Power English & Academic English

Students learning English in a classroom at Sterling College

Sterling College offers you a choice between Power and Academic English. Both courses accept students of all levels.

What is Power English?

Power English is the Sterling College general English program and its main focus is improving your fluency. You can study in this program part- or full-time. This is the right program for you if you want to:

  • Improve your speaking and listening skills
  • Improve your basic grammar
  • Use English when you travel

What is Academic English?

Academic English is an intensive English program offering highly-trained and experienced instructors, rigorous ongoing evaluation, multiple levels and a focus on progress. Graduation from the highest levels of this program satisfies the English proficiency requirements of our Pathway Partners, making Academic English the first step on your Pathway to University. We use materials from the most common standardized tests including the University Cambridge suite of exams, TOEFL, TOEIC and IELTS. You should take Academic English if you want to:

  • Improve all your English skills, especially reading and writing
  • Go to an English-speaking high school, college or university
  • Take a standardized test such as IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge (FCE, CAE, etc.)

What are the differences?

Focus on conversation and user of everyday English Focus on academic and workplace English
Emphasis on speaking and listening Emphasis on reading, writing, expanded vocabulary and fluency in more formal situations
General interest materials/topics Academic materials and topics
Weekly testing of course content Testing of content and practice doing standardized tests

Start dates

Students can start on any Monday (excluding holidays). Students choose how long they want to stay in order to reach whatever English goal they might have. Our current average length of stay is 10 weeks.

Daily Schedule (Monday to Friday)

8:30am School opens
9am - 12pm
  • Phrasal verbs, idioms, slang
  • Listening skills, grammar and vocabulary for improved fluency
  • Conversational speaking practice
  • In-depth grammar study
  • Short reading and listening exercises illustrating grammar points
  • Phrasal verbs, idioms, and expanded vocabulary
  • Paragraph and dialogue writing
  • Debating and presentation skills
12pm - 1pm Lunch
1pm - 3pm
  • Pronunciation practice
  • Pair, small group and class discussions
  • Fluency development
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing skills and vocabulary development
  • Tasks similar to those found on standardized tests
  • Preparation for taking standardized tests
3:15pm Optional activity - 2-3 times per week Optional activity - 2-3 times per week

Fridays: optional practice test for Academic English students (IELTS or another standardized test)

Level correlations (approximate)

Proficiency levels are confirmed after a placement test on the first day.

Fundamentals PRE-AE 0/1 0/A1 0-1.5 -- 0-26
Level 1 PRE-AE 1/2 A2 2-3.5 KET 26-40
Level 2 PRE-AE 2/3 A2/B1 4-4.5 KET/PET 40-54
Level 3 AE 1 3/4 B1/B2 5-5.5 PET 54-72
Level 4 AE 2/3 5/6 B2/C1 6 FCE 72-92
Level 5 AE 3/4 6/7 C1 6.5 FCE/CAE 92-100
Level 6 AE 4 8+ C2 7+ CAE/CPE 100+

Teachers and Staff

All our instructors meet or exceed standards set by our accrediting organization, Languages Canada. They are experienced, well-trained, and they know how to make learning fun. Most of our staff speak a second language and have spent time living in another country—they understand how you feel as an international student in Canada!

Promotions and Testing

In our Power English program, you can expect regular quizzes and testing as your progress through your level. Usually, a level takes 12 to 14 weeks to complete. To move up to the next level, at any point in your program you may request (or your teacher may suggest) a promotion. You will take a placement test and the combination of your result plus an assessment of your fluency by your teachers will determine whether you are ready for the next level.

Pre-Arrival Learning (PAL)

Before leaving your home country, PAL gives you access to a placement test, an English course and a thorough orientation, online.


We offerCoffee & Conversation on Mondays and a range of sightseeing, cultural and sport activities twice per week. Check out our Upcoming Events page to find out what we have planned!

Comforts of Home

Get to know your classmates better with free coffee and a snack every morning before class.

Private and Semi-Private Classes

Are you interested in private classes?

Sterling College offers custom one-on-one classes with high quality, experienced teachers. Focus on improving your chosen area of English: conversation, grammar, reading, writing, conversation, or test proficiency.

Semi-private classes are also available if friends want to study exclusively together.

Contact us to arrange private or semi-private classes, and we can get you started right away!

DLI: O19279828772
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