ELC History

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35 years!!!Gonzaga University’s English Language Center (ELC) offers a fully accredited academic ESL program, Master of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (MA/TESL), Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate courses both on campus and abroad, as well as English language support to the entire Gonzaga community.

Founded in 1978 as an intensive English program, the ELC offers year-round intensive ESL classes in ten levels of instruction for foreign students seeking undergraduate and graduate admission to Gonzaga and other universities, as well as to assist international professionals in improving their overall English language abilities. The primary mission of the English Language Center’s ESL program “is to provide pre-university academic intensive English instruction to international students who wish to pursue studies at American institutions of higher learning or who wish to improve their English language skills for professional or personal reasons.”  With the inception of the MATESL Program in 1998 and other teacher-training initiatives, Gonzaga’s ESL Program has broadened its mission to include services to professionals from a variety of backgrounds and countries, and those seeking professional certification, while maintaining its primary goal of preparing students from other countries to pursue successful studies in one of the University’s 93 academic fields.

35 years!!!The ELC’s faculty members bring a wealth of experience to the program, ranging from two to more than 30 years of teaching in the program.  All faculty members have a master’s degree or higher in TESL or a related field, in addition to having diverse backgrounds including:  Higher Ed., Intensive Language Programs, Public and Private Institutions, K-12, and Bi-Lingual Special Ed., including both ESL and EFL. Faculty members frequently present at local, national and regional conferences, are involved in University committees and participate regularly in collaborative community ESL development. In addition, all of the full-time faculty teach classes in the MA/TESL program as well as the ESL Program.  This has provided the opportunity for more in-depth research into theory and methodology surrounding TESL and applied linguistics.

The knowledge of the field, passion for teaching, and professionalism of the faculty is one of the greatest strengths of the program.


Over the past 35 years, the ESL program at Gonzaga has served more than 8,500 students from more than 70 different countries.  Accredited since 2002 by the Commission on English Language Programs (CEA) and 2012 by the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP), its progressive curriculum, experienced professional faculty, and distinct mission make it a long-standing and respected unit of the University’s academic division, and a leading recognized regional IEP.

35 years!!!Gonzaga’s TESOL Programs offer a variety of options for individuals looking to enter the field of international education.  TESOL Certificate courses are offered during the spring semester as well as over the summer, both on campus and abroad.  TESOL Abroad locations have included Italy, Peru, Colombia, Poland and Japan and are open to both undergraduate and graduate students including non-matriculated students.  In collaboration with the School of Education, the English Language Center offers an ELL endorsement for both undergraduate and graduate students.  Our MA/TESL Program has graduated over 170 students and continues to grow in diversity admitting students from across the United States and around the world.  Since being added in 2008, the Peace Corps Master’s International Program has developed into one of the largest TESOL focused PCMI programs in the country.