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Curriculum and Class Descriptions

The English Language Center offers six levels of English language instruction: Basic through Level 5. All new students must take a placement test during the ELC Testing and Orientation.

Classes are held between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday-Thursday and between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Friday.

The English Language Center is an intensive English language program. To be successful here, students MUST have some knowledge or prior study of English before they begin. The ELC does not offer basic ESL courses. Students must be able to read, write and speak English well enough to understand classroom commands, talk about family, home and themselves. Students may take this quiz to see if they are ready to study at the ELC.

If a student arrives at the ELC for orientation and testing and tests into a basic level he or she will be asked to transfer to another program.

Level 1 – Level 5

  • Students attend class 22.5 hours per week
  • Students who complete our Level 5 (College Prep) will receive an English Language Center Certificate of Completion and are prepared to be successful undergraduate at the University of Denver or other universities.
  • The University of Denver will accept the successful completion of Level 5 in place of a TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to undergraduate study.

Level 1 - Beginning:

In level 1, students learn basic reading skills while reading texts that are limited to several paragraphs. Students use the grammar they are learning to write correct sentences and learn the basic structure of paragraphs. They learn to use basic verb tenses and other basic sentence structures in speaking and writing. Students practice speaking with the grammar they are learning. Students also work on pronunciation skills and participate in short discussions.

Level 2 - Low Intermediate:

In level 2, students learn to find the main idea and specific information in readings and to understand the meaning of longer sentences. They write paragraphs that include specific details and longer, more complex sentences. Students learn to recognize all grammar structures from this level in reading and listening and the ability to use all structures in both speaking and writing. Students also work on pronunciation skills and participate in short discussions.

Level 3 - Intermediate:

Students learn to critically read, analyze and discuss academic texts appropriate to Level 3. They also read many short books outside of class. Students continue with paragraph writing and then begin to write short essays. They learn to recognize all grammar structures in reading and listening and the ability to use all structures in both speaking and writing. Students give oral presentations to the class, take notes on lectures, and learn to participate in academic discussions.

Level 4 - High Intermediate:

Students learn to critically read, analyze, summarize, and discuss longer academic texts appropriate for level 4. Students in this level will also read a book and discuss it in class. Students write longer essays and learn to include more sophisticated sentence structures in their writing. Students learn to recognize all level 4 grammar structures in reading and listening and the ability to use all structures in both speaking and writing. Students give longer oral presentations to the class, take notes on college lectures, summarize articles orally, and participate in longer academic discussions.

Level 5 - College Prep:

In level 5, students apply their reading skills to college textbook chapters and a novel of their choice. In response to readings, students are asked to evaluate texts, paraphrase, summarize and synthesize ideas, and make connections between the texts and their own experiences. Students write several essays throughout the quarter. They also learn to use the library to find sources of information for a longer, argumentative essay. They learn to take notes from those sources, prepare a bibliography, and document their sources in their writing. Students give several speeches and participate in a variety of discussions and take notes from university-level lectures.

Skills Classes

In levels 1 and 2, students will take a skills class each quarter. In the skills class, students learn to integrate the skills from their other classes to improve overall listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Focus Classes

In levels 3-5, students will take a focus class each quarter. The focus class is a content-based class focusing on specific skills such as grammar, listening, pronunciation, writing and/or reading.


 Students on a hike in colorado


In addition to the regular curriculum, the ELC faculty members teach the following course:

  • English 1191--Advanced Writing for International Students: This is a four-credit-hour course for undergraduate students who have already matriculated at the University of Denver but who still need some work on their academic writing skills.

We design special programs for special needs. We welcome your requests for business-related as well as other types of programs. Feel free to contact us.