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About the English Language Center

Mission Statement

The Vanderbilt University English Language Center (ELC) supports the educational mission of Vanderbilt University by providing quality English-language instruction to individuals who have a first language other than English. The ELC provides courses and services to address the professional, academic, and practical language needs of students, staff, faculty and spouses enhancing the diversity of the Vanderbilt campus, and promoting cross-cultural awareness. The ELC also participates in the scholarly mission of the university by creating and disseminating new knowledge in the field of second-language learning. The primary goal of the ELC is to assist the growing number of students, staff, and faculty at Vanderbilt to achieve their academic and professional potential and to participate in the life of the university and community.

A Brief History

The ELC has been in continuous service on campus since its inception in 1978. It has been housed in three locations including the Home Economics Building, the Wyatt Center, and its current location at 1208 18th Ave South, originally a private residence built c. 1911. The picture below captures the building in 1975.

The Vanderbilt University English language Center

Click on the images below to read about the ELC feature articles:


MyVU Afghan photo

This MyVU News article describes the ELC’s collaboration with the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) to help with its resettlement efforts for Afghan evacuees in Nashville.





Fall/Winter 2011, Vanderbilt International Magazine

Fall/Winter 2011, Vanderbilt International Magazine

This article, written by ELC Department Education Specialist, Patrick Nitch, discusses the surge in international student presence on Vanderbilt’s campus and how the ELC is transitioning its programming to meet the needs of an increasing international population. The article also highlights two faculty/staff who reached their respective 15- and 20-year anniversaries as Vanderbilt employees.


Fall 2008, Vanderbilt International Magazine

Fall 2008, Vanderbilt International Magazine

This article discusses the origins and development of the ELC and spotlights the 30-year tenure of Assistant Director, Lee Martin.