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English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL)

The English as a Second Language Program is held on the Fort St. John campus of Northern Lights College. The ESL department at NLC offers several levels of instruction. Students take a proficiency test and a writing test, and may be interviewed by an instructor to determine the appropriate level.

Teachers in all levels will emphasize the following:

Pronunciation - Reductions, stress, intonation, rhythm
Testing  - Vocabulary; Grammar; Writing; Reading Comprehension; Listening Comprehension.
Homework - Students have homework and practice English regularly.
General - Concentration on skills necessary to basic and everyday communication. Academic skills for students continuing to university courses.
Canadian Culture - Communication within the homestay situation; how to use the community facilities and join our “Meeting Canadians Program”.

Students who have a 173 Computer-Based (500 Paper-Based) TOEFL or equivalent may take one University Transfer course or Grade 11 or 12 Completion course while registered in the ESL program if they meet course requirements.

You will improve!

In the English as a Second Language courses at Northern Lights College, we want students to succeed. The instructors have developed a communicative program. They will help you to become fluent in speaking and writing English. Your reading and listening skills will also improve. Of course, you have to spend time learning grammar! At any level, if you study, you will have an improvement in three or four months.

The Teachers care!

The teachers here care about the students. They find out about your dreams for the future and help you with your special English problems. They will also tell you what you can do in your free time to improve your English. This helps you to get better faster.

Beginners practice listening and speaking a lot!

At the beginning level, the classes practice listening and speaking a lot. The students learn that knowing vocabulary is very important. They try to "sound English" by practicing speaking the way English people speak. This helps listening comprehension too. It is important to be able to hear and speak English first because our host families and people in our town like to talk to international students.

Our students have good writing skills

After our students can hear and understand English better, the classes spend more time reading and writing. They continue learning new words that they find when they are reading. They try to practice using the words to write about what they read or think about some topics. Some of our students, who did not think they could write, now have very good writing skills.

Advanced ESL students get great grades in university courses

Many of our students like this town and the people very much. They stay for several months, so their English becomes very good. Some want to try university courses, so they get a lot of help from the ESL instructors in the advanced classes. They learn how to study for university courses: what to listen for; how to take notes; how to use the library to find information; how to write reports and essays for university classes. We are all very proud of the excellence of the international students we have helped. Many of them have received great grades - better than our Canadian students!

We are excited about our program

All of us are excited about our program, and hope you can join us. If you are a beginner, the instructors will help you learn to speak with confidence. If you already know some English, they will help you learn vocabulary and improve your skills. If you want to study technical or university courses, they can teach you skills to help you in those classes. Perhaps they can help you this year!

Imagine that . . .

  • You never have to worry about your personal safety!
  • Your teachers all call you by your name!
  • Your host family is taking you camping on the weekend!
  • Your English has shown steady improvement!
  • Next term you will take your first university course with Canadian students!
  • Everybody liked the food dish that you brought to the International Potluck Lunch!
  • The view from your bedroom is of a large yard with many trees and flowers!
  • Last night you saw the aurora borealis (Northern Lights)
  • Your teachers always take time to talk with you when you approach them outside of class!

If you want to study in a small safe college and community where the teachers care about you, and the Canadian students and townspeople welcome you, then Northern Lights College is for you!

Please email inted@nlc.bc.ca to obtain more information.


Northern Lights College
International Education Department
Box 1000, Fort St. John, BC
Canada, V1J 6K1

Email inted@nlc.bc.ca
Fax 1-250-785-1294 or 1-250-787-6224
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