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 2017 ECP Winter Session
Class Descriptions Classes available this winter
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) 
  • Spring/Summer (May to July)

Most series of classes are ten weeks long and students meet once each week for 2 hours.

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

2017 ECP Winter Session

Most series of classes in the Winter 2017 Program will begin the week of January 23. Additional class offerings and special opportunities will be added if available and may start later (check below or with the ECP Office for updates).

Registration will begin on December 6, 2016.

Register online by clicking any of the series of classes below.

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 teacher what they would like to learn, practise and discuss. Some classes may have occasional outings. This series runs Tuesdays at 1 to 3 p.m. and starts on January 24. Click here to register for General Conversation.

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. This class series is on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting January 25. Click here to register for Canadian Culture & History.

Let’s Discuss (LD1)

Enjoy informal discussions and share ideas on contemporary culture, current and general issues, and topics you wish talk about. For each topic, we will identify key points that you can transfer to other speaking situations.  We can also explore issues of intercultural communication (greeting/meeting/chatting/leave-taking; gestures/facial expressiveness/body language) and how understanding communication patterns can help you better ‘fit in’ to Canadian life. A Facebook group site will help guide the class (and you will be expected to participate!)  Want to try a local outing?  Suggest it to the group. This series is on Thursdays at 3 - 5 p.m. starting January 26Click here to register for Let's Disscus.

English in the City (EC1 or EC2)

This class series meets at a different city spot in a different neighbourhood each week. Practise English in real life situations and chat about social issues, popular culture, fashion, bad haircuts, relationships, cultural differences, world politics, etc. The focus is on enhancing communication skills and in developing confidence using English. Gain insights into Canadian culture, Toronto, and life at U of T, and share cross-cultural experiences. Beyond the registration cost, expect to spend about $10.00 per class on city transportation, coffee or lunch. You can expect to do some walking, so dress comfortably. Pick one of the two series of classes (Fridays 10 a.m. to noon; or Fridays at noon to 2 p.m.) Starts on January 27. Click here to register for English in the City.

Practise Speaking English for Post-Doctoral Researchers (PD3)

This class series gives International Post-Doctoral researchers practise talking about their research and other topics in English. 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 series is on Fridays at 10 a.m. to noon starting January 27. Click here to register for Practise Speaking English for Post-Doctoral Researchers.

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 class, or due to class cancellation.

Please also note that refunds are usually 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.  

Read more