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English as a Second Language Pre-Academic

Available at: Kingston


The purpose of the pre-academic ESL program is to provide students who speak English as a second language with instruction and support that will enable them to improve their English language skills to succeed in their academic studies. The program uses Canadian materials particularly aimed at improving the English language skills of students who intend to enroll in a college diploma and degree program.

Students are offered an enriching English experience with authentic readings, audio and video segments, activities and exercises designed to build vocabulary, text comprehension and pronunciation. There will also be opportunity to learn about Canadian culture and the local area through meaningful experiences in the community, which will include field trips to various historical and cultural sites. Students receive a total of 24 hours of instruction a week, which includes 4 hours of computer lab time.

Students enrolled in the ESL pre-academic program have full access to the fitness centre, library, cafeteria, computer labs, and more. Homestays are also available.

There are three levels – Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced (or Advance+). To enroll in the appropriate level, you will take a placement test upon arrival. If you have taken an International English test, such as IELTS or TOFEL, within 12 months prior to the program start date, you can provide the score for placement.

When students successfully complete the Advanced level with a minimum average of 60%, they receive a Statement of Achievement. With this Statement of Achievement, they meet the English language requirements for most programs at St. Lawrence College, with no further English testing required.

Advanced level (14 weeks)
You will gain sufficient English proficiency to enter an academic program in a Canadian post-secondary institution. You will focus on English communication skills across disciplines and learn effective strategies to become successful in the academic environment. The features of this level include:
• integrated curriculum emphasizing all four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
• further emphasis on academic writing
• development of cross-cultural communication skills
• tutorial session to target language use in course-related content

Students have the choice to take a credit course in consultation with an academic advisor. In other words, they will be immersed in a regular academic class environment and receive intensive support from the ESL program at the same time. By taking a credit course, students will be better prepared and have less workload in their future studies. 

Intermediate (14 weeks)
You will improve your English proficiency and be ready to move into the Advance level upon completion of the intermediate level. You will focus on grammar and vocabulary frequently used in business and academic environment. The features of this level include:
• Integrated curriculum emphasizing all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
• Frequent practice and lab sessions
• Emphasis on academic writing
• Opportunity to learn about Canadian culture
• Development of cross-cultural communication skills

Pre-Intermediate level (14 weeks)
You have some basic knowledge of English language and this course will help you improve your proficiency to the intermediate level. You will acquire more vocabulary through real-life topics and interactive activities. The features of this level include:
• Learning vocabulary and grammar
• Integrated curriculum emphasizing all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
• Opportunity to learn about Canadian culture
• Development of cross-cultural communication skills

We also offer Customized ESL Training Programs.


What level will I attend?
You will take a placement test when you arrive on campus. No prior testing is required to register in the ESL program. However, if you have done an international English test, your score can be used for placement. The table below list the entrance level for each level.


St. Lawrence Placement









Intermediate level





Advanced level





2018 Start Dates

Placement Test
Class Begins
 May 2, 2018
May 7, 2018
August 27, 2018
September 4, 2018
October 22, 2018
October 29, 2018
January 2, 2019
January 7, 2019
February 25, 2019
March 4, 2019
April 29, 2019
May 6, 2019

Mid-Semester Start:

Students may request to start at mid-semester due to visa delay. Mid-semester start dates are March 6, June 19 and October 23 for placement test. Classes start the next Monday. Please note, the mid-semester start only gives students 7 weeks to complete a level. If the students pass the level, they can progress to the next level. If they do not pass, they will repeat the full semester at the same level.

How to apply

Step 1: Fill out the application form and pay the application fee of $100 CAD. Application - click here.

Step 2: Mail your original or certified copies of your high school diploma and transcript to St. Lawrence College at:

International Office
St. Lawrence College
100 Portsmouth Avenue
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7L 5A6

Please note we only accept Original documents or certified copies. If your documents are not in English, we need the English translation as well.

Program Name

English as a Second Language Pre-Academic

Program Code



Statement of Achievement

Start Dates


Program Duration

7 or 14 weeks

Location (Campus)


Canadian Fees

2017-18 tuition fees (14 week semester): $1,122.16; Compulsory fees $704.15 All fees subject to change for 2018-19. **Contact us to verify fees as they vary depending on season and duration: Shasha Xu, 613-544-5400, ext. 1689 or

International Fees

2017-18 International tuition fees (14 week semester): $4,580.00; Compulsory fees $734.00. All fees subject to change for 2018-19. **Contact us to verify fees as they vary depending on season and duration: Shasha Xu, 613-544-5400, ext. 1689 or

Additional Costs

Scholarships and Bursaries

St. Lawrence College offers an extensive Student Scholarship and Bursary Program.  Scholarships and bursaries for this purpose are sponsored by external organizations and private individuals.  These awards recognize our academic excellence, community involvement, contribution to the quality of College life, outstanding achievement and professional potential.  For more details visit "Paying for College".

Program Outline 2018-19

ESL Advanced Level (14 weeks or 7 weeks)

ESL Advanced+ Level (14 weeks)

Intermediate Level (14 weeks or 7 weeks)

Pre-Intermediate (14 weeks or 7 weeks)

Admission Requirements

  • English language skills at the Pre-Intermediate starting level
  • High school diploma or at least 19 years old prior to start of the program

For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.


Health Requirements

Articulation & Credit Transfer Opportunities

Formal and informal pathways offer SLC graduates the chance to continue their studies with post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world. Those that follow are specific to this program:

    For details on Credit Transfer within Ontario please visit:


    The ESL program in the St-Lawrence College in Kingston Ontario, is a really good one. It is a good program because the teachers really want us to improve our English, so they help us anytime in anything. Moreover, there is a lot of interaction in class, which help us improve our speaking.  The schedule of the course is perfect because we actually have our Fridays  for homework and that way we can also visit this wonderful city and talk with native people. We actually cover a lot of ground in only 3 months. I've learned incredible things in this class more than I've learn in regular English classes in high school when I used to have English as a second language. If you want to join this class, you would not regret your choice. You will be satisfied by the new things you can learn about that beautiful language. The different activities will help you get better in English and you will certainly like it.

    Alexandra Usma

    Program Contact

    David Chau

    Admissions Information

    International Students Contact:

    Additional Information

    Students are thoroughly tested upon enrollment for placement in the appropriate level (only Intermediate and Advanced offered). Upon arrival at the College, students will have an oral and written assessment of their English skills and will be placed at the appropriate level.

    Need help with your OCAS application?

    One of our Career College Advisors will provide personal assistance to walk you through your OCAS application. Call 1-800-463-0752 or email

    Unable to produce your high school diploma?

    Contact the ESL program coordinator, Bev Smith, at 613-544-5400, ext. 6787 for an assessment appointment. If the program coordinator determines that you are eligible for the program, she will notify Admissions of your eligibility.

    On your OCAS application, check "transcript to follow." Complete your application and submit it with your application fee. A positive assessment from the program coordinator will ensure your acceptance into the program, as long as seats are available, even though your high school transcript is unavailable.

    Advanced Standing

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