Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo

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 200- and 300- level classes. Please contact the departmental assistant for further details: 604-527-5463, or email

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.

What can I do 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.



Weekly Hours

Lab/Weekly Hours

Other Educational activities/Weekly Hours


ELLA 0010: Speaking/Pronunciation





ELLA 0011: Listening

4  2



ELLA 0012: Reading/Vocabulary





ELLA 0013: Writing/Grammar




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

When will I be ready to study College-level courses?

After you complete four (4) courses at ACE Level 2 and at least three (3) of the four (4) courses at ACE Level 3, you will be able to take College-level courses. (Please note that the Departments of English, Communications and Creative Writing are currently discussing entry requirements in their courses in light of the new ELLA curriculum.)