Everything you need to know about learning a new language in Canada

University of Alberta


English Language Opportunities for All at Top Canadian University

Ranked among the top 100 universities in the world the University of Alberta (UAlberta) is a beacon of academic excellence in Canada. With over 39,000 students enrolled on five campuses, UAlberta offers something for everyone. Students can take advantage of opportunities in academic research, community service initiatives, and be part of over 450 campus groups. The University also offers a wide variety of services on campus, including a world class fitness facility, climbing wall, and many shops and restaurants.

Edmonton is a thriving Canadian city with a population of over one million people. As Alberta’s capital city and Canada’s fifth largest municipality, the city is clean and safe. Every year world class artists and entertainers come to Edmonton to perform in a wide range of festivals. The city is also known as having the largest urban parkland in North America, and the many parks and trails along the river valley are enjoyable year round. From education to business and culture, Edmonton offers a high living standard and endless opportunities for people from all corners of the world. Edmonton was recognized by National Geographic magazine as “Festival City” and one of the world’s top summer destinations.

Alberta is home to the majestic Rocky Mountains, one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The Rocky Mountains offer outdoor enthusiasts a world-class experience during both summer and winter months. UAlberta students take advantage of Edmonton’s proximity to the mountains and visit Jasper and Banff during the weekend and other study breaks.

University of Alberta English Language School

UAlberta welcomes international students to a variety of programs. These include undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Bridging Program, the Science without Borders scholarship program, short-term language training, and cultural experience exchange programs, and more. Many of these students begin their international career at the University of Alberta’s English Language School (ELS).

Founded in 1973, ELS serves over 2,000 international students per year. ELS offers full-time intensive language training programs, short-term language training and cultural seminars, the Bridging Program (a pathway into an undergraduate degree program), the academic English course for graduate admissions, the Advanced Professional Program in English-Medium Instruction (APPEMI) program for higher education instructors, as well as other full-time and part-time programs.

ELS courses are flexible to meet the needs of international students. For those seeking undergraduate admission, the English for Academic Purposes program begins every two months, with 16 hours of instruction per week.

“We often hear from our students that by being able to learn along with students from other countries, they expand their global experience,” commented English Language School Executive Director, Mimi Hui, about the congenial academic environment of ELS.

With a team of more than 70 instructors, 25 administrative staff, and a student center, ELS is well-equipped to meet students’ diverse learning needs and is proud to see their success and achievements. Some students have presented scientific research at international conferences, won awards for their academic work, or continued their academic career at UAlberta to pursue graduate degrees and more.

Welcoming Latin American Professors to the Advanced Professional Program in English-Medium Instruction (APPEMI)

With the internationalization of higher education, professors for whom English is an additional language may be expected to teach their content in English. The innovative APPEMI teacher training program assists professors to enhance their teaching and English language skills, focusing on topics such as instructional design, student engagement, and teaching with technology.

As with all programs at the English Language School, APPEMI is fully customizable to meet the teaching and language needs of international groups.

“New and experienced professors from a range of content areas have participated in our program. Initially, they sometimes doubt their ability to teach their content in English and have few strategies for motivating and engaging students. However, they return to their universities feeling more self-confident and prepared to meet the demands of 21st century learners,” said APPEMI Academic Team Lead, Dr. Pamela Young.

As the demand for English instruction in Latin America continues to increase, Ms. Hui envisions a growth in enrollment at the English Language School and is excited to welcome new markets. “We understand it’s not a one-size-fits-all policy and strategy to enter these markets. Maintaining diversity in our classrooms is very important to students’ learning experiences,” Ms. Hui concluded.


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