Intensive English
Language Course

  • Fastest learning option to get you speaking and ready for university quickly
  • ELS completion certificates are accepted by over 600 colleges and universities
  • Program includes field trips and time for social interaction so you can really experience American/ Canadian culture.

Intensive English in the United States

Age Requirements

Varies by Location



12: Beginner 101 to Masters 112

Average Class Size

15: Speaking Practice, Vocabulary Enrichment, 20: Skills Enhancement Classes

Centers Offered


Lessons Per Week

30 lessons per week, 50 minutes each, Monday to Friday

Start Dates

Every Four Weeks

*While all programs run in 4-week sessions, students can start on any Monday year-round (Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday).
For the best experience we encourage students to start at the beginning of a session where possible and not to start on week four of the session.

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About the Intensive English Program

Studying in the United States can unlock a myriad of opportunities for international students. The Intensive English program from ELS will help you take advantage of these opportunities by ensuring you are confident in your English speaking abilities.

The Intensive English language course will prepare you for academic success. The comprehensive curriculum is designed to include all aspects of academic communication to ensure you are comfortable in any setting on a college or university campus. Confidence and comfort are important factors in academic success and can make studying in the United States much more enjoyable.

Communication plays a major role in academic success and the Intensive English program from ELS will help give you confidence on day one of your studies, allowing you to focus on your coursework, rather than juggling language learning and coursework at the same time.

University Partnerships

Successful completion of the Masters Level of the Intensive English language course earns you a Certificate of Completion that is accepted by ELS's 600+ college and university partners as proof of the English proficiency needed for admission, and many two-year partner colleges will accept completion of the Advanced level.

Intensive English Curriculum

The Intensive English language course curriculum is designed to help you easily transition to university study. The course structure is designed to focus on four specific pillars that make up the necessary skills for academic success.

  • Key Language Skills: Our English courses cover all essential language skills such as: listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, and grammar. You will learn to speak with clarity, listen carefully, and gain the writing competencies necessary to complete your academic assignments with ease and accuracy.
  • Key University Success Skills: To succeed in a US college or university, you will need more than just basic English language skills. Our Intensive English program focuses on teaching you critical thinking, how to deliver presentations, public speaking, note-taking, academic research, and more.
  • Skills Enhancement Classes: Exact courses offered at each location may vary, but ELS Centers offer Skills Enhancement Classes dedicated to subjects such as American Idioms, American Film, Current Events, and American Culture – enabling you to not only learn the English language, but to become part of the conversation.
  • Applied Learning: In the United States, Contact America! allows you to meet with native English-speakers, practice conversing while using real-world English, and listen to guest lecturers.

For any international students looking to study in the United States, the Intensive English program provides the highest level of proficiency for language learning. To learn more or to sign up, contact your local ELS Language Center Destination or use the form below.

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ELS offers 12 proficiency levels (Beginner to Masters), as well as placement testing to determine the level that best fits your abilities. At the end of every four-week session, if you successfully meet your level's requirements, you will move up to the next level. As you progress through the levels, your courses build upon the skills you learned in the lower levels and become more complex.

  • Communicates at a basic level in everyday situations
  • Understands English when spoken to slowly and clearly
  • Understands a few words and phrases
  • Responds to simple questions and directions

  • Communicates facts and opinions
  • Discusses and argues in a culturally acceptable way
  • Understands most questions and statements at normal speaking speed
  • Carries on conversations with native speakers
  • Uses English to shop, order food in restaurants and ask for directions

Option on Completion

  • Enroll in the Complete Prep Program for the TOEFL iBT® or Business English Program (available at select Centers)

  • Communicates effectively in most social situations
  • Understands a wide range of idioms
  • Maintains extended conversations with native speakers
  • Uses English with growing accuracy and fluency, including reading and writing
  • Participates fully in most conversations

Option on Completion

  • Enroll concurrently in some host university courses
  • Enter a two-year college
  • Begin a University Certificate Program at participating ELS locations

  • Speaks and understands English with ease
  • Reads and writes with sufficient proficiency to satisfy professional and university requirements
  • Conducts business competently in English

Option on Completion

  • Begin an undergraduate or graduate degree program

Ready to Apply?