Study English

Languages Canada Certificate of Accreditation
Languages Canada Certificate of Accreditation

For the last 50 years, Bow Valley College has been a global leader in English as Second Language (ESL) training. BVC helps students from all over the world prepare for a life and career. We are proud to offer an English language learning program certified by the Languages Canada Quality Assurance Scheme; recognizing the quality of our program administration and management, student services, teacher qualifications, curriculum, physical resources, and student admissions.

What we offer

  • Small, interactive, and engaging classes
  • Experienced instructors
  • Flexible course options including full-time study, part-time skill specific development, and preparation programs for further academic study
  • Enhanced skills for the workplace
  • Flexible registration - from four months to one year

ELL Program Guide is Now Available in Multiple Languages

NEW! 2017FALL - 2018FALL Program Guide (English)

下载 2016 秋季 -2017 秋季 英语课程介绍 (Chinese)

2016 Otoño -2017 Otoño ELL Guia del programa (Spanish)

2016 FALL- 2017 FALL ELL Program Guide (Portuguese)

The International English Language Learning Program

International ELL is a full-time program that offers intensive academic language courses that are outcomes-based and learner-centered. The classes focus on: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Skills are developed through a range of contemporary themes, topics, and activities.

Program Structure and Student Progression

The week before classes begin, students are assessed and placed according to their language proficiency** into one of the courses in the program. Applicants placed in the ELL level 1 are assumed to have at least an intermediate level of English language proficiency. For applicants with lower than intermediate proficiency, we offer the English language preparation course. Click here to review our 2017 International ELL brochure.

We offer five different levels of classes:

  • International English Language Learning Preparation
  • International English Language Learning 1
  • International English Language Learning 2
  • Academic English 1
  • Academic English 2

**Important! New Changes coming for International ELL Winter 2018 intake! Click here to review 2018 Brochure.

Source: © Bui Phuong Thao, 2014
Source: © Bui Phuong Thao, 2014


Students who successfully complete Academic English 2 with a grade of “B” or higher meet the language proficiency requirements for most Bow Valley College and SAIT career programs. 


For Fall and Winter intakes, classes for International ELL 1 and 2 are held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. Monday through Thursday, over 15 weeks.

For Spring intakes classes are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, over 13 weeks.

Academic 1 and Academic 2 are 15 week courses.  Classes are held from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

Placement Test and Orientation

Students enrolled in the International ELL program are required to take the placement test** and participate in the orientation for new students. These sessions take place the week prior to the start of classes and require the students to participate at BVC campus for two days. 

**Important! New Changes coming for International ELL Winter 2018 intake!

Bow Valley College is implementing new changes to the International English Language Learning (ELL) program starting Winter 2018.

Effective Winter 2018, students will no longer be required to take the Bow Valley College Placement Test for placement into the International ELL level suitable for their skills.

As of Winter 2018, Bow Valley College will accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic and other test equivalencies) as an acceptable test score for admission and to place students in the appropriate level.

The following chart is a guideline only. Further in-class analysis will be done during the first week of the semester, which may result in a different level placement. 

IE ELL Level

IELTS Academic 

Pearson PTE A 

Toefl ibt





ELL 1 (161.1)




ELL 2 (162.1)












 ***  Note:  No one band score should be less than .5 than the overall band score

Important Dates

Please review the application deadlines, orientation dates, placement test dates, start dates and other important deadlines here: visit

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance for International ELL students is offered through Guard Me Insurance Company. For details please click here.

Estimated tuition and fees

International ELL Students 14SPSU at Heritage Park
International ELL Students 14SPSU at Heritage Park

Based on the estimated tuition fees for the year 2016-2017, the International ELL program tuition and fees cost per semester is $4,422.00 CAD (Cost of medical insurance is not included in the estimated fees on the main website). The total tuition and fees per semester including medical insurance will be  $4,606.00 CAD.

Cost of workbooks is not included. The estimated expense is between $50 to $100 CAD per semester.  Workbooks are available for purchase through our bookstore.

Fees may change without notice. Please check the latest estimated tuition and fees chart here:

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