English Acquisition

English Acquisition

English Acquisition (EA) is a specialized English language course for students whose first language is not English.

Language learners typically develop proficiency in social English quite quickly, but need intensive study to develop sufficient levels of academic English, which has much more complex vocabulary and grammatical structures.

The EA course prepares students for academic success. Developing students’ academic English supports progress within all subjects across the curriculum.

EA is ideal for international students studying in Canada. Students learn what it means to be Canadian. Emphasis is placed on deepening an awareness and appreciation of Canadian culture, as well as international mindedness in a multi-cultural community.


What is the typical class size?

EA classes are intentionally smaller than regular classes. We aim to have a maximum of 10 students in each class. This ensures more individualized teaching for each student, and provides a supportive environment in which to develop confidence. It allows greater opportunities for students to practise spoken and written English, and receive individualized feedback to develop their language skills.

Is English Acquisition just another name for ELL or ESL?

No. Traditional ELL/ESL programs are often a ‘quick fix’ approach, which fills a gap in subject knowledge but does little to develop language skills long-term. The GNS English Acquisition program empowers students with language skills and creates academic gain for students across all their subjects. Students are taught the craft, processes and structures of language, from the perspective of a language learner’s needs.

Do all international students take the EA course?

No. The EA course is for students with beginner level and intermediate level English language proficiency. Students with advanced level proficiency are equipped to cope with the curriculum without additional language support. Students’ proficiency is assessed as part of the Admissions process. Students’ language levels are regularly assessed as part of the EA program, and progress is communicated through regular report cards, as with other subjects. Our school programs are highly demanding, with challenging academic language demands. Our goal is to ensure that students are well prepared for academic success.

What our students say about EA:

It was really cool to share things from our own culture, and learn to respect cultural differences.
– Pim

I like that there are many other international students at GNS. It’s fun making friends with students from other countries. It meant a lot to me to meet other students from my home culture too. I loved that.
– Diego

My confidence quickly grew because we were asked to share our opinions frequently, and exchange ideas with others.
– Melody

We can learn more in small classes.
– Robin

EA is learning about language, culture and experiences. And having fun!
– Jiyoung