Home Programs & Courses Full-Time Studies English Language Foundations
SAIT students in Stan Grad Centre building

English Language Foundations

Open for Winter 2019

Open for Spring 2019

Open for Fall 2019

Length: 8-week
Available: Classroom

Program Highlights

Upgrade your English skills and build confidence to pursue programs at SAIT, enter the job market or move ahead in your career. With full- and part-time options, English Language Foundations focuses on all language areas.  Evening and weekend classes are available through Continuing Education. Funding is available through the Foundational Learning Program (formerly the Skills Investment Program).

Completion of English Language Foundations Level 5 will provide you with the English proficiency admission requirement for SAIT programs.

Print or save this program information

Next Information Session
What's up @ SAIT

Add this calendar to your calendar

Note: Some filters are being applied, so the exported content is being filtered.

All Information Sessions

Tuition and Fees Per Year*

Year 1: $6,570 
Year 1 (International): $13,403

The full cost of the program is dependent on your CLBA results and the level you start in.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available. 

When can you apply?

  • Applications are accepted until the program start date.
  • Applications for winter 2019 open May 2, 2018.
  • Applications for spring 2019 and fall 2019 open Oct. 3, 2018.
    • Domestic students: you can register for courses on an ongoing basis.
    • International students: you must apply and choose the term when you would like to start English Language Foundations.  

TermProgram start
Winter 2019 March 4, 2019
Spring 2019 May 6, 2019
Summer 2019 July 2, 2019
Fall 2019 Sep. 3, 2019
Oct. 28, 2019

Program Details

Program Description

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

Program Details

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 morning (8 am, 10 am) or afternoon (12 pm, 2 pm)

Part-time Instruction:

  • 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 course per weekend for eight weeks 
  • Six hours on Saturday and Sunday (12 hours each weekend, includes 1-hour lunch break each day)
  • Online registration available

2019 Program Start and End Dates**

Full and part-time language instruction:

  • March 4 - April 26, 2019
  • May 6- June 28, 2019
  • July 2 - Aug. 23, 2019
  • Sep. 3 - Oct. 25, 2019
  • Oct. 28 - Dec. 20, 2019

** Dates are subject to change

Part-time language instruction:


  • March 9 - April 28, 2019
  • May 13 - Aug. 29, 2019


  • March 9 - Apr. 28, 2019
  • May 11 - June 30, 2019
  • July 6 - Aug.25, 2019

International Students

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.

Program Overview

Your Career

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.e.

Student Success

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 and Accreditation

40 weeks
No Credentials and accreditation Awarded

Contact English Language Foundations

Room MC217, Stan Grad Centre

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday | 9 am - 4 pm

Transfer Options

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

Admission Requirements

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.

You can complete a CLBA test at SAIT for $175 or an IELTS test for $309. To make an appointment for the CLBA, please call 403. 210. 4045 or email english.language@sait.ca. To discuss the IELTS, please call 403. 210. 5968 or email ielts@sait.ca . We also accept CLBA results from ILVARC (CLBA is free if you are eligible). We accept IELTS tests from any approved centres, however, you must submit an official copy of your IELTS Test Report Form (TRF). Please note:

  • CLBA and IELTS scores within 6 months of the test date are recommended, but one year is acceptable
  • Teacher-assessed CLBA scores from LINC school are not accepted (Except for students coming from a LINC program with a certificate of completion for Canadian Language Benchmark 4 or above - Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing).
  • Based on the ELF equivalency policy, students that have successfully completed some level at either of one of the SAIT pathway program partners or other post-secondary academic ESL programs may also be accepted. For more information, please contact the ELF office (403-210-4045, or english.language@sait.ca).
  • International and domestic students taking an IELTS test at SAIT will be charged a fee of $309.

Course Equivalents: CLBA

The benchmark score on your CLBA will determine the ELF level you will start:

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.

Course Equivalents: IELTS

The band score on your IELTS test will determine the ELF level you will start:

  • IELTS band 3. 5-------ELF level 1
  • IELTS band 4. 0-------ELF level 2
  • IELTS band 4. 5-------ELF level 3
  • IELTS band 5. 0-------ELF level 4
  • IELTS band 5. 5-------ELF level 5

A band score of 6. 0 in all categories and completion of ELF level 5 meet English language requirements to enter SAIT career programs. Students with IELTS a band score of 3 in each category can take ENGL 102.

International Students

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 english.language@sait.ca.

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.


Program Outline

View additional English Language Foundations program information including course-specific descriptions and requisites.

Course CodeCourse NameCredits
COMN-151 Communications 1 3.0
COMN-152 Communications 2 3.0
COMN-153 Communications 3 3.0
COMN-154 Communications 4 3.0
COMN-155 Communications 5 3.0
SPCH-151 Speech 1 3.0
SPCH-152 Speech 2 3.0
SPCH-153 Speech 3 3.0
SPCH-154 Speech 4 3.0
SPCH-155 Speech 5 3.0
Total Credits 30.0


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.

Domestic Costs*

YearTuition FeesSAIT FeesSAITSA Fees2018/2019 Total
Year 1 $6570 - - $6570

International Costs*

YearTuition FeesSAIT FeesSAITSA Fees2018/2019 Total
Year 1 $13,403 - - $13,403


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.

Contact English Language Foundations

Stan Grad Centre, MC217

Start typing to search SAIT.ca
Refine Results

Search results