Innovative Intensive English Program (IIEP)

ESL Certificate Program


CIC is a leading English as a Second Language (ESL) provider specializing in ESL intensive programs with small class sizes. Whether students are interested in preparing for a college/university education or improving English communication skills for personal or professional reasons, the Intensive English Program (IIEP) offers a rewarding learning experience in a multicultural setting.

For students who do not meet the Canadian Independent College English language requirements, completion of the Intensive English Program provides the opportunity for direct entry into College diploma, postgraduate and degree programs.

The IIEP Has 9 Levels 
The IIEP offers full-time English as a Second Language instruction through 9 possible levels. Each level is 8 weeks long:

  • The 8th level will prepare you for diploma (OSSD) studies at CIC. Successful completion of this level is accepted by CIC as the equivalent of a TOEFL score of 550 (213, Computer Based/79-80, Internet Based) and qualifies you in English to be admitted to most professional programs in College or other post secondary institutions.
  • Students who plan to pursue a degree program or postgraduate program may continue after level 8 to complete an 8-week Academic Preparation option. This Level 9 will prepare you for direct entry into other postgraduate  and degree programs.
  • Students interested in business English courses may choose to enrol in ESL Business after completing level 5.

In-class instruction, tutoring, and ESL conversation groups, as well as language software programs in the ESL computer lab, are all part of the CIC Intensive English Program.

Some Program Highlights

  • Convenient central location in the heart of the city of Waterloo. Dynamic downtown cultural community.
  • Access to all college facilities, including free internet and computer use, cafeteria, gymnasium and exercise room.
  • A helpful staff is available to assist students and can provide service in several languages if necessary.
  • Our on-campus resources include a student library and a multi-media computer lab for computer-assisted language learning.
  • Access to videos, tapes, books and periodicals in our ESL Resource Centre.
  • Outside of regular classroom instruction, IIEP students are able to engage in informal discussions in our new conversation group guided by experienced language tutors.
  • An on-site advisor is available to provide assistance in choosing post-secondary program options.

Program Duration and Timetable
Each IIEP session runs for 8 weeks. New students are tested the week before the program starts to determine their English ability and their starting level. In the eighth week of their session, students are tested for promotion to the next level.

Students in the IIEP program study 110 hours per level, from Monday through Friday with a timetable that differs each day. The schedule allows for independent study in the Language Computer Lab, the opportunity to join a Conversation Group or get help from an English tutor.

Teaching Staff
All professors are highly qualified TESL certified university graduates and many have international teaching experience. Our professors are involved in the training of new ESL teachers, and practice according to the highest professional standards and current methodologies.

The ESL Adult Program
The ESL Adult Program at CIC is designed for students who are planning to enter the work force or start a small Business; and is available to students in the 7th or 8th levels of our Intensive English Program.

The program focuses on real life communication skills required in business settings:

  • Listening skills for lecture comprehension
  • Pronunciation practice for clear communication
  • Writing effective paragraphs and summaries
  • Reading business-related articles
  • Free discussions of marketing, finance, the stock market, corporate governance and structure, among others
  • Projects and activities include simulated investment portfolios, case studies, Internet research assignments, marketing simulations, and business oriented field trips.

Intensive English Program
Session Dates 

(8 week sessions)

Start dates:


The Intensive English Program starts at the beginning of each month.               

** Students must bring their registration receipt to take the Placement Test.


  • Each 8-week level costs $2,200  dollars (including administrative / material fee); an extra $120  lab/testing  fee is payable for the first ESL session.
  • A one-time $150 non-refundable application fee is required before issuing a Letter of Acceptance

Students are also required to purchase textbooks in levels 3-9. The cost is approximately $75 every 16 weeks.

**Prices are subject to change without notice.

Teaching English as a Second Language at CIC Waterloo
The Language Studies team at CIC has been training ESL instructors and students in several locations worldwide and our work in this field is well respected and recognized both locally and internationally.

The Language Program provides a solid grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching English as a Second Language in Canada and abroad. Courses introduce students to key concepts in linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics. Participants gain a thorough knowledge of phonetics and phonology, English grammatical structures, and the specific methods and techniques required to teach English as a Second Language. The practical aspects of ESL teaching are also examined. Students are required to engage in classroom observations, listening skills, and practice teaching.

Customized group programs for 8 or more students.