Our Programs

Who We Serve

The English Empowerment Center serves nearly 1,500 beginning-level English language and literacy adult learners. Our programs provide general English language instruction, targeted literacy skill development, and language for career–specific pathways through classroom, small group and tutorial instruction.

Our Approach

Established in 1962, the English Empowerment Center has over 60 years of experience teaching beginning-level English language and literacy. Our programs are focused on best practices in research-based pedagogy. Meeting the needs of the population means offering a menu of programs, accessible locations throughout the region, and affordable options. Providing student-centered instruction entails assessing each adult, placing him or her at the appropriate level within the learning continuum, gearing instruction to personal learning goals, and addressing special learning needs or disabilities.

The program design is based on a community college model reconfigured at a much lower academic level for beginning literacy and language learners. Learners receive guidance to take the classes that will develop the skills that they need. English Empowerment Center promotes intensive learning in an environment where learners can build their skills through many different channels. Learners have the opportunity to choose and take as many classes as they want at once, and can continue or scale back as their needs change.


English Empowerment Center uses experienced and credentialed teachers in our program as well as rigorously trained volunteers in order to keep our classes small and emphasize personal attention. Our instructors are highly skilled in serving this population. Learn more about training and volunteer opportunities.

Beginning-level English Classes

Beginning-level English classes teach the foundation skills adult English language learners (ELLs) need to learn to speak, understand, read, and write English. Offered at several locations through the region, classes are held at least two nights a week for two hour class sessions and are closed enrollment. The curriculum focuses on American culture and life skills important to the workplace, community, and family, which includes an introduction to technology through blended learning. See our current class schedule.

Family Learning Program Classes

The Family Learning Program (FLP) provides English language instruction classes for parents or caregivers, while their children participate in reading and writing activities and receive guidance with their homework. At least twice a month, the children join the adult class for PACT (Parent and Child Together Time) activities. The class also encourages reading as a family activity through workshops, book give-a-ways, and fieldtrips. Classes are held throughout the region and in partnership with our local public schools.


Adult learners require opportunities for supplemental instruction and practice outside of the classroom. English Empowerment Center furnishes small group tutoring to enhance their learning. Our rigorous English Empowerment Center Instructor Training prepares volunteers to assist students before, during, or after class.

Skills-based Classes

Skills-based courses delve deeper than English Empowerment Center's Beginning-Level English classes, giving learners the option of focusing exclusively on the specific skills they need to succeed. These courses are designed for those who have completed the Beginning-Level English program and need intensive work on particular skill sets. Adult learners are also eligible for skills-based classes if they test out of our Beginning-Level class. Still in the development and design stages, the English Empowerment Center releases these courses as they emerge. The program design features shorter class sessions and more intensive instruction on topics involving reading, writing, pronunciation, computer literacy, and financial literacy.

Destination Workforce®

Destination Workforce® delivers career-specific language and literacy training to immigrants at the lowest literacy levels in Northern Virginia. The program teaches adults basic skills in language and literacy to improve their employability and empower them to participate more fully and confidently in the workplace. Through Destination Workforce, the English Empowerment Center designs, tests, and delivers scalable language-based workforce training for today’s limited English proficient population living under challenging conditions. LCNV teaches immigrants the foundational language, literacy, and cultural skills needed to obtain, succeed and advance in entry level jobs. This unique initiative offers language access to career pathways for those seeking a fast track to an entry level job.

Download English Empowerment Center's informational program flyer here.

Class photo of English language learners enrolled in English Empowerment Center programs