English Language Studies

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English Language Studies (ELS)

We offer academic English classes for students learning English as an additional language. We provide full- or part-time English language courses in a four-level program. Whether you are a recent high school student, mature student, international student or working professional, our goal is to prepare you for success in your university studies or career.


*We offer tuition-free courses for Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Convention Refugees. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) may help cover other fees for qualifying students.

Student Awards and Financial Assistance provides scholarships and other options to reduce financial barriers. The English Language Studies (ELS) department also offers two awards for hard-working and dedicated English language learners.

Why Take English Language Studies at KPU?

As an ELS student you'll take intensive and academically challenging courses, from intermediate to advanced levels, in our diploma program or as a university Pathway student. You can also take university credit courses while studying in the advanced-level ELS courses to get you started on your post-secondary education.

Small class sizes (maximum of 17 students) ensure you get the 1-on-1 support you need from our expert instructors. KPU offers even more academic support through our libraries, designated ELS computer labs, and Learning Centres.

We offer full- or part-time studies on our Richmond and Surrey campuses. Please note that some courses may not be offered on both campuses; however, there is direct transit service available between campuses. We also provide integrated online learning combined with exceptional face-to-face instruction. For more information about online learning check out our FAQ.

And unlike taking English language courses elsewhere, at KPU you have access to everything campus life has to offer, as well as academic advising and student support services.

Apply Now Attend an Information Session

Who Are Our Students?

Our students are local residents and international students who have chosen ELS to help them improve their English language skills and reach their personal goals.

Student Success

Maryam Alkaloo

"I really thank the ELS program and its staff because without their effort, English would be an enormous obstacle to achieving my goals."

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Diana Orejuela

"I’m glad to have started at the right place. My ESL experience at KPU was the biggest opportunity to learn and interact with those who came from different places in the world."

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Emad Alrefai

“Confidence and bravery are the two main qualities I have gained from studying English at KPU”

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More Student Success stories

Need More Info?

Interested in this program but still not sure? Get all your questions answered about the program, courses, fees, how to apply, and more by attending an Info Session.

Register for Information Session Ready to Apply?

Program Details

As an ELS student, you'll improve your English proficiency by completing courses focused on reading and writing skills and listening and speaking skills. These courses are student-centred with a focus on real-world communication. When possible, we offer 3-credit electives that focus on pronunciation and on grammar.

We offer a Diploma in English Language Proficiency or a Citation in English Language Proficiency for students who want to start out in the Faculty of Academic and Career Preparation. Also, students in the Pathway to Undergraduate Studies take ELS courses to meet English Proficiency requirements for full admission to KPU while they begin their university studies.

In order to take an ELST course, you should have at least an intermediate level of English (equivalent to approximately LINC 4/5 or IELTS 4.5).

Before taking an assessment test, you must apply to KPU first. Take this quiz to find the best test for you. Here is a list of tests you can take to determine your level of English and placement in the right ELS class.  

Testing Options:

  • Duolingo English Test
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Visit our program overview for more details or check out our how to videos to help you learn more about the steps you need to take to get into our classes.

Program Description Admission Requirements