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ELS Educational Services is a private entity that provides English language training in the United States. It operates through various language centers, often based on a college campus. Originally set up as an organization for creating and publishing ESL materials, ELS opened its first center in 1961 and shortly thereafter began to focus on teaching. It became a fully owned subsidiary of Berlitz Languages Inc., a part of Berlitz International Inc., in 1997. ELS is headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. It has been accredited by ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training).[1]

ELS Educational Services
English Language School
FoundedWashington, DC, 1961
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Number of locations
ServicesEnglish courses, examination preparation courses, university placement
ParentBerlitz International Inc.
The exterior of the ELS Language Centers building on Oklahoma City University's campus.

ELS is often used by international students to prepare for study at a U.S. university. Its curriculum is proprietary, and it has a structure that accommodates 12 levels of instruction. Certain locations also offer IELTS and TOEFL preparation and testing.



As of June 2015, ELS Educational Services had over 65 locations in the United States, Canada and Malaysia. ELS has the largest network of university based English language centers in the world.


ELS programs include two intensive English programs: General English and English for Academic Purposes, as well as Business English, Youth and Vacation learning programs, plus the Complete Prep Program for the TOEFL iBT.

Programs Features: 12 levels of instruction from Beginner to Masters in most group programs; practice in all key language skills: speaking, listening, pronunciation, vocabulary, reading and writing; classes Monday to Friday, with monthly start dates; unique curriculum, textbooks and branded language-learning software.

Historical timelineEdit




  • Perry Akins named President of ELS.


  • First international school is established in Japan.




  • ELS and Berlitz On Campus centers merge under the ELS name.



  • ELS develops standardized exit testing with ETS's The Chauncey Group.


  • Prep Program for the TOEFL iBT offered at 12 ELS locations.
  • The ELS American Education Center in Shanghai.


Teachers at ELS' Pittsburgh Center unionized with the United Steelworkers in 2014. The unit was certified on July 22, 2014.[5] Contract negotiation began on January 22, 2015. On March 31, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint alleging that ELS violated that National Labor Relations Act by cutting teachers' hours without first bargaining with their union.
UPDATE: As of August 24, 2016 the complaint was withdrawn at the request of United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC with approval from Nancy Wilson, Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (Region 06).[6]


  1. ^ "ELS Language Centers". Study USA. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  2. ^ "ELS Language Centers - Oman: history". Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Familiarization Tour to ELS Language Centers in the USA". Retrieved 13 March 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ "BERLITZ TO BUY ELS EDUCATIONAL FOR $95 MILLION". July 24, 1997. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  5. ^ "NLRB". Retrieved 2016-02-29.
  6. ^ "NLRB". Retrieved 2016-04-05.

External linksEdit