ELLA Program

In Fall 2017, the English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA) Department launched a new curriculum to help students learn and develop the language skills that they need to succeed in their university studies.

This new curriculum is called Academic College English (ACE) and will improve students’ ability to participate in university-level conversations, understand academic texts and discussion, and write effectively in a college environment.

The ELLA department now welcomes domestic students to 100-, 200- and 300- level classes. Please contact the departmental assistant for further details: 604-527-5463, or email ella@douglascollege.ca.

About the program

ELLA Program Steps

The ACE program consists of three levels. Each level focuses on a specific theme and contains four courses:

The ACE program was developed to give students more time and opportunities to practice English in real-life situations and more flexibility to choose their courses. In this program, students will spend 20 hours per week learning and practicing English:

  • 16 hours in classes
  • 2 hours in a computer lab
  • 2 hours in other educational activities, such as workshops and field trips

Your placement score will determine your level per course. This means you can take 4 courses in different levels of ACE.


What will I study in the ACE program?

Each level of the ACE program consists of four 3-credit courses:

  • Discussion Course: speaking, listening and presentation skills This course includes 2 hours per week of additional educational activities, such as workshops and field trips.
  • Comprehension Course: reading and listening skills This course includes an additional 2 hours per week of lab sessions.
  • Writing Course: paragraphs and essays This course covers academic writing skills such as organizing, composing, revising, and editing.
  • Accuracy Course: grammar and vocabulary This course covers accuracy of expression, and developing proofreading and editing skills.


When will I be ready for College-level courses?

When students complete the 4 PACE course successfully and pass the ACE entry test, they can study in the ACE program.

You will be able to take College-level courses when you:

  • Complete four (4) courses at ACE Level 2, and
  • at least three (3) of the four (4) courses at Level 3.

To take courses in the Departments of English, Communications, or Creative Writing, one of the three (3) Level 3 courses must be ELLA 0330 (Writing). Please note that full-time study is a maximum of 12 credits per semester.


What if my IELTS score is lower than 4.5?

If your IELTS score is between 3.5-4.0, you can study in our Pre-Academic English (PACE) program.

The PACE program consists of four 3-credit courses and provides students with 20 hours of educational activities per week.


Courses Hours Per Week Lab / Activity Hours Per Week
ELLA 0010: Speaking / Pronunciation 4 2
ELLA 0011: Listening 4  
ELLA 0012: Reading/Vocabulary 4  
ELLA 0013: Writing/Grammar 4 2