Classes, Levels and Skills Growth
The ELS Curriculum organizes your English learning into 12 levels of proficiency.

ELS provides instruction in all aspects of English, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. New students are tested on arrival and are placed into one of the 12 proficiency levels: Levels 101-112. Each level consists of 20 to 30 class hours per week of teacher-led instruction, with each level lasting four weeks.

During the session, you will experience:

  • Class work—active discussions with other students and the instructor; speaking tasks
  • Listening comprehension exercises
  • Writing skill development (through exercises and writing assignments)
  • Frequent feedback on your progress, through quizzes, tests and written teacher comments
  • The opportunity to reach personal language goals through the Language Technology Center (LTC)
  • Real-world language practice via Contact America! activities and excursions

Advancing to the Next Level

At the end of each four-week session, those students who have successfully met the requirements for that level will advance to the next ELS level of study and immediately begin the new session.

Measurements used for this evaluation include but are not limited to:

  • Demonstration of skills during class
  • Quizzes and tests
  • Homework assignments
  • Standardized Level Tests (final examinations)

Who Should Take an ELS Language Course?

ELS programs meet the needs of anyone who wants to improve his or her English. Those who wish to study at a university or college take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) track of our Intensive English Program. Over 600 colleges and universities accept completion of an advanced EAP level (Levels 109 or 112) as proof of English proficiency for admission. Those who wish to improve their English for personal or professional reasons will benefit from the General English (GE) track of the Intensive English program. Both the EAP and GE programs are 30 hours a week. For those who have less time for study, ELS offers a semi-intensive program of 20 hours a week.

101 / 102


Ability upon Completion:
  • Knows a few words and phrases
  • Can respond to simple questions and directions
102 / 103

High Beginner

Ability upon Completion:
  • Has a basic ability to communicate in everyday situations
  • Can understand English when spoken slowly and clearly
104 / 105


Ability upon Completion:
  • Understands most questions and statements at normal speaking speed
  • Can carry on conversations with native speakers
  • Can use English to shop, order food in restaurants, and ask for directions
105 / 106

High Intermediate

Ability upon Completion:
  • Can communicate facts and opinions
  • Is learning to discuss and argue in a culturally acceptable way
Options Upon Completion
  • Can begin the Complete Prep Program for the TOEFL® iBT or Business English Program
107 / 108


Ability upon Completion:
  • Can use English with growing accuracy and fluency, including reading and writing
  • Can participate fully in most conversations
Options Upon Completion
  • Is qualified to take a University Certificate Program at participating ELS locations
  • Can conduct business in English on a basic level
108 / 109

High Advanced

Ability upon Completion:
  • Is prepared for most social situations
  • Knows the meaning of a wide range of idioms
  • Can maintain extended conversations with native speakers
Options Upon Completion
  • Can earn college credit or enroll concurrently in a university
  • Is prepared to enter a two-year college (Only English for Academic Purposes students who complete Level 109)
110 / 111 / 112


Ability upon Completion:
  • Can speak and understand English with ease
  • Is proficient enough in reading and writing to satisfy professional and university requirements (EAP students)
Options Upon Completion
  • Is prepared to begin a four-year American college or university degree program (only English for Academic Purposes students who complete Level 112)
  • Can conduct business competently in English