ESL Pathways - Advanced

CREDENTIAL: Certificate

Improve your English for real-world scenarios such as job interviews, informal conversations, and public speaking while attaining Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8-9.

For Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 5-7, see ESL Pathways.

Tuition: 0*
Credential: Certificate
Length: 0 0 Varies
Hours: Part- or Full-time
Delivery: Class-based and Online
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Broadway Broadway
Start Dates: Jan, May, Sep
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What you will learn

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Meet the Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing outcomes at CLB 9 in the "Profiles of Ability" columns of the competency outcomes and standards listed in the Canadian Language Benchmarks 2012.
  • Communicate effectively in multiple contexts including personal, academic and workplace contexts of high complexity.
  • Successfully engage in basic interactions, intercultural communication, and soft skills to function effectively in community, study, and work contexts of high complexity.
  • Utilize the following Essential Skills (thinking skills, working with others, computer use and document use) for tasks at moderate to high complexity of high complexity.
  • Differentiate and produce a variety of genre types used in personal, academic, and workplace contexts.

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.

  • Specific learner strategies for speaking are: conversation management skills, pronunciation, error correction, and feedback.
  • Specific learner strategies for reading are: reading for gist, skimming, scanning, speed reading, vocabulary acquisition, etc.
  • Specific learner strategies for writing are: brainstorming, outlining, genre analysis, tone, register, etc. ESL Pathways is a rigorous and demanding program. Students should expect to do significant self-study and experiential learning in addition to classroom based learning. There will be approximately 1 hour of homework per two in-class hours.

Admission requirements


  • English Language Proficiency at the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level required for the two language skill areas for each course
    • For example, entry into ESL Listening and Speaking 6 requires completion of CLB 5 Listening and Speaking
    • An equivalent assessment or course approved by VCC indicating competency at a CLB 5 Listening and Speaking level
    • 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 can not be more than one Benchmark level.


  • Successful completion of previous Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level for the two language skill areas 

    • For example, entry into ESL Listening and Speaking 8 requires completion of CLB 7 Listening and Speaking 

    • Assessment on a VCC approved CLB placement test indicating competency in CLB 7 Listening and Speaking  


  • 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.


  • This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free academic upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or discover which university transfer options are right for you.

Recommended Characteristics

Students should be well-educated in their country/language of origin. Most students in the ESL Pathways program have completed high school and at least 2 years of post-secondary study. The expectation is that students seek to become autonomous learners. In addition, student should be open and interested in learning about Canadian cultural norms and to developing citizenship values of tolerance and multiculturalism.

Courses *

See the full schedule.

Prior learning assessment and recognition

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

Fees and other costs *

NOTE: The fees below show the total cost if you study full-time and you take all of the courses in 10 months. Click on a course to find out how much it costs. (Note: These courses are tuition-free. The amount shown is fees.)

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 fee36
Tuition Tuition 0
Student union128
College initiative50
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource83
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 0
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 310
Program-specific extra fees0

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Fill out a PDF form and mail to:
VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5
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Attend an Information Session

Meet instructors, ask questions, and tour our facilities.

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