4 Tips for Choosing the Right Elective Courses in ESL Programs

It’s fun to take electives at ESL school!
It’s fun to take electives at ESL school!

Are you ready to choose electives for an English as a Second Language (ESL) school?

One of the unique things about the CultureWorks program is that our students take elective courses along with their required courses. Required courses are the core academic courses everyone needs to take to graduate from CultureWorks. They include courses such as Reading, Writing, Grammar, and Listening & Speaking. Elective courses, on the other hand, are courses you can choose to take based on your interests and skills. Once you reach Level Three in your studies at CultureWorks, you’ll have the chance to start taking elective courses.

Choosing electives is a great opportunity for ESL students to study the subjects they’re most interested in! For example, CultureWorks students can choose electives like Canadian Cultural Studies, Business & Management, Engineering & Technology, Pronunciation & Conversation, and more.

Here are four tips for choosing the elective courses that are right for you.

1. Follow Your Interests at ESL School in Canada!

What interests you? What subjects do you enjoy? The best way to choose electives is to ask yourself these questions and follow what you love.

You can meet friends who share your interests in elective courses
You can meet friends who share your interests in elective courses

Students in the ESL program at CultureWorks who love technology can take our Engineering & Technology elective. Students who love current events can take our Daily Boomalang elective where they can discuss the news. See which electives are available and choose what interests you.

2. Try Something New in Your ESL Program

It can also be fun to try elective courses with subjects that are new to you. Trying new things is easy at CultureWorks because classes are grouped by English skill level. For example, some electives like The Daily Boomalang and Canadian Cultural Studies are available to students in Level Three or higher. Other electives like Business & Management and Engineering & Technology are only available to students in Level Four or higher. This means that even if you take a subject you know nothing about, you won’t feel intimidated. So take chances and try studying something you have never studied before!

3. Take Courses that Will Help You in University

At schools like CultureWorks, our core academic courses are designed to prepare ESL students for success in top Canadian universities. When you choose your elective courses at ESL school in Canada, you can take the opportunity to prepare for university by learning important vocabulary in subjects like business or engineering, for example.

CultureWorks students preparing for university in the ESL classroom
CultureWorks students preparing for university in the ESL classroom

Our school also offers International English Language Testing System (IELTS) preparation as an elective course. You can take practice tests with help from patient teachers, as you get ready to start university with all the English language skills you need to succeed.

4. Challenge Yourself With Fun Electives as You Complete Your ESL Program

Choosing electives is a great chance to balance the difficulty of your work. If you take difficult core academic courses, try taking fun elective courses for a nice break. If you find your required courses easy, take elective courses that challenge you.

You can hear a CultureWorks student talk about choosing their electives in this video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTZF055IIi4&w=560&h=315]

Visit CultureWorks to get started!

3 Ways to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills While You Attend an ESL Program in Canada

A student hard at work in CultureWorks’ intensive English program
A student hard at work in CultureWorks’ intensive English program

Are you a non-native English speaker hoping to succeed in a Canadian college or university? Writing a great essay is essential! Even if you plan on studying math or sciences—which don’t usually require essays as part of their students’ regular assignments—you will likely need to submit a few essays throughout your university education.

Depending on your current English language skill level, writing a great essay might seem like an intimidating task! Thankfully, any ESL student can reach this important writing milestone with the help of friendly instructors and the right training techniques.

Ready to try your hand at essay writing in a Canadian ESL program? Here are three tips to get you started!

1. Learn to Craft the Perfect Thesis in Our Intensive English Program

Every great essay begins with a strong thesis statement. A thesis is an idea stated clearly by the writer at the beginning of their essay. It is the premise or argument on which the essay is based. Usually about 30 words long, thesis statements (or ‘theses’) tell readers exactly what the essay is going to be about.

By skillfully describing their argument at the start, a student can go on to prove it by describing supporting evidence throughout the middle (or ‘body paragraphs’) of their essay. Without a strong thesis, readers of the essay could become confused, because the purpose of the essay would be left unclear.

To ensure you have an effective thesis, double-check that it meets the following qualifications:

  • Your thesis is part of your essays’ introduction (most often at the end of the first paragraph), not hidden somewhere within the body text
  • Your thesis states both the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of your essay
  • Your thesis doesn’t just state a fact, but makes a claim or an argument about that fact
  • Your thesis tells readers what kind of topic they can expect to read about in your essay
Students at our intensive English program learn that essays start with clear thesis statements
Students at our intensive English program learn that essays start with clear thesis statements

2. Get Practical Experience with University-Level Mock Writing Tests

In certain elective courses in ESL programs, you can gain valuable experience putting your essay-writing and editing skills into practice. For example, at CultureWorks some students may choose to take weekly elective classes that prepare them to succeed in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a globally-recognized and standardized English-language exam.

For example, the ILETS Academic test is designed for those who want to study at university at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, and includes essay and long-form answer sections. Training for this under the supervision of our instructors can help students develop the particular academic writing style that great essays are made of.

At CultureWorks, our students get hands-on practice with copies of past IELTS exams, becoming familiar with the exact kind of language, topics, and academic writing skills today’s colleges and universities are looking for. This is the best place to put your essay-writing skills to the (practice-)test!

CultureWorks students work in groups to improve their writing skills
CultureWorks students work in groups to improve their writing skills

3. Master Persuasive Writing Techniques in Our Intensive English Program

Our intensive English program involves regular weekly writing classes led by passionate instructors ready to help you achieve that perfect paragraph. These instructors host sessions on writing techniques, structure, and composition, including effective essay composition.

Students get to fine-tune their academic grammar and practice writing clean and clear essay introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in the company of ESL peers. These hours of hard work will help you to become a cleaner—and therefore more persuasive—writer.

To write persuasively, you must speak with authority and use convincing evidence to support a specific and strong argument. What better way to be persuasive than to have flawless grammar and a real interest in what you are writing about?

Try using ‘action’ words that convey confidence and power, like ‘now,’ ‘plan,’ and ‘get results.’ Using emotional words like ‘you,’ ‘we,’ and ‘feel’ can also help writers become more persuasive.

With our instructors’ guidance and the right training program, nothing can stop you from writing academic, scholarship, and university-entrance essays that impress!

Are you interested in taking the top ESL program in Canada for university preparation?

Visit CultureWorks to learn more about what we have to offer!

4 Reasons ESL Students Take English Courses for Durham College

CultureWorks grads get ready to start their university studies at Durham College.
CultureWorks grads get ready to start their university studies at Durham College.

CultureWorks is partnered with 6 top quality Canadian universities. Once our students successfully complete their English language program, they get accepted to one of these universities and can start their degree program right away. But how do you know which university is right for you?

A few weeks ago, we shared some of the advantages of choosing our partner, Carleton University. Here’s a look at another one of our amazing partner schools, Durham College, and 4 reasons why it could be your top choice for post-secondary studies in Canada!

1. Durham College Offers the Latest Training in Business & Engineering

At Durham college, programs are market-focused, which means that they are carefully researched and adapted to fit new trends in engineering, business, and other fields. Each program is designed to prepare students for jobs that are currently in demand. That’s why Durham college graduates find work quickly after graduation. In fact, 85.1% of recent grads found work just 6 months after graduating!

And, if you already have a degree like a Bachelor’s in Science, Durham offers fast track diplomas in Electronics Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Technology and more that can take as little as one year to complete.

Elective courses in ESL programs like CultureWorks ensure students are prepared for business and engineering courses at Durham College. We make sure you learn the special English vocabulary and academic skills you will need to succeed during your degree.

2. Study English on a Beautiful Campus in an Ideal Location

Durham College has two campuses in Oshawa and Whitby that are packed with amazing facilities. These campuses offer a welcoming small town Canadian atmosphere, and for city-loving students, Toronto is just a short drive away.

Durham College campus in Oshawa, Ontario
Durham College campus in Oshawa, Ontario

At Durham, you can enjoy amazing local food at Bistro ‘67, study in the spacious Learning Commons, or explore the vast collection of Durham’s library.

You can also stay fit while you study English by visiting Durham’s 28,000-sq.-ft. triple gym, 10,000-sq.-ft. fitness centre, or two squash courts. Durham College even has an indoor golf range where you can practise your golf swing!

CultureWorks students play soccer on the Durham College campus
CultureWorks students play soccer on the Durham College campus

3. Durham College Offers Support & Guidance to International Students

Studying in a new country and in a new language can be intimidating! That’s why Durham College offers plenty of support services for international students. From the moment you step on campus, Durham’s staff provides you orientation, academic, and career support.

And if you’re the first in your family to go to university, Durham even offers special assistance programs to make sure you succeed in your studies and make a smooth transition to university life.

4. Durham Offers a Memorable Experience from ESL School to University

Part of the fun that comes with studying abroad is getting to meet new friends, enjoy new experiences, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

From your first days at the CultureWorks ESL school at Durham, to your first term as a student at the college – you’ll find this is the perfect place to earn a degree while exploring the best of Canadian culture!

Would you like to take English courses for Durham College? Why not visit our website and find out how CultureWorks can help you get there.


5 Reasons CultureWorks is the Best ESL School in Canada!

CultureWorks 2013 graduating class in Oshawa
CultureWorks 2013 graduating class in Oshawa

For international students, choosing an ESL school can be tricky, with so many institutions keen to tell you why they stand out from the rest. However, with a fun learning environment, partnerships with respected Canadian institutions, and a quick and easy pathway to university acceptance, we know we have what it takes to be your top choice.

Want to know why CultureWorks is the Best ESL School in Canada? Read on to find out.

1. Cultureworks has a Proven Track Record of Student Success

When you’re choosing an ESL school in Canada, it’s important to find out which programs are proven to prepare students for university success. CultureWorks students consistently outperform their peers from other ESL & EAP programs. Our Intensive English Language Program offers students a tried and tested path to university, so you know you’re investing in an educational model that really works.

2. Our ESL School offers Conditional University Acceptance

CultureWorks is partnered with six top Canadian universities. When you apply to CultureWorks, we submit your application to the university of your choice – and if you meet their academic criteria, you are offered conditional acceptance. That means, as soon as you graduate from CultureWorks you can begin your university degree! So not only will you attend the best Intensive English Program in Canada, you’ll enjoy a smooth transition to your degree program without submitting another application.

3. Our Teachers are Experienced, Professional, and Caring

At CultureWorks, we know that a good teacher can make all the difference to a successful ESL education. Each one of our instructors holds a university degree, and has years of experience teaching English as a second language, domestically and abroad.

Above all, though, CultureWorks teachers really care about their students. They are always available to help, not just as teachers, but as friends and mentors guiding ESL students as they take their first steps on this exciting journey.

A CultureWorks instructor helps students one-on-one at the King’s University campus
A CultureWorks instructor helps students one-on-one at the King’s University campus

4. CultureWorks ESL Programs Help You Adapt to Canadian Culture

Moving to a new country and experiencing a new culture can be challenging. It’s important to choose an ESL school that helps make the transition as smooth as possible.

CultureWorks is situated right on the campus of your chosen university, so in addition to learning the language skills crucial to your study, you will also get the chance to explore your new campus and city. Our program also offers a wide range of trips, activities and social events to help students learn about their new city and understand Canadian customs.

CultureWorks students visit Canadian cultural and historic sites in Ottawa
CultureWorks students visit Canadian cultural and historic sites in Ottawa

5. CultureWorks Electives Tailor Your Study to Suit Your Degree

Many ESL courses do a good job of teaching students everyday conversation skills, but if you plan to pursue a university degree in English, you will need advanced technical skills to succeed.

CultureWorks offers a range of elective courses in business, engineering and technology, and more – so you can learn the English terminology and specialized language skills needed to really excel in your chosen degree.


CultureWorks Elective courses teach technical language skills in a wide variety of subjects
CultureWorks Elective courses teach technical language skills in a wide variety of subjects

Want to find out more about our Elective Courses in ESL Programs?

Visit CultureWorks to learn more about our unique programs and approach – or to apply online!