Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

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.

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Courses

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for a low intermediate (Level IV) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in reading and vocabulary skills necessary for successful communication in academic environments. Reading lessons are based on situations that the students may have experienced. Recreational reading is encouraged. Vocabulary is repeated for constant reinforcement. Students further develop their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. (Credit: 7)
Prerequisites: Placement into Level IV

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for an intermediate (Level V) of English. It provides instruction and practice in reading and vocabulary skills necessary for successful DRP test taking. Students' academic reading proficiency is developed and reinforced through reading context-based materials that include practice in skills such as comparing, classifying, synthesizing, evaluating, and inferring. (Credit: 7)
Prerequisites: Level IV or placement into Level V

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for a high intermediate (Level VI) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in reading and vocabulary skills necessary for successful test preparation in DRP, ACT reading/vocabulary, TOEFL reading/vocabulary, and GRE reading/vocabulary as requirements for admission in undergraduate or graduate programs. (Credit: 7)
Prerequisites: Level V or placement into Level VI

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for a low intermediate (Level IV) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in grammar and writing skills necessary for successful communication in academic environments. There is a focus on writing whole, original pieces through student involvement, collaborative small group work, peer critiquing, and teacher-student conferences. The bulk of instruction is on teacher modeling of writing in a supportive setting for active student exchange and valuing of students' ideas. By the end of the semester, the student should be able to produce narrative essays and simple descriptive essays with attention to clarity and grammatical accuracy. (Credit: 8)
Prerequisites: Placement into Level IV

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for an intermediate (Level V) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in grammar and writing skills necessary for successful communication in academic environments. Students' grammar skills are reinforced as they write multi-paragraphs by following the stages of prewriting, writing, revising, and publishing. (Credit: 8)
Prerequisites: Level IV or placement into Level V

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for a high intermediate (Level VI) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in grammar and writing skills necessary for successful test taking in ACT English, TOEFL English, and GRE as requirements for admission in undergraduate or graduate programs. (Credit: 8)
Prerequisites: Level V or placement into Level VI

This class focuses on applying concepts learned in English as a Second Language class for a low intermediate (Level 4) level of English. It provides additional instruction and practice in writing, grammar, reading, and vocabulary necessary for survival skills and successful communication in academic environments. Although the focus of this class is the learning of English, bilingual teaching methods that utilize American Sign Language will be applied. The class will be student-centered and responsive to individual needs based on assessment and observation from their ELI 104 and ELI 204 classes. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: Concurrent placement in Level IV

This class focuses on applying concepts learned in English as a Second Language class for an intermediate (Level 5) level of English. It provides additional instruction and practice in writing, grammar, reading, and vocabulary necessary for survival skills and successful communication in academic environments. Although the focus of this class is the learning of English, bilingual teaching methods that utilize American Sign Language will be applied. The class will be student-centered and responsive to individual needs based on assessment and observation from their ELI 105 and ELI 205 classes. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: Concurrent placement in Level V

This class focuses on English as a Second Language for a high intermediate (Level VI) level of English. It provides instruction and practice in writing skills necessary for successful test taking in GWE, ACT writing, TOEFL writing, and GRE as requirements for admission in undergraduate or graduate programs. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: Level V or placement into Level VI

This course introduces the basics of American Sign Language (ASL) and is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of ASL. Readiness for learning will be approached via visual-gestural communication techniques, visual discrimination, and visual memory exercises. ASL questions, commands, and other simple sentences structures are introduced to develop rudimentary conversational skills in ASL. Information about the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture will be introduced. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: Evaluation for placement into ASL I

This course is a continuation of Communication Skills I. It expands the emphasis on ASL grammar, syntax, spatial referencing, and vocabulary development. Practice of ASL is provided via dialogues, short stories, narratives, and short conversations. There is a focus on discussions of Deaf culture. Detailed descriptions of people and surroundings are part of the targeted skill set that is to be learned. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: ASL I or Evaluation for placement into ASL II

This course is designed to assist students in developing their skills in interpersonal communication in order to interact well with individuals and within groups. Students learn to communicate appropriately within various institutional systems in America, including the college educational system. Students learn how to conduct themselves in a structured meeting or in other activities within an organization. Students learn to give presentations and build up their self-confidence. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: none

This optional course is a continuation of Cross-Cultural Communication I. It is designed to help students improve their cross-cultural communication skills, organizational skills, and leadership skills. Students write about their experiences learning a new culture and their perspectives. Group discussion of stories and organizational planning are integral components of this class. Students continue building up their self-confidence. Students have an opportunity to experience and discuss Deaf Studies in a structured setting so that they may learn more about Deaf culture and appreciate it in their lives. This class focuses on the interdisciplinary approach to Deaf Studies and the major interrelations of American Sign Language, Deaf history, Deaf culture, and Deaf community. A review of literature, fine arts, and Internet documents is conducted as part of this course as well. (Credit: 3)
Prerequisites: ELI 115 Cross-Cultural Communication I
Co-requisites: Placement in Level IV or above, ASL II or waived

This optional course covers basic math topics in basic English including elementary concepts of fractions, decimals, and percentages, computations of adding subtracting, multiplying and dividing, long division, equations, graphs, and applications up to algebra. (Credit: 4)
Prerequisites: Placement into Numerical Language I or permission of the ELI Program Coordinator.
Co-requisites: Placement in Level IV or above, ASL II or waived

This optional course is a continuation of Numerical Language I. It covers pre-algebra topics including numbers expressions, equations and inequalities, exponents, the coordinate plane, and applications up to algebra, trigonometry, and geometry. (Credit: 4)
Prerequisites: Numerical Language I, placement into Numerical Language II, or permission of the ELI Program Coordinator.
Co-requisites: Placement in Level IV or above, ASL II or waived

This optional course is a continuation of Numerical Language II. It covers algebra topics such as real numbers, equations and inequalities, exponents, factoring polynomials, graphing linear and quadratic equations, data analysis, and other complex applications. (Credit: 4)
Prerequisites: Numerical Language II, placement into Numerical Language III, or permission of the ELI Program Coordinator.
Co-requisites: Placement in Level IV or above, ASL II or waived

Support

Faculty and Staff

Program Director

Gemma Gabor

Lecturer II/ELI Program Coordinator

Faculty and Staff

Helen Thumann

Professor/School Director

Abbas Behmanesh

ELI Trainer

FAQs

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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Undergraduate Admissions

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English Language Institute

Gemma Gabor

HMB E253

(202) 250-2606

(202) 651-5721

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