The ‘most exciting’ English as a second language pathway program in Canada

The setting could not have been better.

It was the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s 51st annual conference in balmy Halifax. The dates were Nov. 19-22. Twenty-six hundred delegates.

CBIE, if you are not aware, is the Canadian meeting place for people working “across the full spectrum of education, bridging the interests of all learning levels, from K-12 to postgraduate, and engaging both the public and private sectors.”

The theme for this year’s gathering – Pathways in International Education: Charting the Course – was perfect.

And CultureWorks founder and president Tina Bax was a keynote presenter, asked to speak on an innovative London-based program that fits the theme to a tee.

English as a second language pathway programs that offer excellence and innovation

Tina explained the Gateway and Preliminary Year programs to a full house, showing how CultureWorks and Brescia University College have combined resources to make it work best for all.

“Universities, colleges, and high schools all love this program because of the quality of students it graduates but most importantly the students love it: it’s affordable, flexible, and portable,” Tina said.

The system is an example of excellence and innovation in programming, for its creative pathways to university and colleges in Canada.

Some examples:

The Gateway program allows students to start English as a second language studies online as part of their university pathway.

The Preliminary Year Program allows students to combine language and university credits, and move on to any university in Canada.

ESL program

ESL programs that are exciting for educators and students

“One of our fellow presenters commented that in his opinion, we’ve built the most exciting pathway program in Canada. We agree!” Tina said after her presentation.

Tina said the new ESL program will mean “adding a box to the admissions matrix.”

It’s also going to mean embracing online learning — including language training — and a better form of gathering data to help guide the students to success.

It also means embracing change.

Instead of “Why should we?”

Simply “Why not?”

Preliminary Year Program

  • Those finishing high school or partial high school credits, who need some language training and who are attracted by the option to complete first-year university credits as well.
  • Those studying language who are already admissible to university but who would like to take first-year credits and transfer them to their final destination. Not be a pathway that goes one direction.


  • Those wishing to study language online before leaving home, and go directly to their college, or university (and finish language training there).
  • High school students in Canada whose language training needs are not met by the provincial English curriculum and who feel overwhelmed by university fairs or presentations, but who like the personalized attention from a small group of schools.

Are you looking for an English as a second language program that will prepare you to study at a Canadian university?

Discover why so many students are choosing CultureWorks.