May 25, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
    
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

English Language Foundations

Location(s): In Person (Main Campus)


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs

We designed the English Language Foundations (ELF) program for learners whose first language isn’t English. Our aim? To help you improve your English skills. Many students choose ELF as a way into SAIT career programs. 

Here’s what to expect.

Admission

We’ll place you in the program based on your current English skills. We use tests like the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to assess your abilities. Depending on your score, you may begin at any point between levels one and five.  

Language foundations curriculum

We’re here to give you a strong language foundation. We work on speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. There are five levels, each with two courses-one for reading and writing, the other for listening and speaking. 

Flexible class times

Six start dates a year, eight-week terms, full-time or part-time options. 

Skill development

Your learning experience will be customized to your abilities, so you’ll progress based on your skills. We’ll assess you through classroom assignments, participation, and exams. If you get at least a 50% (D) in all subjects, you can move up to the next level. 

Completing ELF 5 meets the English proficiency pre-requisite for admission into most SAIT academic programs, saving you time and effort. 

Remember, SAIT career programs require strong English skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  ELF is a fast-paced program, so be ready to study and use English outside class.  

Traits, skills and aptitudes


To succeed in the English Language Foundations program, you need some key qualities and abilities, including: 

  • motivation and a strong desire to improve your academic skills and achieve your educational goals 
  • time management skills to balance coursework and other responsibilities  
  • self-discipline so you can stay focused while studying and completing assignments 
  • computer literacy
  • study skills, how to take notes and prepare for exams. 

Program length


8 weeks

Accepts international applicants - not-PGWP eligible


This program is open to international applicants; however, program availability may be limited. This program does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program

Not eligible for CAJG


This program is not eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Admission requirements


To register for the English Language Foundations program, you must complete one of the following:

CLBA or IELTS tests must be completed at least one week before the course starts.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The IELTS Test Centre at SAIT provides proficiency testing for $329. 

We accept IELTS band scores from any approved centres. However, you must submit an official copy of your IELTS test report form (TRF).

Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA)

Entrance CLBA tests for international students are free. If eligible, domestic students can get a free CLBA or CLBPT at CLARC (Calgary Language Assessment and Referral Centre).

English Language Foundations proficiency placement test (ELF PPT)

Your ELF placement will be based on your CLBA, CLBPT, ELF PPT or academic IELTS score.

ELF level 1:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) score of 4
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) score of 4
  • English Language Foundations proficiency placement (ELF PPT) test score of 4
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 3.5

ELF level 2:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) score of 5
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) score of 5
  • English Language Foundations proficiency placement (ELF PPT) test score of 5
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 4.0

ELF level 3:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) score of 6
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) score of 6
  • English Language Foundations proficiency placement (ELF PPT) test score of 6
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 4.5

ELF level 4:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) score of 7 (must take levels 4 and 5)
  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) score of 7
  • English Language Foundations proficiency placement (ELF PPT) test score of 7
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5.0

ELF level 5: 

  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) score of 8
  • English Language Foundations proficiency placement (ELF PPT) test score of 8
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5.5

IELTS: A band score of 6.0 in all categories and completion of ELF level 5 meets the English language requirements to enter SAIT programs.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

Students coming from the LINC program with a certificate of completion for LINC (CLBA) level 4, 5 or 6 can be accepted to the ELF program as below:

  • LINC (CLBA) level 4 Graduates  → ELF level 1

  • LINC (CLBA) level 5 Graduates → ELF level 2

  • LINC (CLBA) level 6 Graduates → ELF level 3

Teacher-assessed CLBA scores from LINC schools are not accepted.

Bridging pathways

Based on the English Language Foundations (ELF) equivalency policy, you may also be accepted if you have completed some level at either one of the SAIT pathway program partners or other post-secondary academic English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

Call 403.210.4045 or email english.language@sait.ca for more information about English language bridging pathways.

Application process


Canadian citizens (including those with dual citizenship), permanent residents, and those with refugee status in Canada can register for courses by emailing english.language@sait.ca. No application is required.

International students, temporary residents (with a study permit, work permit or visitor visa), or those living in Canada but do not have permanent resident or refugee status must apply to the program via the virtual application system.

After we confirm we have received your application, schedule your English Language Foundations proficiency placement test (PPT) by calling 403.210.4045 or email english.language@sait.ca

Program outline


Course delivery

Full-time program:

  • Two courses per level for eight weeks 
  • 20 hours per week in class, Monday through Friday, plus 15 to 20 hours of homework 
  • Courses are available in the morning or the afternoon

Part-time program:

  • One course per level for eight weeks 
  • 10 hours per week in class, plus seven to ten hours of homework 
  • Courses are available in the morning or the afternoon

Progression


Level 1 (communications and speech) leads to level 2, which leads to levels 3, 4 and 5.  However, if you’re entering the program with a CLBA, CLPBT or ELF PPT, you may begin between levels 1 and 4, depending on your score. 

Depending on your band score, entering the IELTS academic test may begin at any point between levels 1 and 5. 

Review our grading and progression procedure >

Books and supplies


This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

No textbooks are required for this program.

English Language Foundations program advising


For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please get in touch with Academic Services.

Phone: 403.210.4045
Email: english.language@sait.ca

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs