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About the English Language Center

The English Language Center promotes effective, high-quality instruction of English for speakers of other languages. It seeks to develop in students a respect for the dignity and worth of the individual, a capacity for critical reasoning, a general desire for learning, and the capacity to evaluate their on-going language learning needs. It fosters the continuing improvement of its faculty by encouraging research, scholarship, and professional development. The English Language Center is committed to presenting the depth and variety of the United States to students and faculty while encouraging a lively curiosity about all cultures of the world.

As an important unit at Old Dominion University, its primary goal is to enhance the mission of the public, urban, postsecondary institution. In striving to achieve this goal, the English Language Center seeks to:

  • Facilitate the university's international recruiting efforts by providing a high-quality, reasonably priced, intensive English language program.
  • Prepare Old Dominion University students for academic success by improving their English language skills.
  • Provide expertise to the university community on issues related to the teaching and assessment of English for speakers of other languages.
  • Prepare international graduate students and, when requested, international faculty for effective instruction of American students.
  • Assist in the promotion of economic development in the Hampton Roads area by providing high-quality English language instruction for international business people and military personnel, and by developing special programs for groups of international professionals.
ELC End of Session
  • Enhance the university's linkage with overseas institutions by providing special short-term English language instruction for groups of students from overseas institutions.
  • Serve as a community resource in providing information on the teaching of English to speakers of other languages both within the United States and overseas.
  • Provide professional English language instruction for international students seeking an immersion experience in the United States to complement the academic curriculum at their home institutions.

The ELC offers full and part-time courses in English as a second language. The English Language Center's rigorous full-time Intensive English Program is designed for students who want to develop the academic English proficiency necessary to succeed in ODU's undergraduate and graduate programs.

The ELC's upper-level MET Program combines credit-bearing academic courses with credit-bearing courses in English.


The English Language Center is an accepted member of both EnglishUSA (AAIEP) and UCIEP, professional agencies which select schools for membership based on their adherence to the highest standards of professional and academic excellence.


Learning English can be enriched by student participation in out-of-classroom activities. For this reason, many extracurricular activities are available such as trips to widely acclaimed museums, gardens, beach resort areas, sports, and cultural events. In addition to these outings, students are encouraged to participate in the many activities and sports events offered by the University.

The ELC also sponsors a Conversation Partner program in which international students are paired with Americans to practice their English in an informal setting.

Trip to Washington D.C.


East Coast View, Norfolk

Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads is what Norfolk and the surrounding region is called. It's the crossroads of many of the events that shaped America - the very first European settlers in the "New World," the American Revolution, and the Civil War. The marks of those experiences make the city and the region a rich place to explore. Also nearby is one of America's most popular vacation spots, Virginia Beach (20 minutes away), and three hours away is Washington, D.C., with some of the greatest museums and monuments in the world.

On Campus

Dragas Hall - DRGS

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Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

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