The English Communication Program (ECP) is a non-credit program that gives you the opportunity to develop your communication skills in English (especially verbal/spoken), gain insight into Canadian culture and life at U of T, and share cultural experiences.


This program is open to all international and exchange students at U of T.


How it works Program timeline
Schedule 2018 Summer Term
Class Descriptions Classes available
Attendance & Refund Attendance & refund policy for the English Communication Program
English tips Practical guide to English in Canada

How it works

Classes are facilitated by volunteers who have teaching, cross-cultural, and international experience.

There are three ECP sessions throughout the year:  

  • Fall (September to November/December)
  • Winter (January to March) 
  • Summer (May to July)

Most series of classes (but not all) are ten weeks long and students meet once each week for 2 hours. Please take note of the start date, time and duration of the class series you are interested in (some classes start in a different week or end at different times due to availability of instructors).

The fee for each regular ECP class series is $15 (for registrants who already pay U of T student incidental fees).

2018 Summer Term

The English Communication Program will not be held during the 2018 Summer Term. We encourage those who are interested to browse the class offerings for this past 2018 Winter Term (listed below) and to check back in August regarding information for the 2018 Fall Term.

Thank you to all of the individuals who participated in the ECP during the 2017 Fall and 2018 Winter Terms!

Class Descriptions

General Conversation (GC1)

This class series allows for general conversation, which can include discussion of Canadian culture, the explanation and use of idioms (figures of speech) and some practical, everyday English. Students can (and should!) tell the instructor what they would like to learn, practise and discuss. Some classes may have occasional outings.


English in the City (EC1 or EC2)

Meet in different neighbourhoods and city spots each week to walk, tour, talk and take photos. Practise English in real-life situations and chat about topics such as social issues, popular culture, entertainment, media, fashion, and cultural differences.  Enhance your communication skills, share cross-cultural experiences, gain unique insights into Canadian culture, and explore what's best about Toronto.  We will be doing some walking, so dress comfortably.  Expect to spend about $10.00 per class on city transportation, coffee or lunch. Suggestions are welcome! 


Practise Speaking English for Post-Doctoral Researchers (PD1)

This series of classes gives International Post-Doctoral Researchers practice talking about their research and other topics in English. The class will cover English grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary expansion and will provide opportunities to practise speaking. The goal is to help participants improve their English speaking and listening skills important for academic presentations, answering questions, interviews, and conversations with co-workers, supervisors, and new friends in Canada. This class is for learners who currently have high intermediate English proficiency.


Canadian Culture & History (CCH1)

This class series allows students to actively discuss and learn about Canadian culture and history. It is loosely based on The Royal Canadian Air Farce’s version of “Canada: A People’s History”, a comedy TV show with a hilarious take on prominent Canadian historical figures. Gain insight into Canadian life and Canada as we know it as we move from the past to the present.


Let’s Talk – Conversation (LT1)

Enjoy a lively exchange of ideas on topics such as contemporary culture, entertainment, current and general issues, beliefs and values, globalization & interculturalism, social media, cross-cultural experiences and communication.  Throughout the class series, we'll share simple pronunciation and vocabulary building tips and highlight best discussion practices.  A participatory Facebook group site will help guide the class.  Want to try a local outing?  Have a topic you'd like to discuss?  Suggestions are welcome!


Attendance policy

Due to the high demand for our classes and out of respect for the many students who wish to take our classes but cannot get in, we have implemented the following attendance policy:

If you miss two classes without notifying your instructor or the ECP office you will be dropped from the class and a student from the waiting list will be admitted in your place.

Refund policy

No refunds will be given after the second scheduled class or due to class cancellation.

Please also note that refunds are only processed once per month.

English language tips

This page provides some basic information and vocabulary to help you navigate University and city interactions in English.