Department of English Language

English as a Second Language

ESL students explore Kelowna's heritage in Pandosy Village.

Okanagan College offers English as a Second Language (ESL) education that is internationally recognized. Students develop skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels 8 and 9 and prepare to enter university-level courses. 

You can learn in person and online through live lectures and group work with other students. For those in EAP Level 3, students can choose an “asynchronous” course. Asynchronous means you learn on your schedule, at the time that works best for you. There is no specific schedule each day when the class meets. Instead, you complete learning activities each week at a time that suits you.

Domestic students

Domestic students can find English Language skills options on the domestic student page.

Meet an instructor

Instructor Madjid Mohammadzadeh's passion for other cultures and countries  was the inspiration behind taking education studies.

Meet one of our students

Katia Aguila de Marroquin needed to validate her doctorate in dental surgery in Canada, and turned to OC for help with her English.

Which program is right for you?

English Language Certificate

English Language program is for students with an existing grasp of English, considered at the "High Beginner" level. New students are assessed through the English Language Assessment to determine placement in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Students learn in class for 20 hours per week. Classes begin in January, May, July and September. This may be different depending on the campus closest to you.

Please note: applicants must be 18 years of age, or turn 18 during their first semester at Okanagan College. Students who have completed the equivalent of B.C. Grade 12 are also eligible for the program. 

Admission requirements

English Language studies require you to complete either a Duolingo, IELTS or TOEFL test. Your scores will determine what level you will study.

Level 1 45 and below 3.5 and below Not applicable
Level 2 45-50 3.5 Not applicable
Level 3 55-60 4.0 Not applicable
Level 4 65-70 4.5



English for Academic Purposes

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is designed for students at intermediate or advanced levels of reading, writing, speaking and listening. When students successfully complete the program, they have met the English requirements for all academic programs at Okanagan College and English Language Admission requirement for partner institutions like UBC Okanagan.

There is an average of 20 hours per week of class instruction. In addition to EAP courses, Level 2 students may take one academic course. Once students reach EAP Level 3, they can take up to two academic courses providing students meet course prerequisites. The addition of academic courses must be approved by the academic course instructor and appropriate dean.

Admission requirements

English for Academic Purposes studies require a minimum Duolingo score of 75, IELTS score of 5.0 or TOEFL score of 60. Your score determines the level you will begin your studies.

Level 1 75-80 5.0 60-70
Level 2 85-90 5.5 71-78
Level 3 95-100 6.0 79 and above

English for Special Purposes

Okanagan College works with institutions or groups to provide English Language training to help people in the workplace. Study is tailored to a given field, such as tourism, business or education.

English for Special Purposes (ESP) courses are for international institutions, businesses and government agencies, as well as Canadian and Canadian immigrant groups. The length of the course varies with the specific need of each group, in addition to schedule and field work. 

For details, please contact the English Language Department at

Part-Time English Development

Students will work with an instructor to set personal language-learning goals. Study plans will be prepared and materials will be provided for students to achieve their objectives. Studies may emphasize work in any or all of the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Goals and programs of study may focus on:

  • general English for participation in the Canadian community;
  • English for employment and the workplace;
  • English for career development or advancement;
  • English language preparation for further training or education;
  • and other focuses that match the learner's goals and the program's resources.

Explore our programs

Get started

The first step involves setting up an assessment of your skills. Submit your information below, and a member of the Okanagan College staff will contact you to schedule a free appointment.

Select the option that applies to you
If you have completed more than one assessment, enter additional scores in the message field below, along with any addtional questions you have.


Learn English from instructors in Canada. Learn more about the instructors for the English Language programs here.