Copyright 2024 SPARK

Talking Tech – Working with Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan Language Center Leadership takes English Language Classes from Local to Global

Michigan language center artwork banner-larger version

MLC expands service for international students and employees to offer English as a Second Language and business culture training,  both onsite and online.

Michigan Language Center (MLC) announces the expansion of English language education and communications services with a comprehensive suite of online programming for corporations, universities and individual  international students.

Quite literally an Ann Arbor “institution”, MLC was founded in 1978 by University of Michigan alumni Ira Fisher and Susan Hawley to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for the many international students attending university  in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area.  The MLC mission quickly grew to include ESL education and business culture training for local companies with global teams.  

When experienced start-up entrepreneurs Moses and Julie Lee (also University of Michigan alumni) assumed leadership roles in 2017, they quickly recognized the opportunity to expand MLC’s reach with technology. 

“MLC is a world-class English language institute, yet we were only serving individuals here in Ann Arbor,” explained Moses Lee, CEO of MLC. “We were excited to expand the MLC mission to bring the highest quality education available to everyone, anywhere.”

MLC began the process of creating the technology infrastructure necessary to expand its reach from a stand-alone local institute offering ESL to a global English language educator with a comprehensive suite of training solutions and services. Resources and support from Ann Arbor SPARK enabled Moses and Julie to rapidly accelerate these efforts — putting them in a position to provide a seamless transition for institutions and corporations in need of online education options during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“MLC has served our local academic and business community for decades,” shared Bill Mayer, vice president of entrepreneurial services at Ann Arbor SPARK. “We’re honored to help accelerate their mission to bring English education, communications training – and a bit of Ann Arbor ambassadorship – around the world.”

With students located across North America as well as China, Jordan, Poland and more; MLC now has a robust global footprint and has expanded support services to address the unique needs of corporate and university customers who are unable to travel at this time.  

About Michigan Language Center

Michigan Language Center (MLC) began in 1978 as an English language institute located in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) to international students, MLC continues this mission with onsite and online pathway programs enabling students to achieve college-level English proficiency prior to stepping foot on a university campus. MLC also works with corporate clients to offer customized professional English and communication training programs both onsite and online. Private coaching is available for business executives serving global teams. Visit to learn more.