Top 4 English Skills You Need to Succeed at University

CultureWorks students explore the Western University Campus in London, Ontario
CultureWorks students explore the Western University Campus in London, Ontario

Once you become a university student in Canada, you’ll need to use your English language skills on a regular basis when you:

  • Attend lectures
  • Learn new material
  • Write essays and reports
  • Do research
  • Deliver presentations

No matter what you study at university, you’ll be using your advanced English skills on a daily basis. Everyone from business students to budding engineers needs to have strong English writing, reading and conversation skills in order to excel at school.

Here are the top four English skills you’ll learn at the CultureWorks ESL program, and how they’ll help you succeed in your university courses.

1. Clear English Writing Skills to Communicate your Ideas

Strong English writing skills include correct spelling, grammar and sentence structure – but those are really just the basics. When you write a report or an essay for a university course, you’ll need to develop an argument, cite sources, and structure your essay so that your thoughts are expressed clearly and persuasively.

Intensive English programs help students build advanced writing skills by breaking complex assignments (like essays) into small parts – and then guiding students to master each component. At CultureWorks, ESL students learn to write an introduction, argument, supporting ideas, and even incorporate research with academic citations – exactly how their university professors will want.

2. Excellent Comprehension Skills to Understand Lectures & Readings

CultureWorks students at King's University listen to class lectures in English
CultureWorks students at King’s University listen to class lectures in English

Professors love to lecture, and will communicate many important concepts verbally during class. Strong English comprehension skills are essential for keeping up with the flow of ideas, and taking clear notes.

An effective esl program will ensure that students get plenty of practice listening and speaking in small groups, and following their teacher’s verbal instructions and explanations. This preparation is essential for understanding when your university professor speaks quickly, or covers many complex concepts in one short lecture.

3. Confident English Conversation to Participate in Class

CultureWorks students get comfortable talking in English
CultureWorks students get comfortable talking in English

Many university classes require student participation – which means you have to ask and answer questions in class, and participate in group projects.

CultureWorks prepares students with many opportunities to build English conversation skills. Group trips, conversation circles, class presentations and a supportive environment help students feel confident talking in front of others. With this preparation, you won’t lose grades because you’re too nervous to speak up in your university classes!

4. Specific English Vocabulary for your Degree Program

If you’re taking English courses for King’s University because you want to study Business Administration, you will definitely need an ESL school that offers program-specific electives. It’s important to learn the business vocabulary your professors and classmates will use, so your presentations and reports will sound professional.

CultureWorks offers electives in engineering, business and Canadian culture studies to help ESL students get comfortable with the terminology they will need in their university courses.

Once you’ve mastered these four English language skills, nothing will stand between you and your university degree!

What other English skills do you think are essential for success at university?