Support for English Language Learners

SASS offers a number of programs and resources to help multilingual students be successful at university. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, we can help to further develop your language skills, improve communication, and build your confidence.

ESL Coordinator sitting at a desk with a student At SASS, we want ESL and international students to be able to communicate fluently and confidently while studying at Queen’s University. Our ESL programs feature one-to-one personalized consultations, which focus on writing, speaking, listening, and reading skills.

For example, multilingual students can book one of the popular P&P consultations (Pronunciation and Presentation Skills) to get feedback on pronunciation issues and/or practice for an upcoming oral presentation. We also offer workshops, ESL resources, and access to computer softwareInspiration and Kurzweil 3000—through the Academic Skills Lab. Students can use these supports to work independently on writing and reading skills, which can improve overall fluency.


“This program which aims to help ESL students is very helpful. For shy international students who just come to Canada, for example me in 2014, a resource like this provides a place to learn English one-to-one. In addition to English writing, it also helped me in practicing oral presentations before group meetings and my thesis defense.”

ESL ConsultationsAcademic Skills LabOnline ESL Resources

Getting Started

Book an Introductory Consultation

Multilingual students who would like language skills support should first book an introductory consultation with the ESL Program Coordinator, Alyssa Foerstner. Students can email her directly at and she will set up a convenient time to meet and talk about concerns and issues students may have related to language and academic communication skills.

Please note: ESL students who want help with writing assignments can book writing consultations in our core writing program. For more information on the Writing Centre, go here. To book a writing consultation in this program, use our online system My WC Online (

Make a Plan

During the introductory consultation, multilingual students can decide if they would like to meet again to work on particular language issues and skills. If so, together with the ESL Program Coordinator, students will make a plan by determining which language and academic communication skills they’d like to focus on, and for how many sessions.

Start Practicing and Improving

Once multilingual students have had an introductory consultation and made a plan, they can book individual 50-minute consultations with the ESL Program Coordinator by email only at

Please note ESL Program policies.

“The ESL Coordinator has offered me great help and support throughout our sessions, in terms of speaking, presenting, as well as learning how to take care of oneself as an ESL student under a North American university setting.”

Which language skill do you want to focus on?

Multilingual students can book consultations with the ESL Program Coordinator to work on any of the four language skills and these related issues:



  • General skill development (organizing ideas, self-editing, writing under pressure)
  • Grammar: feedback, identification, and practice
  • Writing for a North American audience: Structure and style
  • Academic integrity/avoiding plagiarism
  • Vocabulary development and usage
  • English Proficiency Test (EPT) preparation for Applied Science Engineering students



  • P&P – Pronunciation and Presentation Skills:
  • Practice a presentation for a course to increase fluency and confidence
  • Pronunciation assessment and practice
  • Building vocabulary, idioms, and usage



  • Improving listening and comprehension
  • Understanding lectures and participating group work
  • Developing vocabulary



  • Improving comprehension of academic readings
  • Expanding vocabulary


ESL Program Policies

In order to cancel a consultation, be sure to email the ESL Program Coordinator 12 hours in advance at

  • Failure to give sufficient notice or to appear for a scheduled appointment will result in a $25 charge added to your Queen’s account.
  • Students are limited to one appointment per week.
  • Any student who arrives more than 10 minutes late may forfeit that appointment.
  • Any student who fails to either attend or cancel an appointment may not be entitled to further services. Appeals due to extenuating circumstances should be directed to the director.


Plan to improve your English language skills this year!

  • Meet with the ESL Program Coordinator at SASS to discuss strategies you are already using to develop your language skills and get support to further improve communication.
  • Receive encouragement and get tips on ways to work on your English skills every day!


 You can do it!

Academic Skills LabAcademic Skills Lab

In addition to booking a one-to-one ESL consultation with the ESL Program Coordinator, students have the opportunity to work independently on language and academic writing skills. Together with the QLC, SASS offers students access to two new computer programs in the Academic Skills Lab:

  • Inspiration can help students brainstorm ideas, clarify thinking, and organize information
  • Kurzweil 3000 is text-to-speech software providing multilingual students with audio and visual reinforcement for reading, writing, and fluency.

Students who would like to learn more about how this software can help develop language fluency, vocabulary, and self-editing skills, can contact the ESL Program Coordinator, Alyssa Foerstner  (, to book a training session.

Online ESL Resources



Writing-related handouts from SASS, including ESL writing guides, can be found here. The slides for SASS’s workshop on plagiarism are available for download.

SASS: Helpful Writing Workshops

Grammar and Usage: Resources, Tools, and Exercises

Spelling Practice


General Writing and ESL Resources

For Graduate Students



YouTube Series: Speaking English with Stacy Hagen

Pronunciation Practice (with diagrams)

Sounds of American English

Speak Method: Pronunciation, Grammar, and More

English Pronunciation Practice (Listen & Repeat)

Useful Expressions in English




 Learning English with CBC

BBC Learning English

YouTube Series: Speaking English with Stacy Hagen

TED Talks

Rick Mercer Report

How Stuff Works

Khan Academy



Idioms and Expressions

Academic Word Lists

The Globe and Mail


Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Learning English with the CBC

Best of the Westcoast Reader

BBC Learning English



Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary