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Washington English Center

Listing Last Update: August 14, 2018


2200 California Street NW
Washington, DC 20008

Primary Contact

Elizabeth Madjlesi

(202) 387-0023

Educational services

  • Reading and writing
  • English language
  • Volunteer at a Program
  • Citizenship Classes

Instruction Type

  • Classroom
  • Computer

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Program Overview

Washington English Center is a community-based, non-profit English language school for adults, located in Washington, DC. Since 1993, we have been providing excellent and affordable English language classes and other workforce programs using volunteer teachers. In addition to English classes, we also offer citizenship preparation and computer literacy classes as well as conversation clubs and one-on-one tutoring. Our employment services program provides job coaching and hosts employment based workshops and trainings throughout the year.

The combination of English language instruction and volunteer participation fosters improved understanding between immigrants and the community at large. We strive to ensure that Washington English Center will be the most supportive and accessible choice for immigrants to receive high quality English instruction and other workforce programs in the DC area.

We charge minimum tuition for our classes, and turn no one
away for inability to pay. We serve over 1,500 students each year. We accomplish our goals with a small staff, over 350 volunteer teachers and tutors
each term.

Mission Statement


That all immigrants gain the education and support they need to build a better future for themselves and for their children.

Washington English Center's mission is to provide excellent and affordable English classes and other workforce programs to adult immigrants using volunteer teachers.

Hours of operation: Monday-Thursday, 9am-8pm; Saturday & Sunday, 9am-4pm

Cost info: Class costs at Washington English Center range from $75-$150 every 10-12 week term. This registration fee includes all textbooks and workbooks.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Student quote 1:

"I'm Daniel Pierre Aimé. I'm from Haïti. Creole and French are my basic languages. My wife and I moved toDC in July 2016.The same week I went to Washington English Center to start an English class.I found WEC online. I read some good reviews about it. It's not far from my house. It's less expensive than other places. To addition to that, I read that people are nice in that place. This is my place, I said! WEC helps me to improve my English. I had some basic, but I was afraid to talk. WEC helps me to remove my complexes. I have conversation class and this is a real conversation class. You talk, you read, you discuss! This is the best way to speak a foreign language. With WEC, I'm in the best way. See you at the top!"

Student quote 2:

"I'm Leife and I'm from Caracas, Venezuela. I'm studying English because I need to communicate with other people in this country. I also need to work and help my children with their homework. I found out about the school from my mother since she studied English here. I chose Washington English Center because it is an accessible school. It is not expensive and it's close to my home. The schedule is very convenient for my daily activities and it's also flexible. I like the method of teaching the language, the alternation of teachers, and the willingness of them to teach. Also, the structure is excellent. Learning English has helped me to understand many things. It has helped me help my children with their homework and will help me with socialization and integration in this country."

Teacher quote:

"I started volunteering at WEC eight years ago after hearing about it from a friend. I appreciate how friendly and well run the organization is, which makes our jobs as volunteers easier! I look forward to teaching each week because of the energy and motivation that the students bring to the classroom. DC attracts such a wide variety of backgrounds from countries I would never learn about otherwise. I have learned so much from their stories. Spending time with the students each week brings such different perspectives and is a refreshing break from my daily routine. Every time I travel to a different country, I come back with a renewed respect for how hard it is to get to know a new language and culture. Being a part of their journey is truly inspiring!"

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

In 2016-17, we had 2460 enrollments. Students came to us from 78 different countries. Ethnicity and Age breakdowns are as follows:

Latino - 62%

Asian/Middle Eastern 11%

African 12%

European 15%

18-29 - 24%

30-45 - 44%

46-60 - 12%

60+ - 10%

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