ESL Pathways

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Learn the English skills you need to work, study, and participate in everyday life while attaining Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 5-8.

For Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8-9, see ESL Pathways Advanced.

Tuition: 25504*
Credential: Certificate
Hours: Full-time
Delivery: Class-based and Online
Program Flyer: Download /media/vancouver-community-college/content-assets/documents/international/flyer-esl-pathway.pdf
Campus: Broadway Broadway
Start Dates: Jan, Apr, Sep

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What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Meet the Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing outcomes at CLB 8 in the "Profiles of Ability" columns of the competency outcomes and standards listed in the most recent Canadian Language Benchmarks.
  • Meet the Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing outcomes at the EAP IV level in the BC Transfer Guide.
  • Communicate effectively in multiple contexts including personal, academic and workplace contexts of moderate complexity.
  • Successfully engage in communicative interactions, using intercultural communication and soft skills to function effectively in community, study and work contexts of moderate complexity.
  • Utilize the following Skills for Success (thinking skills, working with others, computer use, and document use) for tasks of moderate complexity.
  • Differentiate and produce a variety of genre types used in personal, academic and workplace contexts.
  • Apply the Experiential Learning cycle to real world language tasks.

What to expect

Instructors use multiple strategies to achieve the learning outcomes that include the following: ongoing needs analysis, group work, coaching, one-on-one consultations, using audio/computer labs, case studies, lectures, demonstrations, providing exemplars and texts, modeling, error analysis, peer review, role rehearsals, videos, and audio recordings.

Students should expect to do significant self-study and experiential learning tasks in addition to regular class hours. There will be approximately 1 hour of homework per 2.5 in-class hours.

Admission requirements


Knowledge of English demonstrated by one of the following:


  • Department approval


  • Students can be enrolled in ESL Reading and Writing at a different level than ESL Speaking and Listening, depending on their assessment. The gap between the two courses may not exceed more than one Benchmark level.


  • Seats are offered to applicants who have met all admission requirements, on a first-qualified, first-served basis.
  • International applicants must be 17 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and educational documents as required by their course or program.
  • All VCC applicants are required to function successfully in an English-speaking classroom. English requirements vary by program. For details, visit VCC International - English Requirements.   

Recommended Characteristics

EAL Pathways is a rigorous program designed to help students develop their language skills as well as a range of embedded skills, such as intercultural communication, that can contribute to their overall success in communication.  Students need to be able to:

  • commit time to the courses to successfully participate in classes and complete assignments;
  • respectfully engage with fellow students and members of the college, in teams and independently, in an environment that embraces justice, equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • engage with and respect Indigenous ways of knowing and learning;
  • seek to become autonomous learners, set learning goals and plan ways to achieve them;
  • conduct self-reflection on their progress and goals with support from the instructor; and
  • use and learn basic computer skills to participate in online learning activities.

Courses *

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit: $6,000

Tuition deposits are payable usually within two weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

The estimated tuition is based on the entire certificate.

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee145
Tuition Tuition 25504
Student union192
College initiative99
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource256
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 0
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 442
Program-specific extra fees0

Apply now


  • Apply Now: Qualified applicants may receive offers of admission if seats are available, or placed on waitlists if seats are full.
  • Closed: Applications are not accepted.
  • For details about application availability based on study permit status and recommendations if the application status is closed, visit the Availability Status page.
Apply to VCC international programs online. Check the application availability status for your desired program and intake before applying.

vcc logo

Info Week at VCC

Join us online or in-person
for our info sessions.

April 22-26

Learn more


Meet instructors, ask questions, and tour our facilities. Sign up now

Ask a question