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ESL Foundation Program

Ryerson’s ESL Foundation Program at the Real Institute is designed for students who are academically qualified to apply for admission to a Ryerson University undergraduate program but do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements.

Students who successfully complete the ESL Foundation Program are admitted into a Ryerson undergraduate program.

Schedule

Our program has entry points in Fall, Winter or Spring. You will take one, two or three semesters of classes to develop your academic reading and writing skills as well as English communication strategies. The length of the program is based on your level of English proficiency.

Each week consists of 22-30 hours of instructor-led classes customized to meet individual learning needs and 10 hours of independent and group project-based work. You will also take an undergraduate degree course (CLNG 111- Language and Identity) as part of the curriculum. This course counts as credit towards your degree program of choice.

If you achieve early success in the program, you may receive a modified schedule allowing you to earn up to two additional credits prior to starting your undergraduate studies.

Students commencing studies in the Fall semester with an IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent) will spend the Winter semester taking courses offered through Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education for the opportunity to earn credits towards their degree program of choice prior to beginning their full-time undergraduate enrollment.

What You Need to Know

Program Cost: $15,600 - $39,000

The cost includes one, two or three semesters of full-time study and may include up to three university-level degree credit courses (Ryerson University is semestered: one credit equals one single-term course). Textbooks, course-related materials, specialized Ryerson ESL Foundation Program services, airport pick-up, academic and career advising, peer mentorship and cultural immersion events are also included.

As a full-time Ryerson student, you will also have access to all services offered on campus. For a complete list, visit Student Services. The Ryerson ESL Foundation Program is not eligible for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding.

For detailed fees information visit Fees by Program.

For full details on Program Entry Options, please visit the Real Institute website.

To be eligible for Ryerson ESL Foundation Program consideration, you must be academically qualified and competitive for admission to the undergraduate degree program you wish to pursue. You will be offered placement in the Ryerson ESL Foundation Program based on your academic qualifications, subject to competition. Upon successful completion of the Ryerson ESL Foundation Program, you will enroll in your selected degree program. Throughout the Ryerson ESL Foundation Program, your progress will be assessed so that you can identify areas for improvement.

You are required to submit an official minimum English Proficiency test score for the Ryerson ESL Foundation Program from one of the recognized tests listed on the English Language Requirements page.

Visit English Language Requirements for detailed information about specific program variations.

"The ESL foundation program is where you meet diverse people, discover the multicultural city of Toronto, and become fully prepared to start an undergraduate program at Ryerson"

Tasneem Almutawakel, International Peer Supporter

Ryerson’s ESL Foundation program develops your academic reading and writing skills as well as English communication strategies. Each semester students study for a period of 12-weeks. Each week consists of up to 22 hours of instructor-led classes and a variety of group-based experiential learning opportunities. In addition to regular classes, students complete 10 hours of project-based assignments customized to meet individual learning needs, either independently or in a group.

In addition, students are required to register for an undergraduate degree course (CLNG111: Language and Identity), which is counted as a credit towards their Ryerson University degree program of choice. This course can be taken in either semester.

If you achieve early success in the program, you may receive a modified schedule allowing you to earn up to two additional degree credits prior to starting your undergraduate studies.

The Real Institute ESL Foundation program has three options for entry and duration based on English proficiency test score:

 ESL Foundation I

  • 1 semester program
  • Entry in Fall, Winter or Spring

ESL Foundation II

  • 2 semesters program 
  • Entry in Fall or Winter

ESL Foundation III

  • 3 semesters program
  • Entry in Fall only

Depending on your level of proficiency (IELTS 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 or equivalent) you will be placed in a one, two or three semestered program to develop and refine the academic reading and writing skills needed to succeed in a Ryerson undergraduate program.  You will also learn practical communication strategies that will help you gain confidence in your academic and social interactions.

See program based on your English proficiency test score in table below. 

Subject to change. Use as guideline only.

IELTS
TOEFL iBT
MELAB**
CAEL
PTE
Length of ESL Foundation Program
Entry
6.0 88-91 80-89 60
N/A
1 Semester* Winter, Spring, Fall
5.5 83-87 75-79
N/A
N/A
2 Semesters Winter, Fall
5.0
68-82 70-74
50
50
3 Semesters Fall only

*Students commencing studies in the fall semester with an IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent) will spend the winter semester taking courses offered through Ryerson's Chang School of Continuing Education for the opportunity to earn credits towards their degree program of choice prior to beginning their full-time undergraduate enrollment.

**The MELAB is no longer offered by Michigan Language Assessment.

ESL Foundation I start date is Fall 2019.
ESL Foundation II start dates are Fall 2019 and Winter 2020.
ESL Foundation III start dates are Fall 2019, Winter 2020 and Spring 2020.

Once the ESL Foundation Program is completed you will begin your undergraduate program in the Fall of 2020.