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Second Language Proficiency for International Students

Management studies involve a significant amount of communication related activities; from business report writing to formal oral presentations. In an attempt to alleviate some of the challenges with these activities and provide new international students with the best tools to succeed, the Telfer School of Management has put in place a series of measures to help international students deal with the added difficulty of studying in a foreign language.

At the beginning of their program, all international students must complete a language proficiency test designed by the University of Ottawa’s Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI).  The test will assess and measure relevant aspects of English proficiency needed to succeed at the B.Com level. Depending on the proficiency test score, students will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses designed by OLBI to accompany management courses.  These accompanying courses will be used as out of faculty electives, namely two ESL courses in the fall of year 1 (one to accompany ADM1300 and a stand-alone course), and a third ESL in year 2 to accompany ADM2381.

International students will have to write this proficiency test after they have been admitted to the Telfer School. This test is not part of their admission requirements but it is used to evaluate their language proficiency to allow them to register to ESL courses if needed. These ESL courses will not prolong their program or add extra units (with the exception of the Specialization in Accounting). The B.Com program requires students to take four (4) Out of Faculty elective courses. These students will simply take three (3) ESL courses amongst their four (4) Out of Faculty electives. The B.Com course sequence with ESL courses is described at http://www.telfer.uottawa.ca/bcom/assets/documents/ENG_INT_with_ESL_2012-03-27.pdf

These modifications are in line with the University’s 2020 Vision to enhance the international student experience. Given that the University wishes to increase the international student population, we must assist these students with their unique needs to ensure that they will succeed at the University of Ottawa.


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