English Learning Center

A nonprofit organization

The English Learning Center is a non-profit adult education program in Denver. Our all-volunteer staff teaches English to students from around the world at a cost of less than $1.00 an hour! We rely on our generous donors to provide quality English classes and community engagement for our students.


The ELC is the best place to learn or improve your English in Denver. Not only because the ELC is affordable, but it has the best teachers that I have ever had before. They are awesome! Just go ahead and remember - don't be nervous. You're learning and the teachers will assist you if you ask. -- Daniel from Mexico

I chose the ELC because the classes are flexible and suitable, there are enough experienced teachers, and it's a fun place to improve my English. The ELC is good for all people who are so busy, especially with children. I love my class. -- KaBaw from Burma

This is a great place to learn and to improve English. Very good and nice teachers who give really good advices. -- Mia from Madagascar

I love this school because they teach you very well and it's cheap (95 usd every two months, 2 hrs daily Monday to Thursday). I recommend them, you guys won't regret it. I came in without knowing anything. -- Irma from Mexico

I like this ESL courses. Teachers are very friendly and always pay attention to students. There are 5 levels and additional classes for writing, pronunciation etc, so you will be able to find what you exactly need. You can enjoy coffee, tea and cookies on breaks. The bus stop and the big Safeway parking lot are near the Center. You shouldn't buy any books and other materials, just pay for the level and have a fun :) I love this place and glad I met good people there.

ELC gives me help a lot. I could not going shopping alone. Now I can. My life have changed too. I can look for better job to make more money because My English is improving. I have been study English in ELC for 2 years. I am a student of leavle 3 now. thanks for ELC helpful! I will continue study in ELC . I want to give better life. -- Shiping from China


The mission of the English Learning Center is to provide affordable quality English language training in a welcoming environment.

Background Statement

The history of the English Learning Center can be traced back 40 years to the Adult Learning Source (ALS), a school established to provide literacy, GED, and ESL instruction to adult residents of the Baker neighborhood of Denver.

When an economic downturn in 2006 forced ALS to end its program, two of the volunteer teachers, Bud Demko and Laura Fishman, found a way to continue to provide an ESL program under the name Central Denver Language School (CDLS).

CDLS started with no furniture, no teaching materials, and about 30 students. The program survived only through the generosity of organizations and several teachers who donated money and materials. The surplus auctions at the Federal Center provided our furniture.

From 2006 to 2012, CDLS grew from 30 students to over 70 students. Operated entirely by volunteers, the school developed the framework and expertise for managing the growing program. In 2012 the school moved to the Evanston Center near the University of Denver, and for the first time offered classes in real classrooms.

In early 2015, the school was incorporated as a Colorado nonprofit organization under the name English Language Center and received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. ELC has continued with all-volunteer teaching staff. and was able to employ a part-time administrator in 2014 and a part-time Director in 2018.

Providing a welcoming environment for students from all cultures and backgrounds has always been the hallmark of our work. We now serve around 100 students each session from over 50 different countries since 2018. Not only do students study English and learn about the United States. They also interact daily with people from very different cultures and make lasting friendships with their classmates from around the world.

Organization Data


Organization name

English Learning Center

other names

ELC, Central Denver Language School

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Small Organization


2201 Dexter Street
Denver, CO 80207

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US



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