The English Language Foundations (ELF) program provides English language upgrading for learners whose first language is not English. Students are placed into the program based on demonstrated proficiency in English, using the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. Most students use the ELF program as entry into SAIT career programs.
The ELF curriculum encourages development in all language areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Five-level program
- Six start dates per year (eight week terms)
- Full and part-time studies; evening/weekend courses available
- Intensive, skills-focused approach
- Proficiency based placement and advancement
- Completion of ELF 5 is accepted in lieu of English 30 for most programs at SAIT
ELF is a 5-level program and each level has two courses: one in reading and writing (COMN), and the other in listening and speaking (SPCH).
Full-time day language instruction:
- Two courses per week for eight weeks
- 22 hours per week in class, Monday - Friday, plus 15-20 hours of homework
- Courses available in the morning (8 am, 10 am) or afternoon (12 pm, 2 pm)
- One course per week for eight weeks
- 11 hours per week in class, plus 7-10 hours of homework
- Morning or afternoon courses available
- One or two courses per week for 16 weeks
- Five hours and two evenings per week (2.5 hours each evening)
- Online registration available
Program start and end dates**
** Dates are subject to change
The International Centre provides assistance to international students interested in studying at SAIT. International students can take the English Language Foundations program in preparation for SAIT career programs.
After successfully completing the ELF program, the majority of graduates are prepared for admission into SAIT career programs as completion of ELF level 5 is accepted as equivalent to English 30 for most programs at SAIT.
Students in ELF Levels 4 and 5 may combine ELF coursework with Academic Upgrading subjects in math or science.
Progress in the ELF Program depends on the student's demonstration of proficiency. Instructors regularly assess student progress through classroom assignments, participation and examinations. Students who achieve a rating of 50% (D) in all subjects can be recommended for promotion to the next level.
ELF is a fast track program. Students should be prepared to dedicate considerable time to study and to actively use their English outside of class time. SAIT career programs require academic appropriate English skills in all areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Credentials and accreditations
No credentials or accreditations awarded.
The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:
- Bow Valley College
- Chinook Learning Services
- Global Village English Centers
To learn more, visit Transfer Options.
To register for the English Language Foundations program, you must complete either a Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) and obtain a minimum score of 4 in all categories, or complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and obtain a minimum band score of 3. 5 in all categories. CLBA or IELTS tests must be completed at least one week before the course start date.
English Proficiency Test - CLBA and IELTS (Academic test).
- For international students, your entrance CLBA in ELF is free.
- For domestic students, you can get a free CLBA at ILVARC (Immigrant Language and Vocational Assessment - Referral Centre) if you are eligible.
- Except for the above free CLBA, all students are charged a test fee, similar to challenge tests.
- CLBA at SAIT for full-test: $175 and partial test (R/W or L/S): $87.50 (test fee is subject to change.) To make an appointment for the CLBA, please call 403.210.4045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- IELTS at SAIT:$309 (test fee is subject to change).
- To discuss IELTS, please email email@example.com. We accept IELTS band scores from any approved centres - however, you must submit an official copy of your IELTS test report form (TRF).
- It is recommended that the results from CLBA and IELTS are current within six months of applying to this program. Test results older than one year will not be accepted.
- Students coming from a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program with a certificate of completion for CLBA 4 or above - listening, speaking, reading and writing can be accepted to ELF level 01.
- Teacher assessed CLBA scores from LINC schools are not accepted.
|ENGL 102 (Pre Level 1)||CLB 3||IELTS 3.0|
|Level 1||CLB 4||IELTS 3.5|
|Level 2||CLB 5||IELTS 4.0|
|Level 3||CLB 6||IELTS 4.5|
|Level 4||CLB 7 - must take level 4 and 5||IELTS 5.0|
|Level 5||IELTS 5.5|
Benchmark 8 and completion of ELF level 5-----Meets English language requirements to enter SAIT career programs.* Students with a CLBA score of 3 in each category can take ENGL 102-English Language Readiness.
*The SAIT Respiratory Therapy program requires Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA) with a score of 9 in all sections.
An IELTS band score of 6.0 in all categories or completion of ELF level 5 meets the English Language requirements to enter SAIT career programs. Students with an IELTS band score of 3 in each category can take ENGL 102.
Based on the English Language Foundations (ELF) equivalency policy, students who have successfully completed some level at either of one of the SAIT pathway programs partners or other post-secondary academics English as a Second Language (ESL) programs may also be accepted. For more information, please contact the ELF office 403.210.4045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct Entry: Four Step Process
Step 1: Read the program information.
Step 2: Apply to English Language Foundations through Apply Alberta and select a start date.
- Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.
Step 3: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.
Step 4: Once you receive your SAIT student ID number, schedule a CLBA by calling 403.210.4045 or email email@example.com.
Please note: We recommend that you arrive in Calgary at least one week before classes start so you can complete the CLBA and receive your scores to register for courses.
View additional English Language Foundations program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.
|Course Code||Course Name||Credits|
Level 1 (communications and speech) leads to level 2, which in turn leads to level 3, 4 and 5. However, students entering the program with a CLBA may begin at any point between levels 1-4 depending on their score. Students entering with IELTS, depending on their band score, may begin at any point between levels 1-5.
The program fees listed below include the cost of one level, which has two courses. If you only take one course, the fee will be $657 for domestic students and $1,340 for international students. Domestic students may be eligible for government grant funding through Funding Advising - Skills Investment Program (SIP).
The full cost of the program is dependent on the level you start in.
|Year||Tuition Fees||SAIT Fees||SAITSA Fees||2019/20 Total|
|Year||Tuition Fees||SAIT Fees||SAITSA Fees||2019/20 Total|
Campus Athletic and Recreation Fee: N/A
Universal Transit Pass (UPass): Program does not meet UPass requirments, unless you are enrolled in two back-to-back terms within the fall (Sept.-Dec.), winter (Jan.-April) or spring (May-Aug.) semesters.
Student Association (SAITSA) Fees
Health Plan: N/A
Dental Plan: N/A
Student Association: N/A
Cost of supplies and books*
- Supplies are approximately $10-20 per term. Students are not required to purchase books for the program.
* Costs are subject to change.