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Canadian Culture and Identity for English Language Learners

Course Code: ELLA 0125
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: English Language Learning and Acquisition
Credits: 1.5
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This is an integrated skills course for English language learners who wish to improve their English skills while learning about Canadian society and culture. Emphasis will be on participating in extended communicative situations. Complexity of language and tasks will vary depending on the needs and language level of the learners.

Course Content

  1. Topics for reading, writing, listening, and speaking skill development tasks will include some or all of the following according to learner needs and interest.
    • What is culture?
    • Identity
      • exploring personal identity (e.g. names, hobbies, interests, possessions, family)
      • comparing home country and Canadian symbols and national identities
    • Adjusting to Canada
      • dealing with homesickness and culture shock
      • living in an English speaking environment
      • living with a homestay/Canadian family
      • adapting to new weather, food, accommodations
      • studying in a Canadian college
      • integrating in the community (resources/community connections)
      • making new friends and dating
      • making the most of free time
      • understanding nonverbal behaviours
    • Canadian Society and Culture
      • provinces, major cities, metro Vancouver, local community
      • Canadian customs (e.g. weddings, holidays)
  2. Conversational gambits for the following functions will be covered in context according to learner needs.
    • asking for information
    • asking for permission
    • asking for help
    • asking for clarification
    • starting and stopping a conversation
    • keeping a conversation going

Methods of Instruction

The instructor will facilitate, observe, and evaluate students’ participation in communicative activities. Whole and small group instruction will be combined with individual assistance and student-directed learning. Students will participate in the setting of goals by identifying their communicative and language development needs.

Means of Assessment

Student achievement will be assessed using the mastery system in accordance with College policy. The following is one example of assessment components and weighting:

25% Class participation
25% Reflective journal
15% Three community contact assignments
15% One research project with a presentation
20% Language quizzes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, learners will have:

  1. improved their English skills;
  2. become aware of the role of culture in their language learning and social interaction by recognizing the importance of cultural norms in interaction and by expressing their feelings about learning English, about homesickness, and about adjusting to Canada cultural values and expectations; and
  3. become better intercultural communicators by using culturally appropriate language, by developing an understanding of nonverbal behaviours in Canada, and by learning about Canadian society and culture.

course prerequisites

Instructor Permission

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.