Photonic crystals (PCs) have many potential applications because of their ability to control light-wave propagation. We have investigated the electromagnetic wave propagation inside an elliptic rod PC slab by means of finite-difference time-domain simulations. The band structure of the PC composed of elliptic rod in the square and triangular lattices is studied by solving Maxwell's equations using the plane wave expansion method. Numerical simulations show that the refractive angle can be tuned greatly by rotating the directors of elliptic rod in the PC slab. Furthermore, an optical switch based on elliptic rod PC structures with nematic liquid crystals was proposed. In the on/off switching system, the partial band gap can be controlled when the normalized operation frequency is 0.28. The modulation induced by liquid crystals created a sharp switching in the photonic devices. Such a mechanism of negative refraction PCs should open up a new application for designing components in photonic integrated circuits.