The English Language Foundations (ELF) program provides English language upgrading for learners whose first language is not English. Students are placed into the program based on demonstrated proficiency in English, using the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment. Most students use the ELF program as entry into SAIT career programs.
The ELF curriculum encourages development in all language areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Five-level program
- Six start dates per year (eight week terms)
- Full and part-time studies; evening/weekend courses available
- Intensive, skills-focused approach
- Proficiency based placement and advancement
- Completion of ELF 5 is accepted in lieu of English 30 for most programs at SAIT
After successfully completing the ELF program, the majority of graduates are prepared for admission into SAIT career programs as completion of ELF level 5 is accepted as equivalent to English 30 for most programs at SAIT.
Students in ELF Levels 4 and 5 may combine ELF coursework with Academic Upgrading subjects in math or science.
Progress in the ELF Program depends on the student’s demonstration of proficiency. Instructors regularly assess student progress through classroom assignments, participation and examinations. Students who achieve a rating of 50% (D) in all subjects can be recommended for promotion to the next level.
ELF is a fast track program. Students should be prepared to dedicate considerable time for study and to actively use their English outside of class time. SAIT career programs require academic appropriate English skills in all areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Credentials and Accreditation
No Credential Awarded
Level 1 (communications and speech) leads to level 2 which in turn leads to levels 3, 4 and 5. However students may begin at any level in ELF depending on their CLBA score.
To register for the English Language Foundations program, you must complete a Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) and obtain a minimum score of 4 in all categories. CLBA must be completed at least one week before the course start date.
You can complete a CLBA at SAIT for $100, to make an appointment call 403.210.4045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also accepted CLBA results from ILVARC (CLBA is free if you are eligible). Please note:
- CLBA scores must be within six months of the test date.
- Teacher-assessed CLBA scores from LINC schools are not accepted.
- For international students, the $100 CLBA fee is included in your application fee; if you require additional CLBA testing, you will be charged $100.
- Effective July 1, 2015, the fee to complete the CLBA at SAIT will be $150.
The benchmark score on your CLBA will determine the ELF level you will start:
Benchmark 4 → ELF level 1
Benchmark 5 → ELF level 2
Benchmark 6 → ELF level 3
Benchmark 7 → ELF level 4 → ELF level 5
Benchmark 8 and completion of ELF level 5 → Meets English proficiency requirement to enter SAIT career programs*
Students with CLBA score of 3 in each category can take ENGL 102 - English Language Readiness.
*The SAIT Respiratory Therapy program requires Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA) with a score of 9 in all sections.