The Simon Fraser University English Language and Culture program (SFU ELC) is accepting students for summer 2024 (July-August).
Deadlines to apply: 8-week programs – June 7, 2024; 4-week program – July 12, 2024.
SFU ELC will not be accepting students beyond the July-August programs.

8-Week Advanced Academic English

Level 8: Low Advanced

This full-time program is designed for students who want to study at an English-language university. In addition to improving your English communication skills, you will develop academic skills that will help you successfully complete your degree. The program offers the most advanced level of English we teach (Level 8: Low Advanced). 

Applying to SFU 

Do you meet SFU’s academic requirements but not the English language requirements? You can apply to SFU and be accepted on the condition that you first develop your academic English by successfully completing this program.

See dates and fees


Duration: 8 weeks
In-person instruction: 27 hours/week
Schedule: Monday–Thursday 9 a.m.–3:20 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Curriculum: 5 courses plus Academic specialization
Tuition: $3,550

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See dates and fees

Application deadlines

Deadline to apply
Apr 29 – Jun 21, 2024 Apr 5
Jul 2 – Aug 23, 2024 (online) Jun 7

Tuition and Fees

Program length
1 term (8 weeks) $3,550

Plus one-time application fee: $250

Other expenses
Estimated cost
Homestay $1,325/term
One-time homestay placement fee $450
Medical insurance $60-$75/month
Public transportation $137/month

Learn more about other expenses

Why this program?

  • Meet the English language requirement for admission to SFU undergraduate studies (IELTS 6.5)
  • Focus on communication and academic skills to prepare you for university success
  • Take one specialization course based on your personal interests
  • Go on academic field trips to expand on in-class learning

Are you eligible for this program?

To be eligible for the Level 8: Low Advanced program, you must meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • IELTS score of 6.0 with no part less than 5.5, OR
  • TOEFL iBT score of 79 with no part less than 17, OR
  • CAEL score of 60 with no subscore less than 50, OR
  • Completion of Level 7: High Intermediate level of ELC Full-Time Immersion Program (with 3.33 GPA and 85% attendance)

Sample Class Schedule

* Study what interests you. Each Friday, you will focus on a topic of your choice. See Academic Specialization options.

Core Curriculum

9 AM–3:20 PM

Reading and writing

Refine your comprehension and usage of written English in academic contexts. By analyzing both fiction and non-fiction works, you will learn to critique and evaluate texts, identifying bias, style, tone, facts, opinion and implied meaning. You will also learn models of academic writing common in Canadian universities, such as how to structure and support persuasive arguments. You will be able to adapt and refine your writing for the various forms you might encounter at university (such as summary, persuasive, expository, research and business writing).

Listening and speaking

Strengthen your fluency and accuracy in listening and speaking in academic settings. You will practise with a range of listening texts to enhance your awareness of the subtleties of register, style, attitude and tone. You will also build your skills in effective note-taking and active listening. To improve your skills in formal communication, you will have the chance to practise presentations, interviews, leading discussions, giving and receiving feedback, managing conversations and contributing relevant questions in academic settings. You will also refine the technical aspects of your spoken English, such as speech clarity and coherence, pronunciation, and adjusting your speaking style based on context, relationship and purpose. 

Culture and community

Bring together your language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and academic skills (critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, challenging assumptions, interrogating self, logical discourse) as you explore culture, community, multiculturalism and sustainability. You will lead and participate in discussions and analysis, critically evaluate a variety of authentic texts and work on group and individual research projects. In addition, you will hear from guest speakers and participate in field work excursions where you can engage with and learn from the local community.

Applied Grammar

In this workshop, you will strengthen your writing and speaking skills, focusing on grammar, mechanics, vocabulary and diction. By working with pieces of your classmates’ writing, you will learn to effectively revise and improve your essays, reports and presentations. In addition to activities led by instructors, you will sharpen your revision skills through group feedback and peer-editing sessions.

Cultural Specialization

Explore Canadian and global society and apply your language skills to a specialized area of your choice. You will practise your communication and critical thinking skills by examining, discussing and reflecting on your experience with Canadian culture. Depending on the content theme of the semester, Cultural Specialization options may include:

  • Pop Culture – Analyze features of pop culture
  • Television and Film Studies – Dive into the world of television and film
  • English Through the Arts – Explore a variety of art works and forms
  • O Canada – Engage critically with issues of concern to Canadians
  • Volunteerism in Canada – Engage with the community in a volunteer position

Academic Specialization

9 AM–12 PM

Choose an Academic Specialization topic that will allow you to apply language skills to one area of development and interest in your studies.

Options include:

  • Media Studies – Critically examine current events through a variety of digital and print media
  • IELTS Preparation – Focus on improving your score in the international standardized test of English proficiency
  • Business Communication – Strengthen communication skills for the business world
  • Pronunciation – Reinforce strategies for clarity in spoken English
  • English and Global Citizenship – Integrate language learning and critical thinking to explore issues of global concern

Language Levels

* 8-Week Advanced Academic English program is only offered at Level 8: Low Advanced. This is the highest level we offer. It is designed to prepare you for university English requirements.