Areas of Study


The English Language Institute (ELI), a unit under the School of Language, Education, and Culture, provides an English as a Second Language program for American and international deaf and hard of hearing students. Bilingual instruction in both American Sign Language and written English provides a multicultural environment for ELI students to achieve academic, professional, and personal language goals.

If you’re interested in applying to the ELI, please use the ELI inquiry form.

Learn More

What is the ELI?

  • A college-preparatory program for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • A bridge to a post-secondary program at Gallaudet
  • A non-degree program that includes classes in the following subject areas:
    • Conversational skills in American Sign Language (ASL)
    • English as a Second Language (ESL), which is taught bilingually in ASL and written English
    • Cross-cultural communication
    • Numerical language/mathematics

ELI Program Description

The ELI provides full-time instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL), American Sign Language (ASL), and cross-cultural studies to international and American deaf and hard of hearing adults.

Intensive study, throughout the academic year (late August to mid-May), helps students become proficient in English in order to qualify for admission to Gallaudet or another university in the United States.

ELI Approach

Learning English at the ELI is intensive, interactive, and integrated in a rich cultural context. Full time students spend over 18 hours each week in classes, excluding optional classes and tutoring. Students are expected to be responsible for, and actively involved in, their learning. Subjects are taught in a global and coordinated fashion, with an emphasis on visual approaches to learning.

ELI Student Orientation (ESO)

During the ESO, newly-admitted students attend workshops, open a bank account, get a mailbox, and participate in other activities to become familiar with other students, the ELI, Gallaudet, and the Washington DC area.

Learn more about our commitment to diversity and our accreditation status.

Connect with us


Faculty and Staff

Program Director

Gemma Gabor

Lecturer II

Faculty and Staff

Abbas Behmanesh

ELI Trainer

Helen Thumann

School Director


I got in! Now what?
All English Language Institute (ELI) students in level 4 and above have the option of signing up for speech therapy at the Hearing and Speech Center on campus for a fee, which may be covered by health insurance. The Hearing and Speech Center can be contacted at Contact regarding any questions about the speech therapy it offers.
No, the English Language Institute (ELI) Student Orientation (ESO) fee is only paid once.
Meal plans are required for students living in the dormitories. Please contact Residence Life and Housing about possible waivers.
The Department of Public Safety has some recommended Safety Tips. We also recommend that you subscribe to Gallaudet Alert announcements on your cell phone, if it has texting capabilities.
We recommend having both an Ethernet card and a wireless card inside the laptop to access the Gallaudet University networks. All Windows/Mac updates and anti-virus software need to be installed, updated, and running to connect to the wireless network. We highly recommend a built-in webcam to communicate in ASL with each other and create videos for classes. There are software discounts available for Gallaudet University students at Gallaudet Technology Services (GTS). Please click On The Hub for more information.
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Inquiry Form
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Undergraduate Admissions

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English Language Institute

Gemma Gabor

HMB E253

(202) 250-2606

(202) 651-5721

9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
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