Vancouver International College | New Westminster, BC | 604-545-9988

ESL Program

English as a Second Language (ESL)

VIC’s ESL program provides a comprehensive foundation in conversation, pronunciation, listening, reading, and writing skills. We offer intensive seven-week modules, with difficulty levels ranging from elementary to advanced.



VIC offers 5 levels of English as a Second Language.

ESL Level 1 – Basic
ESL Level 2 – Low Intermediate
ESL Level 3 – Intermediate
ESL Level 4 – High Intermediate
ESL Level 5 – Advanced

Students who complete the Advanced level are ready to move on to BCCG Credit Courses.

Program Length

VIC offers 5 levels of English as a Second Language.

Each level is a 7-week full-time program. ESL courses run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a lunch break between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Shorter programs or part-time study are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.

Curriculum Components

ESL Levels 1-4 consist of three components – Listening and Speaking, Reading and Writing, and Grammar. ESL Level 5 (Advanced) also has three components – Listening and Speaking, Academic Reading, and Academic Writing.


VIC’s ESL curriculum is based on the Pearson Northstar and Focus on Grammar series. ESL Students are required to purchase three workbooks for each level. Each Northstar workbooks contains 10 units and each Focus on Grammar workbook contains 25-50 grammar lessons that complement the Northstar units.

Students will use the workbooks for both in- class work and homework and can keep them for future reference during higher levels or BCCG courses.


To determine which ESL level they are at, students must take the VIC English Placement Test. Alternatively, students can provide an IELTS score or evidence that they successfully completed an English course at a certified B.C. secondary school. Each student’s documents or test results will be assessed to determine what level is a good fit for them. The table below is an example of how English Placement Test results and IELTS scores may be assessed in order to determine placement.


In order to advance to the next level of ESL, students must achieve a minimum 70% average across all three curriculum strands, with no strand below 60%. Students are assessed throughout the 7-week program through in-classes assignments, homework, and weekly tests. Students who do not meet the minimum grade for advancement are required to repeat the level to ensure that they only move up when they have mastered the necessary skills. For more information about our ESL Scoring Policy, see the Student Handbook.

English Placement Test Score IELTS Score VIC ESL Placement
 90%+ 6.5 or above BCCG Program
 80-90% 6.0 ESL Level 5
60-80% 5.5 ESL Level 4
 40-60% 5.0 ESL Level 3
 20-40% 4.5 ESL Level 2
0-20% 4.0 or below ESL Level 1