English Language Studies Program Description

The English Language Studies Program is designed to improve students' Academic English skills while promoting cultural exchange, academic success, and personal growth. Our experienced instructors are here to focus on improving your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, while encouraging critical thinking and academic integrity.

Graduates of the English Language Studies program will also earn up to 15 academic credits, which is equal to 6 academic courses!

Program Levels

Each level of the ELS program is 12 weeks in length. There are 5 levels of study.

Pre English for Academic Purposes (PEAP)

  • English Language Studies 10 (Low Intermediate)

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)​

  • English Language Studies 20 (Intermediate)
  • English Language Studies 30 (Upper Intermediate)
  • English Language Studies 40 (Advanced)
  • English Language Studies 50 (University Bridge)

Program Level Description

English Language Studies 10 (Low Intermediate)

This level is offered to students possessing semi-moderate English language proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The program focuses on applied grammar, listening, oral fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary development, and writing structure, beginning with sentences and progressing through to organized paragraphs. Students must achieve 73% in this level to advance to ELS 20.

*Students with 73% or higher in ELS 10 will receive one (1) elective credit towards a UNBC undergraduate degree.

Prerequisites: UNBC English Language placement examination.

English Language Studies 20 (Intermediate)

At this level, students develop basic academic English skills. Through intensive reading and video lectures, the course introduces about a third of the high-frequency words commonly used in university studies. The student also develops skills in writing progressive more articulate paragraphs and in summarizing and note-taking. Speaking skills are developed in interpersonal activities and through oral presentations. Students must achieve 73% in this level to advance to ELS 30.

*Students with 73% or higher in ELS 20 will receive one (1) elective credit towards a UNBC undergraduate degree.

Prerequisites: 73% in the UNBC English Language Studies 10 or UNBC English Language placement examination.

English Language Studies 30 (Upper Intermediate)

At this level students have begun to express themselves coherently in speech and in writing. Focusing on academic skills, students learn to organize and develop their ideas into wellstructured short compositions, employing their acquired grammar and vocabulary knowledge. The selected reading and listening materials continue to expand the Academic Word List and provide activities designed to help students review this vocabulary and reproduce it appropriately. The listening materials expose students to various academic topics and assist them in fine-tuning their note-taking, discussion and oral presentation skills. Students must achieve 73% in this level to advance to ELS 40.

*Students with 73% or higher in ELS 30 will receive one (1) elective credit towards a UNBC undergraduate degree.

Prerequisites: TOEFL score of at least 60 IBT or IELTS 5.0 minimum in all sections or 73% in the UNBC English Language Studies 20 or UNBC English Language placement examination.

English Language Studies 40 (Advanced)

At this level students strive for proficiency in all the skill areas required at the university level. Study and review of the Academic Word List is completed. Students refine their note-taking skills and write progressively longer academic essays based on original internet-sourced research. Students learn to participate in seminars and further refine their skills in public speaking. Students must achieve 73% in this level to advance to ELS 50.

*Students with 73% or higher in ELS 40 will receive three (3) elective credits towards a UNBC undergraduate degree.

Prerequisites: TOEFL score of at least 72 IBT or IELTS 5.5 minimum in all sections or 73% in the UNBC English Language Studies 30 or UNBC English Language placement examination.

English Language Studies 50 (University Bridge)

English Language Studies 50 (University Bridge) is the highest proficiency level in the UNBC English Language Studies program. This course is intended for students seeking to meet English admission requirements at the University of Northern British Columbia. Successful completion of this program satisfies the English admission requirement for admission to UNBC degree programs. Students must achieve a minimum of a “C” level in all sections of this program.

The English Language Studies 50 program is designed to help students acquire a wide range of skills that will allow a person to be fully able and functional as a Canadian university student. The students will develop skills necessary for university-level study, research, writing, and seminar skills. As well, this program assists students in developing skills in oral presentation, note-taking, reading academic materials, report writing, research and computer use.

*Students with 63% or higher in the University Bridge program will receive nine (9) elective credits towards a UNBC undergraduate degree.

Eligibility and Prerequisites: To be eligible for direct entry into the English Language Studies 50 program, students must:

  • not have English as their first language,
  • have completed ELS 40 with a passing score of 73%, or, have a minimum TOEFL score of at least 79 IBT, or an IELTS score of a minimum of 6.0 in all sections or equivalent before entry into the ELS program

If applicable, all applicants should send a copy of their TOEFL or IELTS score or equivalent with their application form. The TOEFL or IELTS test must have been taken within one year of the start date of the program. Students who are not accepted into the Bridge program will be placed in the appropriate 12 week extensive English Language Studies program level.

There are two components to the English Language Studies University Bridge Program. Students will receive twenty (20) hours of the core English Language Studies class (ELS 50) and three (3) hours of Writing & Communication Skills (ELS 170) per week. Successful completion of both components of this program satisfies the English language requirement for admission to UNBC degree programs.