setting up a
specialist English Language Institute.
A consultancy, funded by the British Government Overseas Development Agency, and
managed in Malaysia by the British Council, was set up in January 1996 to look into the
feasibility of establishing an English Language Institute in the country.
The Department for International Development, United Kingdom; The British Council and
Oxford Brookes University reported in July 1998 that the establishment and development
of an English Language Institute Malaysia by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia would
be in line with the nation's aspiration to establish a world class education system which
includes high quality teaching of English as an international language. Enhancement
in English Language teaching would be an integral part of Malaysia's development as a
major industrial and business economy, set in the then Prime Minister's, Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad Vision 2020.