Continuing Education

English as a Second Language


The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Blended - A combination of online and in-class components.
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times

Learn to read, write and speak in English

Fall application deadline is Tuesday, August 4, 2020. All Fall courses will only be offered online.​

Take your ESL studies to the next level with the NAIT English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Enhance your writing and grammar, build confidence in speaking and pronunciation, and develop your academic reading and vocabulary skills. You will learn these skills in a practical, hands-on environment, including Canadian classroom culture.

About the Program

NAIT offers 6 levels of ESL. Levels 1, 2, and 3 are foundation-building courses for high-beginner to intermediate learners. Levels 4, 5, and 6 build academic English skills of intermediate to advanced learners. The program includes courses in Writing & Grammar, Listening & Speaking, and Reading & Vocabulary. Each course is taught by a different instructor. This allows you to experience different teaching styles and apply this to the post-secondary Canadian classroom or the workplace. Full-time and part-time options are available during the day.

What To Expect

While NAIT ESL courses are online, placement tests will only be done online.

Taking our ESL Placement Test determines your starting level.

Each term is 15 weeks long. The full-time program includes 4 hours of classroom instruction per day, Monday to Friday. Morning or afternoon schedules are available.  

How to Apply and Enrol to ESL 

ESL Placement Test

All Fall courses will only be offered online.​

Why do I need a test?

  •  All students who want  to enrol in the  ESL day program must first take the NAIT ESL online placement test. Only our placement test can determine a student's entry level. While NAIT ESL courses are online, placement tests are only done online.

How do I register for the test?

  • All students must apply online for the ESL program. Placement test appointments can be booked online once the tuition deposit has been paid. 

How much does the test cost?

  • The test is included in the tuition deposit.

When do the tests take place?

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • 48 hours prior to the test, students will receive an email from with instructions and login information.

What skills are assessed?

  • Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.

How long are my test results valid?

  • 6 months

When will I know my test results?

  • Results will be available the next business day. To view the results on the student portal follow these steps: > My Academics > Grades, Transcripts & Assessments

How to Apply and Enrol to ESL 

Program Details

All Fall courses will only be offered online.​

Entrance Requirements

  • All students must apply online for NAIT's ESL program and then take the NAIT ESL online Placement Test.
  • NAIT’s ESL Level 1 is not for absolute beginners. Students must have some ability in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. Students who place below NAIT ESL Level 1 (equivalent to about CLB3) will not be eligible to register.

Tuition & Fees

Permanent Resident, Canadian Citizen

  • $2,655.00 (full-time) / $2685.00 (Effective July 1, 2020)
  • $885.00 per course (part-time) / $895.00 per course (Effective July 1, 2020)

International Students, Visitors, Temporary Workers

  • $4,579.89 (full-time) / $4,631.63 (Effective July 1, 2020)
  • $1,526.63 per course (part-time) / $1543.88 (Effective July 1, 2020)


  • Approximately $400 (full-time)

Program Length

Program length is individual and will depend on your starting level and learning goals.


Fall 2020:
September 8 to December 18, 2020
(Application and registration deadline is Tuesday,  August 4, 2020)

Winter 2021:
January 5 – April 23, 2021
(Application and registration deadline is Tuesday, December 1st, 2020)

Spring 2021:
May 10 – August 20, 2021
(Application and registration deadline is Tuesday, April 6th, 2021)


  • Morning 8:00 AM to 11:50 AM
  • Afternoon 12:00 PM to 3:50 PM

Where It Can Take You

Students who pass Level 6 meet the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement for entrance into most NAIT certificate, diploma, or degree programs.

Conditional Admission

NAIT may grant ESL applicants conditional admission into the following programs:

To be eligible for conditional admission to these programs, applicants must:

  • Have a score of 5.5 in IELTS (academic) or 70 in TOEFLIBT (not applicable to BUS-E applicants)
  • Meet all the program’s entrance requirements other than English Language Proficiency and pay all fees and deposits by the deadlines
  • Place at ESL Level 5 or higher (Level 4 for BUS-E applicants) and apply for one of the programs listed above for a future intake. Prior to the start of the program, you must have completed ESL Level 6 (Level 4 for BUS-E).

For example, a student who is scheduled to complete their ESL program in the Winter term would be eligible for conditional admission in the spring term.

How To Apply

  • Make sure you meet the minimum entrance requirements for Conditional Admission listed above
  • Apply for either the Bachelor of Technology, Bachelor or Business Administration, or Business Administration program
  • Submit a separate application to ESL level 6 for the term before the start date of your chosen program. ESL applications are submitted through NAIT Continuing Education
  • If you meet the requirements, you will receive a Conditional Admission into your program of choice
  • Keep up with your deadlines (enrolment, tuition, etc.) listed in your MyNAIT Portal

How to Apply and Enrol to ESL 

Take a quick lesson in English

All Fall courses will only be offered online.​

Our 20-hour workshop-style courses allow you to focus on specific language needs. Improve your academic writing, or strengthen your pronunciation, listening, and speaking skills. Class sizes are small to ensure personal feedback from your instructor.

Current short course availability

NESL717 - IELTS Preparation Course - Writing Focus

Delivery Options: Evening, Online Hours: 18 Fees: $295

Take the IELTS Academic English Language Test with confidence! Master tips and techniques that can help you improve your score, especially in the writing component, which tends to be the most...

View Course

NESL704 - Academic Grammar and Writing

Delivery Options: Evening, Online Hours: 20 Fees: $195

Learn skills needed to write with confidence in academic settings. Learn structures and features of writing to communicate with coherence and unity.

View Course

NESL705 - Pronunciation Listening & Speaking

Delivery Options: Evening, Online Hours: 20 Fees: $195

Improve your overall English fluency by participating in this ESL listening and speaking class. Learn different communication strategies.

View Course

NESL716 - ELP Intensive Preparation Course

Delivery Options: Evening, Online Hours: 20 Fees: $205

Prepare for the NAIT English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment exam.

View Course

NESL900 - ESL Assessment Tests

Delivery Options: Day, Online Hours: 0 Fees: $175

The NAIT English Language Proficiency (ELP) Exam is for students applying to a NAIT credit program and need to submit proof of ELP as part of their application.

View Course


How to Apply and Enrol to ESL 

Are You An International Student?

All Fall courses will only be offered online.​

International students are students who either:

  • Plan to study at NAIT for more than one Level of ESL and need a Canadian post-secondary study permit
  • Plan to study at NAIT for only one level of ESL  as a Visitor to Canada. Please meet with an advisor to find out more

International Students must apply online for NAIT's English as a Second Language (ESL) Program. International Students with a with a valid study permit are required to study full-time in NAIT's ESL Program.

Learn about the International Student Refund / Deferral Information

Minimum Language Requirements

The NAIT ESL program is not for beginners. Students must have some ability in English. To learn if you meet NAIT’s minimum language skills in Reading and Listening, you can take a free  CLB online self-assessment. If you score lower than a CLB 3, you may not be ready to take ESL at NAIT. These results are not official and cannot be used for placement in NAIT’s ESL program. All students must take the NAIT ESL online placement test before they can enrol in classes.

How to Apply and Enrol to ESL