Academic English Language Program

Accredited English as an additional language courses

Where: Comox Valley
Starts: September, October, January, February, May, June
  • Build confidence, develop fluency and prepare for academic study in English
  • ESL courses are available year-round
  • Take a wide range of courses to meet university and college program requirements
  • Start your degree or diploma program at NIC while you finish your English language courses, or enter upon completion

Transfer possibilities: Prepare for university and college programs at NIC, throughout BC and across Canada and the US.

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  • Qualified instructors, small class sizes. At NIC, you’ll learn in small classes with qualified instructors who have experience working with students from around the world. Your learning is our first priority. 
  • Build confidence, develop fluency. English is the primary language of business and social interaction in the Comox Valley. Whether you’re in class, volunteering or at work, all of your conversations will be in English. 
  • Start at the level right for you. The Academic English Language program is for students with different levels of English language skills. Whether you are trying to improve your career options or meet university entrance requirements, there is a class for you.


Prepare for academic study in English with NIC's Academic English Language Program. This accredited English as an additional language program will provide you with the necessary skills to complete college and university degrees or diplomas. Courses include reading/writing, speaking/listening and grammar, with optional electives in pronunciation, IELTS preparation and a seminar with individualized instructional support.

You will be able to choose your program intensity, with sessions ranging from 21 hours to 24 hours of study per week. Sessions run for two and four months year round. Based on your demonstrated English proficiency, you will be placed in one of three levels: intermediate, advanced or university/college preparation. Students who place at the University and College Qualifying level are eligible to take up to three academic courses for credit while they study ESL. If you choose to complete the university/college qualifying level, upon meeting all other program requirements you will be able to transfer seamlessly into degree and diploma programs at NIC.   Or, you may choose to study at other universities and colleges throughout BC, Canada and the US.

Admission Requirements

Option 1:  Students without an IELTS or TOEFL score will be assessed by an ELP faculty member to determine the most appropriate courses for registration and success. Off campus assessment is also available by filling out the applicant form here. Email for more information.

Option 2:

For entrance into

IELTS score

TOEFL iBT score

ESL 052/055/058 (Advanced II Level)

5.5 overall, no band under 5.0


ESL 051/054/057 (Advanced I Level)

5.0 overall, no band under 4.5


ESL 032/035/038 (Intermediate II Level)

4.5 overall, no band under 4.0


ESL 031/034/037 (Intermediate I Level)

4.0 overall, no band under 3.5




International Language Requirements

For international language requirements click here.

Once you have been placed, your instructor will recommend courses from the following list and which are best suited to your current skill level and personal goals. Students then progress through the program by skill level.

Pre-Intermediate Level

  • ESL-011 Pre-Intermediate Reading & Writing
  • ESL-014 Pre-Intermediate Listening & Speaking
  • ESL-017 Pre-Intermediate Grammar

Intermediate Level

  • ESL-031 Intermediate Reading & Writing 1
  • ESL-032 Intermediate Reading & Writing 2
  • ESL-034 Intermediate Listening & Speaking 1
  • ESL-035 Intermediate Listening & Speaking 2
  • ESL-037 Intermediate Grammar 1
  • ESL-038 Intermediate Grammar 2

Advanced Level

  • ESL-051 Advanced Reading & Writing 1
  • ESL-052 Advanced Reading & Writing 2
  • ESL-054 Advanced Listening & Speaking 1
  • ESL-055 Advanced Listening & Speaking 2
  • ESL-057 Advanced Grammar 1
  • ESL-058 Advanced Grammar 2

University and College Qualifying Levels

  • ESL-089 University and College Preparatory Reading
  • ESL-090 University and College Preparatory Writing (equivalent to ENG-098 Provincial English)


  • ESL-040 Pronunciation
  • ESL-041 Canadian Studies
  • ESL-044 IELTS Preparation
  • ESL-094 Speaking & Pronunciation for University and College
  • ESL-071 Directed English Language Studies 1
  • ESL-072 Directed English Language Studies 2
  • ESL-073 Directed English Language Studies 3

Tuition & Costs Estimate for
Fall 2018, Winter, Spring & Summer 2019

Costs indicated are estimates for a 100% course load per year, unless otherwise noted. Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit tuition page.

International Fees

per Term
Tuition $5,045

Shirley Ackland

Shirley Ackland
Mt. Waddington Regional Campus 250-949-7912 ext. 2867

Naomi Wolfe

Naomi Wolfe


English As a Second Language
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4025 | Location VLG - G02
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700 ext. 7824