ESL Programs

Update 

Classes will be held online for 2021 Intersession (May – August).
The VIU ELC is planning to return to face-to-face instruction starting Fall 2021.
For more details, visit VIU's Covid-19 update page, or email WorldVIU@viu.ca

 

The English Language Centre at Vancouver Island University offers academic ESL programs for students intending to continue to university. 

  • Students can enter undergraduate credit studies after successful completion of University Preparation level 5. 
  • Students can enter graduate studies after successful completion of Graduate Preparation. 
  • The initial level is determined by the level placement test on the first day of the program or the direct IELTS/TOEFL/Duolingo scores

diagram explaining VIU's ELC programs

 

Program Details

 

Length: 6.5 or 13 weeks

Location Offered: Nanaimo Campus

Do you want to learn English for communications purposes? Our Language Foundations program offers a skills-based curriculum that can take you from a beginner to an intermediate speaker in just 3 levels.

After successfully completing Language Foundations level 3, you can join our University Preparation program to develop your academic English skills and prepare to study at a Canadian university.

As an ESL student in Language Foundations, you will have access to our learning centre and be able to participate in sociocultural activities organised by the International Education faculty. These support services and activities will improve your fluency in English and help you to speak with increased confidence.

Course Structure

One level of Language Foundations is 13-weeks.
A 13-week level is divided into two 6.5-week courses, each of which covers two skills.
To finish one level of Language Foundations, both courses need to be completed.

Program Details

  • Beginner to intermediate.
  • 20 hours per week of instruction.
  • Start in January, February, April, June, August, October.
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials.
  • A minimum grade of C (60%) is required to pass any level of Language Foundations.

Length: 6.5 or 13 weeks
Location Offered: Nanaimo Campus

Do you want to attend a university in Canada but need to improve your English? Our University Preparation program offers a skills-based curriculum that prepares students for academic success. It will take you from an intermediate to an advanced speaker of the English language in just 2 levels. After successfully completing University Preparation level 5, you can begin your certificate, degree or diploma studies at our university.

Enter University Preparation in two ways: with an IELTS or TOEFL score, or by successfully completing Language Foundations level 3 at our university.

As an ESL student at our university, you will have access to our learning centre and be able to participate in sociocultural activities organised by the International Education faculty.

Course Structure

One level of University Preparation is 13-weeks.
A 13-week level is divided into two 6.5-week courses, each of which covers two skills.
To finish one level of University Preparation, both courses need to be completed.

Program Details

  • 20 hours per week of instruction.
  • Start in January, February, April, June, August, October.
  • Small classes, highly qualified, friendly, approachable teachers, and a wide range of learning materials.
  • Students in University Preparation 5 may be eligible to take one academic credit course.
  • Graduates from University Preparation 5 can enter Vancouver Island University degree, diploma and certificate programs directly (as long as academic pre-requisites met).
  • A minimum grade of C (60%) is required to pass any of the University Preparation levels.

Length: 13 weeks
Location Offered: Nanaimo Campus

Do you want to attend a Master’s or graduate program at VIU, and have met the academic entry requirements but need to improve your English and research skills?

Graduate Preparation prepares ESL students for graduate level classes at VIU. It focuses on developing reading strategies, responding to readings, putting together literature reviews and writing reports. The syllabus is customized based on interest and need, and you are also given the opportunity to enhance your discussion and presentation skills. After successfully completing Grad Prep, you can begin your Master’s or graduate program at our university.

Enter Grad Prep in two ways: with an IELTS or TOEFL score, or successfully complete University Preparation level 5.

Program Details

  • 13-week semester
  • Three start dates per year: January, May, September
  • 20 hours per week supplemented by individual and group tutorials
  • Small classes
  • Full access to University facilities including cafeteria, gymnasium, library, bookstore, health clinic and computer labs
  • Access to full-time International Student Advisory Services and Department of Student Services
  • Experienced professionals, trained in the most up to date teaching methods

More Information

Students can choose between six start dates per year. The schedules are outlined here.

Students must have basic English skills before entering the English Language Centre (ELC) programs.

The ELC cannot accept students who are at the very beginning level of using English.

Students will be given an English language level assessment test when they arrive at Vancouver Island University to confirm their basic English knowledge. If a student does not pass the level assessment test, the student may not be accepted into the program.

Duolingo can be submitted to support your application and determine your level of ELC program. 

 

Vancouver Island University accepts international students under one of the following conditions:

  • direct applications (online or paper applications);
  • applications through authorized representatives;
  • institution-to-institution exchange programs;
  • sponsorship through inter-governmental agreements;
  • winner of academic competitions or international scholarships.

 

All students must:

  • hold a valid status in Canada: visitor status for ESL courses up to 6 months in length or study permit for longer courses;
  • complete a Vancouver Island University ESL language assessment test (or equivalent)

Please keep in mind that students applying for conditional admission to an undergraduate (or diploma, certificate or trades) program at VIU, or thinking of applying upon completion of ESL programming, will still be required to provide proof of high school graduation and their secondary school transcripts.