The English Language Resource Center (ELRC) at Al-Azhar University began in 2007 as a joint initiative between the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and Al-Azhar University to increase the English proficiency levels of junior faculty members.
The ELRC offers general English classes for up to 90 students at a time. Each student is given the opportunity to study for a maximum of two years in order to complete all four stages (beginner, high-beginner, low-intermediate, and intermediate), which are aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Academic English skills are integrated in stage 4, and participants in this stage are given the ITP TOEFL exam upon successful completion of the course. Students are also involved in a variety of professional and academic workshops.
In addition to offering quality, student-centered English instruction, the center also aims to enhance East-West cultural and religious understanding by hosting a number of different speakers on related topics, employing American English teachers, and offering students the opportunity to participate in online dialogue programs, such as Soliya Connect. Selected ELRC students have also been chosen to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program through the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.