Undergraduate Students

The English Language and Cultural Studies program offers several academic courses specifically designed to assist matriculated non-native English speaking undergraduate students succeed in their courses at the university. We provide intensive English language training for students who have not met the U of A’s English Language Proficiency requirements for enrollment and for students who have met the English proficiency requirements but whose language skills still need improvement to fully participate and succeed in their academic courses.

If you are an undergraduate and have not achieved the minimum score for written English proficiency, you will be required by International Admissions to successfully complete one or more of the following ELAC courses. Below is a description of the required and recommended English language support courses.


ELAC 0011 – Writing Workshop: Grammar through Editing

This class is designed to assist upper-intermediate to advanced non-native speakers of English improve their academic writing at the sentence level. Students’ writing is analyzed for grammatical accuracy; students develop strategies for editing their writing more independently and learn to produce clearer, more grammatically correct writing.


ELAC 0023 – Introduction to Academic Writing

This class is designed to enhance reading comprehension and academic writing skills of non-native speakers of English at the upper-intermediate level. Through extended readings, students improve their ability to recognize main ideas, distinguish support, respond to content & build vocabulary. Students improve their writing at the paragraph and essay level.


ELAC 1023 – Academic Writing across Disciplines

The class is designed to improve the academic writing and critical thinking skills for non-native speakers of English in all fields. Through focused instruction and extensive practice, students will improve their academic vocabulary, grammatical accuracy, discourse organization and fluency in formal academic writing.


ELAC 1033 – English Language through Mass Media

Students expand their communicative language skills through the study of news and media. By analyzing the messages and methods used in a variety of sources, students improve their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students develop critical thinking skills as they evaluate and synthesize ideas from the texts.


ELAC 2012 – English Phonology for Non-Native Speakers

This course is intended for students who want to improve their pronunciation. Students study the basic principles of phonetics and phonology of English in order to develop their ability to produce the standard American accents.


ELAC 2023 Business English Communications

This is a course for non-native English speakers to develop their oral communication skills for professional business settings. From informal dialogues to formal business presentations, students learn appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication strategies and develop confidence to communicate effectively and comprehensibly.


ELAC 2043 – Seminar in United States Culture, Communication, and Institutions

Through an in-depth study of American life, culture, communicative style and institutions, non-native speakers of English develop their critical thinking skills and improve their overall English language proficiency. Through an extended research project, students develop their ability to write a well-documented research paper and improve their presentation skills.


ELAC 2053 Academic Presentations                                                        

This course is for advanced non-native speakers of English to build skills and strategies for delivering effective, clear presentations in academic and professional settings. Students learn about organization, best use of visual aids, connecting with an audience, facilitating questions and answers, and intercultural issues that affect perception and comprehensibility.