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Columbia MD, 21044
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312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD 21046
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About ELC

elc students studying with teachers

The English Language Center (ELC) at Howard Community College is an award-winning English program. Since 1970, the ELC has helped thousands learn the English language. Our instructors hold advanced degrees and have extensive teaching experience both in the United States and abroad. We offer more than 100 sections of classes from pre-beginning to advanced levels. We can help you improve your English skills in reading, writing, speaking, pronunciation, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and business English.  

  • Fast Facts About the ELC
    • Average class size: 14-25 depending on the class type
    • 90 full-time and part-time employees
    • 2,100 ELC students enrolled in fiscal year 2016
    • Age range of ELC students: 18-80
    • 100 different countries represented by student body
  • Types of Classes

    Classes are held regularly throughout the week. The ELC offers a variety of ways for you to improve your English language skills including:

    • Basic English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for all to improve basic, everyday English
    • Intensive ESL classes for more intense, academic-skills-based English training
    • Professional English Certificate classes for working professionals to enhance their communication skills in the business world
    • Online classes for individuals with demanding schedules who want to develop English skills through an interactive, self-paced online format
    • Full-Time Intensive English Program (English Institute) for international students interested in the English language and  American culture

    Students can also take ESL courses while pursuing their associate’s degree through HCC’s credit program.

  • Technology

    The ELC is committed to the best use of technology to enhance student learning. All ELC classrooms have up-to-date teaching tools (instructor workstation, document camera, projector, and internet access) for interactive learning.

    If you are a student in a level 2 class or above, you will have scheduled computer lab time with your class. In addition, you will use open labs to do your homework and enrich your learning. Current open lab schedules are available at the front desk of the ELC office. 

  • Awards
    • International LERN Award for Best Programming, Learning Resources Network, 2018.
    • National Exemplary Program Award Nominee, National Council for Workforce Education, 2018.
    • National Exemplary Program Award, National Council for Continued Education & Training, 2014.
    • NAFSA Internationalizing the Campus Award, 2005.
    • Outstanding Program in English. Two-Year College Association, 2003. Award presented to the English Institute, which is housed in the ELC.
    • Best Learner Progress Rate. Maryland State Department of Education, 2001. Award presented for high scores that learners achieved on state standardized testing.
  • Join Our Team

    Join our dedicated, energetic team of ESL instructors!

    Instructor Qualifications:

    • Master’s degree or higher in TESOL, linguistics, or a related field.
    • BA/BS in TESOL, linguistics, education, foreign language, English, or related field with ESL teaching experience.
    • A certificate from an acknowledged ESL training program (BA/BS also required).

    Expectations of our Instructors: 

    We have the following categories of expectations:  

    • Organization of instruction
    • Demonstration of teaching basics
    • Ability to accommodate diverse learning styles and levels of ability
    • Ability to motivate, monitor, and assess adult ESL learners
    • Appropriate use of technology and materials
    • Appropriate use of individual and team learning opportunities.

    Instructor Time Commitment:

    Most of the ELC classes are offered twice a week. However, some are offered only once a week. The classes vary from 2.5 - 5 hours per week.

    New teachers can expect to spend at least 1-2 hours outside of class for every hour of class in preparation and grading.

    Professional Development for Instructors:

    We have several mandatory workshops and many optional professional development workshops throughout the year. We also have an extensive mentoring program that pairs an experienced faculty member with each new teacher.


    Teachers are paid on a scale commensurate with education and experience. We track their own teaching hours and professional development to move up the scale. A one-term contract is signed before the term begins, with the teacher being paid per class hour.

    All mandatory workshops are paid, and many of the optional professional development workshops are paid as well. 

    How to Apply:

    Resumes are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.  Please apply at the Howard Community College online job bank.


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