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SAIT students in Stan Grad Centre building

English Language Foundations

Open for Winter 2018

Open for Spring 2018

Open for Fall 2018

Length: 8-week
Available: Classroom

Program Highlights

Upgrade your English skills and build confidence to pursue programs at SAIT, enter the job market or move ahead in your career. With full- and part-time options, English Language Foundations focuses on all language areas.  Evening and weekend classes are available through Continuing Education. Funding is available through the Foundational Learning Program (formerly the Skills Investment Program).

Completion of English Language Foundations Level 5 will provide you with the English proficiency admission requirement for SAIT programs.

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Next Information Session

All Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

1 level, 2 courses: $1,314
1 course: $657
1 level, 2 courses (International): $2628
1 course (International): $1314

The full cost of the program is dependent on your CLBA results and the level you start in.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available. 

When can you apply?

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for spring, summer and fall 2018 open Oct. 18, 2017.
    • Domestic students: you can register for courses on an ongoing basis.
    • International students: you must apply and choose the term when you would like to start English Language Foundations.  
TermProgram start
Fall 2017 Sept. 5, 2017
Oct. 30, 2017
Winter 2018 Jan. 8, 2018
March 5, 2018
Spring 2018 May 7, 2018
Summer 2018 July 3, 2018

Program Details

Program Description

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 Benchmark Assessment (CLBA). 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

Program Details

ELF is a 5-level program and each level has two courses: one in reading and writing (COMN), and the other in listening and speaking (SPCH).

Full-time Day Language Instruction:

  • Two courses per week for eight weeks 
  • 22 hours per week in class, Monday-Friday, plus 15-20 hours of homework 
  • Courses available in morning (8 am, 10 am) or afternoon (12 pm, 2 pm)

Part-time Instruction:

  • One course per week for eight weeks 
  • 11 hours per week in class, plus 7-10 hours of homework 
  • Morning or afternoon courses available 



  • One course per weekend for eight weeks 
  • Six hours on Saturday and Sunday (12 hours each weekend, includes 1-hour lunch break each day)
  • Online registration available

2017-18 Program Start and End Dates**

Full and part-time day language instruction:

  • Jan. 8 - March 2, 2018
  • March 5 - April 27, 2018
  • May 7- June 29, 2018
  • July 3 - Aug. 24, 2018
  • Sept. 04 - Oct. 26, 2018
  • Oct. 29 - Dec. 21, 2018

** Dates are subject to change

Part-time language instruction:


  • Jan. 9 - April 30, 2018
  • May 14 - Aug. 30, 2018


  • Jan. 13 - April 29, 2018
  • May 5 - Aug. 26, 2018

International Students

The International Centre provides assistance to international students interested in studying at SAIT. International students can take the English Language Foundations program in preparation for SAIT career programs.

Program Overview

Your Career

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.e.

Student Success

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

40 weeks
No Credential Awarded

Contact English Language Foundations

Room MC217, Stan Grad Centre

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday | 9 am - 4 pm

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

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 $150, to make an appointment call 403.210.4045 or email english.language@sait.ca. We also accept CLBA/CLBPT 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 $150 CLBA fee is included in your application fee; if you require additional CLBA testing, you will be charged $150.

To register, bring your CLBA score to the ELF office in MC217, Stan Grad Centre, to select your course(s) schedule. Once you pay for you course(s) at the Registrar's office, you will be registered.

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.

International Students

Direct Entry: Four Step Process

Step 1: Read the program information.

Step 2: Apply to English Language Foundations through Apply Alberta and select a start date.

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

Step 3: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

Step 4: Once you receive your SAIT student ID number, schedule a CLBA by calling 403.210.4045 or email english.language@sait.ca.

Please note: The cost of one CLBA is included in your application fee. We recommend you arrive in Calgary at least one week before classes start so you can complete the CLBA and receive your scores to register for courses.


Program Outline

To find the course description for a course shown below please go to our Course Finder.

Course CodeCourse NameCredits
COMN-151 Communications 1 3.0
COMN-152 Communications 2 3.0
COMN-153 Communications 3 3.0
COMN-154 Communications 4 3.0
COMN-155 Communications 5 3.0
SPCH-151 Speech 1 3.0
SPCH-152 Speech 2 3.0
SPCH-153 Speech 3 3.0
SPCH-154 Speech 4 3.0
SPCH-155 Speech 5 3.0
Total Credits 30.0


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.

Language Training for Apprentices

If English is not your first language, and you're concerned about your language proficiency, register for this free, trades-specific language training program for automotive service technician apprentices. Email language.training@sait.ca, call 403.210.5971, or learn more about the program.


The program fees listed below include the cost of one level, which has two courses. If you only take one course, the fee will be $657 for domestic students and $1314 for international students. Domestic students may be eligible for government grant funding through Funding Advising - Skills Investment Program (SIP).

The full cost of the program is dependent on the level you start in.

Domestic Costs*

LevelProgram FeesSAIT FeesStudent Association Fees
1 $1314 - -
2 $1314 - -
3 $1314 - -
4 $1314 - -
5 $1314 - -

International Costs*

LevelProgram FeesSAIT FeesStudent Association Fees
1 $2628 - -
2 $2628 - -
3 $2628 - -
4 $2628 - -
5 $2628 - -


Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: N/A
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): Program does not meet UPass requirments, unless you are enrolled in two back-to-back terms within the fall (Sept.-Dec.), winter (Jan.-April) or spring (May-Aug.) semesters.

Student Association (SAITSA) Fees

Health Plan: N/A
Dental Plan: N/A
Student Association: N/A

Cost of Supplies and Books*

  • Supplies are approximately $10-20 per term. Students are not required to purchase books for the program.

* Costs are subject to change.

Contact English Language Foundations

Stan Grad Centre, MC217