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English Language Foundations

Open for Spring 2017

Open for Fall 2017

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, from speaking and listening to reading and writing.  Evening classes are available through Continuing Education. 

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

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?

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.  

Spring 2017 start: applications opened Oct. 19, 2016.
Fall 2017 start:
applications opened Oct. 19, 2016. 
Winter 2018 start: applications open June 7, 2017.

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 Benchmarks 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

Each level of English Language Foundations 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 (8am, 10am) or afternoon (12pm, 2pm)

Part-time Day Language Instruction:

  • One course per week for eight weeks 
  • 11 hours per week in class, Monday-Friday, plus 7-10 hours of homework 
  • Courses available in morning (8am, 10am) or afternoon (12pm, 2pm)

Part-time Evening Language Instruction:

  • One or two courses per week for 16 weeks 
  • Each course is five hours and two evenings per week (2.5 hours each evening) 
  • Courses offered Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday 

2017 Program start and end dates**

Full and Part-Time Day Language Instruction:

  • March 6 - April 28, 2017
  • May 8 - June 30, 2017
  • July 4-Aug. 25, 2017
  • Sept. 5 - Oct. 27, 2017
  • Oct. 30 - Dec. 22, 2017

** Dates are subject to change

Part-time Evening Language Instruction:

  • May 8 - June 30, 2017
  • May 15 - Aug. 31, 2017
  • Sept. 5 - Dec. 14, 2017
  • Sept. 6 - Dec. 18, 2017

Program admission requirements and levels

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 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, first CLBA test is free with first program application and after that it is $150 for the next eligible test.
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*

*The SAIT Respiratory Therapy program requires Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA) with a score of 9 in all sections.

Program registration and costs

To register for English Language Foundations courses, please visit the ELF office in MC217, Stan Grad Centre and bring your CLBA scores.

Once you pay for your course(s) at Student Services, you will be registered.

  • Domestic Students*** - $657 per course, $1314 for one ELF level (two courses)
  • International Students - $1314 per course, $2,628 for one ELF level (two courses)

***Domestic students may be eligible for government grant funding through the Skills Investment Program (SIP). Please review the application process to see if you meet the basic eligibility criteria.

Please note:  ELF is a continuous program and it is required that students study in each level on a continuous basis. If students take a break between levels, they are required to take a CLBA to return to the program and will be placed in the appropriate level based on their CLBA, not their previously completed course(s).

Info sessions

Interested in the program? Attend an upcoming information session to learn more! To register, email elf.infosession@sait.ca.

Feb. 15, 2017

March 15, 2017

April 19, 2017

May 17, 2017

June 21, 2017

All sessions are held in room N108, Chinook Lodge, Senator Burns Building at 6 pm.

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. To apply, visit the International Centre.

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.

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.

Contact English Language Foundations

Call: 403.210.4045
Email: english.language@sait.ca
Visit: Room MC217, Stan Grad Centre
Monday to Friday 9 am - 4 pm

Admission Requirements

  • To enter the English Language Foundations program, you must complete a Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) and obtain a minimum score of 4 in all categories.
  • Based on your CLBA score, you will be registered into the appropriate English Language Foundations level.
  • Only CLBA scores from SAIT or the Immigrant Language and Vocational Assessment - Referral Centre (ILVARC) are accepted. Scores must be no older than 6 months.

Direct Entry: Four Step Process (International Students)

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to English Language Foundations.

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

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

How to enter SAIT.


Program outline

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

Course CodeCourse NameCredits
COMM-151 Communications 1 3.0
COMM-152 Communications 2 3.0
COMM-153 Communications 3 3.0
COMM-154 Communications 4 3.0
COMM-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


Each level has two courses (communication and speech). Completion of Level 5 indicates the completion of the program. The level which students begin in the ELF program depends on their CLBA score. In order to progress to the next level, students must successfully complete the level they are in. If students complete their course(s) with a final grade of 85% or above, they are eligible for a challenge test to re-assess their benchmark scores.

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 starting January 2017. 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 Information

English Language Foundations

You are welcome to visit us in MC217, Stan Grad Centre, Monday-Friday, 9 am-4 pm.