English Language Development

Learn English as part of our Camosun community.

Program at a glance


No credential

Area of Study

Upgrading & Preparatory

Study options



Work experience


Open to International




At a glance image

ELD female student

If English isn't your first language, these programs are for you.

With our help and support, you’ll become more confident listening, speaking, reading and writing English. Offering eight levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) training, Camosun has a course for everyone. 

Upgrading programs and courses are tuition-free for domestic students. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) will continue to cover the cost of textbooks and student and registration fees for eligible students.

Your path to success

Camosun offers courses in basic English language skills to get you started. More advanced courses prepare you for further studies at college or university, career programs and professional communication in the Canadian workplace. You can progress rapidly by taking ELD-Level 2 courses at the same time as other college courses. Graduates credit their studies at Camosun for academic success in later college and university programs.

A supportive community

Our instructors are highly qualified and committed to providing a friendly and caring learning experience in an adult environment. We understand the pressures and challenges of learning a new language. Our scheduling is flexible to fit your busy life: full-time, part-time, at your own pace; day or evening; all year round.

There are English Help Centres staffed with expert language tutors, multi-media computer labs and a variety of other support services to help you succeed. You’ll be a part of our campus community and meet new friends.

Learn at your level

If you're a beginning or pre-intermediate student, you will start with listening and speaking skills and an introduction to reading comprehension and written composition.

If you're a more experienced English language learner, you will take more advanced courses, either to prepare you for college and university level programs or to gain professional English skills for the Canadian workplace.

An Investment in Your Future

English is the most commonly used language among foreign language speakers. Invest in yourself!  English language skills prepare you for life, learning and work in Canada and abroad. 


Effective from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Total fees for courses and textbook costs will vary according to the number and level of courses you take.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Upgrading programs and courses are tuition-free for domestic students. The Adult Upgrading Grant (AUG) will continue to cover the cost of textbooks and student and registration fees for eligible students.

There are many financial resources to tap into while you are at college to help with your education and living costs. Apply for scholarships & awards that are specifically given to program students, as well as awards specific to the School of Access.

You may also want to visit Financial Aid & Awards for more information about funding.

Build language confidence

Improve your English language skills, earn a certificate and prepare for further academic studies or employment in the Canadian workplace.

What to Expect

Courses begin in January, May, and September. For some courses, you may start any time in the first two weeks of the term.  The schedule is flexible to fit your busy life: full-time, part-time, at your own pace; all year round. You can spend up to 20 hours of class per week supported by another 1–5 hours a week in our state-of-the-art, multi-media language labs.

Level 1

ELD level 1 courses are for beginning and pre-intermediate students who have a fundamental and developing knowledge of English.  Emphasis is on development of speaking and listening skills with an introduction to reading comprehension and written composition.

Level 2

ELD level 2 courses focus on the development of advanced academic English language skills needed to gain entry into college-level programs or technical and professional English language skills needed in the Canadian workplace.

Electives & Support Courses

Get a little extra training where you need it the most. Our elective courses give you some extra pronunciation and grammar practice when you are in ELD or other college courses.

Our support courses are available to help with your specific English language needs when you have progressed to college level courses. 

Curriculum & courses

Admission Requirements

Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.

Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

  • Students must meet the pre-requisites for each individual course or complete an English Language Placement Assessment.

Our Teaching Staff

Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students’ individual journeys.

Faculty/staff profile

Co-Chair, English Language Development

Kirsten Bunton

Kirsten has been working as an instructor in ELD since 2013, where she taught a range of courses in both the BESL and the C & AP streams.  Most recently she has also enjoyed the opportunity to work collaboratively in specialized courses such as Health Career ELS and ELD PN2. Prior to moving to Victoria , she worked at the English Language Institute at UBC for 16 years as a language instructor and program coordinator. The aspects she values most in her work at Camosun are being able to promote learner autonomy through the development of language learning strategies and working with a great team of colleagues.

Faculty/staff profile

Co-Chair, Basic ESL, English Language Development

Beth Konomoto

Beth has been teaching at Camosun since Fall 2014. Previously, Beth was an instructor at UVic and in Japan for seven years. She has also served as Chair of Social Media for BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language (BC TEAL) and served on their PD committee. Additionally, she has presented at a variety of conferences on topics such as portfolio-based language assessment, ethics in English as an Additional Language, and online critical thinking. She holds an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language. 

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Gillian Atkinson

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development (ESL)

Jessie Brown

I’ve been teaching at Camosun since 2009 but have been in the ESL/EFL field for over 22 years. My first foray was as an unprepared teacher in China in 1988. Despite trying other industries on my return, I ended up at the Toronto School Board for ESL/Job Search Strategies. I continued to teach at various schools - working with women refugees and immigrants. I completed a MEd at OISE and then moved to Malaysia to work for the British Council. After doing the RSA TEFL Diploma in the UK, I continued teaching at the British Council in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Next, I moved to Vancouver and got a job teaching ESL at Pacific Language Institute (now Kaplan). Eventually I came to Victoria, where I worked at private language schools, Royal Roads, UVic, and finally Camosun College. I’m very happy here: I love my job and I enjoy working with so many dedicated professionals.

Faculty/staff profile

Co-Chair, Basic ESL

Pei Mei Chia

I have just celebrated my 20-year milestone of teaching at the college. Though teaching has its rewards, I also enjoy administrative activities. Currently, I am Co-Chair of ELD and Chair of Basic ESL (BESL) stream within the ELD department. I have an open-door policy where students, faculty and staff are welcome to have a conversation with me about matters that are important to them. If you have questions about, or need help with, ESL matters, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I will do my best to help you or direct you to those who can.

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Sandra Christensen

Sandra has been teaching in ELD since 2013, after moving from Vancouver where she taught in a private ESL school for four years. She has a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Victoria, an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Concordia University (Montreal), and a TESL Certificate from International House (Vancouver).

Before teaching English, she worked in literary and scholarly publishing, including McGill-Queen’s University Press and UBC’s journal Canadian Literature. She has also owned and managed her own business, as well as worked for cooperatives and non-profit organizations, primarily in food sustainability, student housing, leadership, health, and education. She approaches teaching as a guide and mentor with the hope that students will develop their learning strategies and a unique voice for future academic and career success.

Courses Teaching/Taught:

ELD 044, ELD 054, ELD 062, ELD 072, ELD 074, ELD 092, ELD 094, ELD 103, ELD IELTS, ELD BUS, ELD 072 & 074/ ELD BUS

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Laura Hadwin

I have taught beginner to advanced English language learners at Camosun, and also delivered teacher training to Panamanian primary school English teachers, as well as Mexican secondary school English teachers. I have had articles published in Teacher Trainer Journal, English Teaching Professional, Modern English Teacher and The Teaching Professor, and have taught and delivered teacher training in South Korea, Spain, the UK, Turkey, Qatar and Mexico. I am on the Camosun Teaching and Learning Council and the Professional Development Committee, and co-facilitate the Teaching and Learning Community of Practice. My research interests include materials design, creativity and teacher development, beliefs and identity. 

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

John Hampton

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Judith Hunt

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Lynnea Jackson

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Diana Kohl

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Debra Lewis

I have been teaching in the ELD department at Camosun College since 2008. Before that I taught at a secondary school in Nigeria, at the British Council in Singapore, and at Sussex Downs College in England. I have worked as a teacher trainer, an examiner and I have written several ESL textbooks and grammar reference books. I am presently an examiner for IELTS. I have a BA Honours from the University of Calgary, a diploma from the British Council in Singapore, and a Master's degree in Language and Linguisitics from the University of Cambridge. I love my job at Camosun. I'm lucky to work with professional and caring instructors, and to meet people from all over the world who want to learn.

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Bruce McCormack

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development


Cristina Petersen has been involved in ESL/EFL since her first experience teaching abroad in Japan in 2001. She holds a TESL certificate, Bachelor and Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from the University of Victoria and has taught English to a wide range of ages, levels and nationalities. She taught young children in South Korea in 2005 and again in 2006, where she was trained in the Reggio Emilia approach. This prompted her to research Project-based Learning in adult ESL in her Master’s program. This background led her into Project-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum development. She also trained and worked for two years as an academic English language coach, working with undergraduate and graduate students on their language learning objectives and integration of these goals with their new lives in Canada. Cristina has given numerous professional development workshops on PBL, including TESOL New York 2007, SFU Teaching and Learning Conference (2008), BC TEAL (2011, 2012, & 2015), Douglas College (2016), UBC English Language Institute PD sessions, and UBC Speech and Linguistic Student Association (2016, 2017). She has worked with immigrants, refugees and international students in Canada and strives to apply her overseas cultural and work experiences to her courses. Cristina has a passion for language, having studied German, Japanese, Spanish and even a little SENĆOŦEN. She is a passionate and outgoing language instructor and hopes to pass on her enthusiasm for the profession in unique and creative ways. Cristina is also an aspiring artist and writer and enjoys horseback riding, skiing and exploring the outdoors with her family and friends.


Petersen, C., & Nassaji, H. (2016). Project-Based Learning through the Eyes of Teachers and   Students in Adult ESL Classrooms. Canadian Modern Language Review72(1), 13–39.

Petersen, C. (2019). Murray the Dragon. Victoria: Tellwell Talent Inc.

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development


Emily Ryan has a Master of Arts, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Emily has over 15 years of professional EAL experience in a range of teaching areas: vocational and resettlement learners in the San Francisco Bay Area; undergraduate and graduate students in universities in both China and Japan; and pathway students at other academic institutions within Canada (University of British Columbia, Royal Roads University). Finally, Emily has worked as an Academic English Support Coach for international students seeking support in their university courses.

In her free time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and two cats, exploring the many hidden beaches on Vancouver Island, cycling and hiking, as well as learning new and exciting recipes from her students.

Courses Teaching/Taught:

  • ELD 010 English Basics 1
  • ELD 020 English Basics 2
  • ELD 052 English Essentials 2: Reading/Writing
  • ELD 054 English Essentials 2: Listening/Speaking
  • ELD 062 Intermediate English Reading/Writng
  • ELD 074 Academic Communication Skills
  • ELD 092 Provincial English Composition
  • ELD 094 Provincial English Literature

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Leigh Sunderland

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Nicholas Travers

I have been teaching in the English Language Development Department at Camosun since 2015. Previously I worked at Global Village Victoria, and overseas in Japan, Mexico, the UK, and the Czech Republic.

My special interests as a language instructor are developing engaging, real-world curricula, assessment, and teaching pronunciation. My primary research focus is the pragmatics of job interviews and other high-stakes conversations.

It is a dream job for me to be working with international and immigrant learners at Camosun, and to help them reach their language goals for work and community life. It is also a pleasure to work with and learn from so many talented and passionate colleagues.

Courses Teaching/Taught:

  • Both Reading/Writing and Speaking/Listening courses from ELD 033 to ELD 062 and 064

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Tony Vernon

In 2007, I started teaching at Camosun after three years of teaching at UVic. My career in English as Second Language instruction began back in 1996 in Montreal and then moved onto 5 years at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea.

I have always been interested in languages, especially English. I completed my third degree, a doctorate, in teaching ESL in order to inform myself more about this field. I am always keen to find out more about teaching in order to develop my craft.

I really enjoy teaching ESL because every day presents new learning experiences. I meet learners from various cultures and backgrounds, and we not only share our differences but, more importantly, our commonalities.

I recently completed a three-year term in the position of co-chair in the ELD department. In that role, I learned more about the college and our community, and how we can do more to serve each other.

If you have any questions about the ELD department, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to meeting you.

Faculty/staff profile

Instructor, English Language Development

Elizabeth West

I teach in the Career and Academic stream for advanced second language students in the English Language Development Department. My areas of specialization and interest include the teaching of writing, reading, and literature; curriculum and program development; and areas related to teaching and learning. My educational background, a BA in English and an MA in Linguistics, brings together my great interest in all aspects of language, language learning, and literature. I have also taught and lived in Beijing, China and have conducted teacher training courses and workshops in China, Vietnam, and Mexico as well as at Camosun. At the College, I am fortunate to work with students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and I find it inspiring to see these students develop their language and critical thinking skills to to meet the challenging academic and/or work environments they will enter.

In addition to my work within the ELD Department, I am also engaged in college activities. I am the current Access representative on the CCFA Professional Development Committee and past chair of this committee. I am an active Instructional Skills Facilitator (ISW) and a Facilitator Trainer.

Faculty/staff profile

Instructional Assistant, English Language Development

Sarah McCagherty

I have been a teacher, tutor, and editor of languages and writing for the past 13 years in various settings. At Camosun, I work as a tutor in the English Help Centre.  I have a BA in German with a minor in Linguistics from the University of Victoria, and an MA in Historical and Comparative Germanic Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After achieving that mouthful of a credential, I decided it was time to head back home to Victoria to raise my own family. I did my ESL teacher training at Camosun while I was pregnant with baby #2, and within a year I joined the team as an instructional assistant in the English Language Development department.

Since then, I have discovered that more than Old Saxon or Middle High German, my knowledge of my own mother tongue, English, would become my tool for helping students to achieve their academic goals, at Camosun and beyond.  If you are struggling with writing a thesis statement for a research paper or just want to know if you need to add another comma, I can help.  Come on by the English Help Centre and say hello!

Dogwood Blossoms on the Landsdowne Campus

Learn more

Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.

Contact information

Academic Upgrading

We want to hear from you!

Campus location

Camosun College Interurban
Centre for Business and Access
4461 Interurban Rd.
Victoria BC V9E 2C1

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