What is the ELI?

  • College-preparatory program for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • Bridge to a post-secondary program at Gallaudet University

The ELI is 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

Why ELI?

  • Become a bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual deaf person
  • Learn ASL in order to teach ASL to others in other countries
  • Learn English for business communication around the world
  • Learning is fun and the ELI experience lasts a lifetime
  • Strengthen English skills in order to attend a college in the USA

Communication at the ELI:

  • Signs
  • Gestures
  • Drawings
  • Writing
  • Other Visual and Physical Cues

Who comes to the ELI?

  • Diverse Deaf and Hard of Hearing people from all over the world, including America
  • Hearing people who have career plans working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people or in a deafness-related field

ELI students may have:

  • Completed high school and need preparatory classes for college
  • Already completed a post-secondary degree


  • Cultural Training
  • Empowerment
  • English Language Institute Student Organization
  • Gallaudet University Events
  • Leadership Training
  • Location in Washington, DC, USA
  • Multicultural Activities
  • Personal Growth and Discovery
  • Placement Tests, Not Admissions Tests
  • Small Classes
  • Supportive Environment
  • Teamwork
  • Access to Gallaudet University Services

ELI Staff:

  • Deaf and Hearing
  • College Educated
  • Globally Diverse
  • Knowledgeable and Experienced
  • Fluent in both ASL and English
  • Sensitive to Multicultural Issues