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Continuing Education English as a Second Language Courses


These courses are offered by experienced ESL instructors who provide students with strategies to learn English through a variety of methods and assist them to develop confidence needed to use their skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will be provided with opportunities to practice using English for various tasks and activities. Students will also build their knowledge of idioms, vocabulary, and grammar to be able to communicate in a culturally appropriate way. Each course runs for 8 weeks, two evenings a week, for a total of 40 hours per semester.

Methods of delivery:

Continuing Education ESL Courses are offered to students at different language levels within the same class. Students will work in smaller groups using a level appropriate textbook and their instructor’s guidance to build on and expand their previous language knowledge and develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to be successful in Canadian society. Our knowledgeable instructors facilitate learning and create/design multilevel lessons to accommodate each student’s learning needs. Audio-visual and online resources, as well as textbooks, are used in the computer lab and classroom setting to deliver these courses.

At lower levels, students will learn to compose paragraphs and use a variety of texts to expand their knowledge of English grammar and sentence structures. They participate in smaller group tasks, guided and structured activities, pair and individual work in a variety of familiar or new contexts to improve their skills. The oral communication skills will be improved by learning to participate in small talks and discussions, express opinion, agree and disagree, and express preferences to strengthen their communicative skills. Fluency is the focus at the beginner levels.

At the Intermediate, High Intermediate and Advanced levels, students will extend their skills in using English in more complex and demanding situations, with increasing fluency and accuracy. They will expand their knowledge of academic and technical vocabulary and develop study skills that help them to continue to other programs and trainings for further education. They improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills by participating in small group discussions, writing/reading narratives and articles, and participating in debates and small group activities. Providing explanations, expressing concerns, seeking advice, making suggestions, asking for information, and persuading others are the focus of the skills and activities in these levels.


Continuing Education ESL courses use an on-going method of assessment to measure students’ level of proficiency and their progress:

  1. Placement assessment will use Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) tasks to identify students’ starting level in the course.
  2. Formative assessment will be administered during the course delivery on a regular basis to measure the students’ progress and identify changes in the learning needs.
  3. Final assessment will summarize the progress and will determine a portion of the final mark.

A certificate of completion is issued to the students who achieve 70% or higher in the course.

What to expect in the Continuing Education ESL Courses: Reading and Writing Module

Beginner level (CONL110 & 111) (Canadian Language Benchmarks 3-4)
Foundations 1 Reading, Writing and Grammar will focus on: previewing a text; skimming for the main idea; reading simple charts, graphs, and tables; identifying the topic sentence in a paragraph; learning about word forms; word roots; modifying nouns; parts of speech; writing various types of sentences using past, present, and simple tenses; identifying the main idea; writing a topic sentence; identifying correct paragraph structure; learning about present and past tenses of the verbs to be and to have; simple past with regular and irregular verb; infinitives; and sentences with because and when.

Foundations 2 Reading Writing and Grammar will focus on: identifying the supporting sentences; detecting pronoun referents; marking the margins; recognizing facts and opinions, distinguishing prefixes; recognizing collocations; using a dictionary; learning about the word families; writing compound sentences; writing supporting sentences and details; recognizing contrasting ideas in a paragraph; writing concluding sentences; making a timeline to plan for the writing; learning about prepositions of location; infinitives of purpose; simple verbs followed by infinitives; clauses with after and after that; and comparative adjectives.

Intermediate Level (CONL 112 & 113) (Canadian Language Benchmarks 4-5)
Intermediate 1 Reading, Writing and Grammar will focus on: identifying the main idea and supporting details in a paragraph; getting meaning from context; taking notes; comparing information from different text formats; expanding word families; suffixes; prefixes; brainstorming before writing; learning how to support the main idea with examples; editing and revising a text; writing a descriptive paragraph; writing an opinion paragraph; learning about present continuous; future with will; subject-verb agreement; and modals.

Intermediate 2 Reading, Writing and Grammar will focus on: scanning and skimming the text for identifying specific information; identifying the author’s purpose; recognizing opinions, synthesizing information; using the dictionary; phrasal verbs; collocations; using sentence variety; achieving unity in a paragraph; recognizing and using transitions; writing a paragraph to describe a process; writing an explanatory paragraph; learning about comparative and superlative adjectives; infinitives of purpose; past continuous; and adverbs of manner and degree.

High Intermediate Level (CONL 114 & 115) (Canadian Language Benchmarks 5-6)
High Intermediate 1 Reading, Writing and Grammar will focus on: distinguishing facts from implicit opinions; taking notes; using context to understand meaning; and using synonyms and antonyms to expand the vocabulary knowledge; using descriptive adjectives in writing; writing clear explanations; using a timeline and/or graphic organizer to develop ideas; organizing and developing an extended paragraph; writing summaries; learning about real conditionals; the use and placement of adjectives; parallel structures; and compound/complex sentences.

High Intermediate 2 Reading, Writing and Grammar will focus on: making and confirming predictions from titles and headings; identify the audience; using referents to understand contrasts; identifying the hidden intent of the writer; analyzing advantages and disadvantages; learning about phrasal verbs; collocations with nouns and adjectives; idioms and idiomatic expressions; writing an outline and organizing ideas; stating reasons and giving examples; learning about essay structure; writing an opinion essay; writing a narrative essay; writing a cause and effect essay; writing an argumentative essay; learning about shifts between past and present time frames; gerunds and infinitives; complex sentences; and sentence fragments.

Advance Level (CONL 116) (Canadian Language Benchmarks 7 and higher)
Advanced Reading, Writing, and Grammar will focus on: making and confirming predictions; recognizing the role of reported speech; making inferences; recognizing persuasive language; identifying arguments, counterarguments and refutations; identifying and categorizing problems and solutions from a text; expanding the knowledge of idioms and idiomatic expressions; identifying hedging language, recognizing and using figurative language to add depth to writing; using appropriate subordinators and transitions; organizing and developing different essay types; writing a compare and contrast essay; writing a persuasive essay; learning about restrictive relative clauses; distinguishing between direct and indirect speech; past unreal conditions; passive voice; past perfect and past perfect continuous; and adverb clauses of concession.

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