Who is eligible to register for ELWS courses?
You must currently be a University of Toronto student taking courses at the graduate level (master's or PhD) in order to register for ELWS courses. While our courses are free, the program itself is funded through the fees paid by graduate students.
This means that the following groups are
ineligible to take ELWS courses:
Please note: ELWS does not make any exceptions regarding course eligibility. We also do not allow auditors in our courses as space is limited and the courses are designed for dynamic interaction between students and instructors.
Non-U of T Students
International Visiting Graduate Students (see
IVGS Study Abroad Agreement, Terms of the Study Abroad Agreement, Section D)
Those who are ineligible to take ELWS courses should consider attending our single-session workshops. ELWS workshops are open to the U of T community – anyone is welcome to attend and registration is not required.
Postdoctoral fellows wishing to take English language courses should contact the Postdoctoral Office:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-946-5254, or the School of Continuing Studies:
email@example.com or 416-978-2400.
Who can I contact if I need help choosing courses?
If you need any help in choosing the course that is best suited to your needs, contact Dr. Rachael Cayley either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 416-946-0645. Dr. Cayley is also available for in-person consultations; please call to make an appointment.
Will there be a lot of homework assignments for the courses I take?
We understand that you are busy with assignments and deadlines in your regular graduate program, and thus we keep homework to a minimum. That said, we cannot help you improve your writing/speaking unless we see your work. Wherever possible, we base “homework” assignments on the writing/speaking that you are currently completing in your department.
For example, in the Oral Presentation Skills course, you are invited to give a presentation that you will actually be giving in a course or at a conference. In the writing courses, instructors provide you with valuable individualized feedback based on the writing errors they see in the writing samples you submit: samples that may consist of proposals, course papers, or thesis chapters that you are working on as part of your graduate study.
Will the courses I take at ELWS be included in my transcript?
No, the non-credit courses you take at ELWS will not be included on your transcript; however, if you would like your supervisor to know that you are taking our courses, we would be happy to contact him or her.
Will I receive a grade for the courses I take?
No, you will not receive a grade for any of our courses, but you will receive detailed, constructive feedback on written and oral work.
What should I do if I have to miss a class?
Please contact your instructor by email and inform him or her of the reason for your absence before class. Please note that ELWS has a strict attendance policy. Students who do not attend regularly will be blocked from registering in the following course session.
What should I do if I have to drop a course?
If you wish to drop a course or remove yourself from a waiting list, please visit the
Find Your Courses page. Enter your email to view and/or cancel your registration before the course begins. The
Find Your Courses page will not list your course or allow you to drop a course after midnight of the course start date.
If you wish to drop a course after it has started, please contact our office at
email@example.com. Please be aware that unless you inform your instructor about your reason, students who miss a class without a legitimate reason will be blocked from registering in the first session of the next term.
Where is the location of the course I am taking?
Your course location will appear in your registration confirmation email.
Most of our courses and workshops are located in the following buildings:
- AB – Astronomy & Astrophysics Building, 50 St. George Street
- BA – Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street
- BF – Bancroft Building, 4 Bancroft Avenue
- BL – Claude T. Bissell Building, 140 St. George Street
- GB – Galbraith Building, 35 St. George Street
- GRAD ROOM – Grad Room Lower-Level, 66 Harbord Street
- HA – Haultain Building, 170 College Street (rear of)
- IN – Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue
- OI – Ont. Inst. for Studies in Education/U of T, 252 Bloor Street West
- RT – Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, 105 St. George Street
- SGS – School of Graduate Studies, 63 St. George Street
- SS – Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street
- UC – University College, 15 King’s College Circle
- WO – Woodsworth College Residence, 321 Bloor Street West
- WW – Woodsworth College, 119 St. George Street
Please visit the campus map to find out exactly how to get to your course.
Some of the courses are offered to students in Divisions 1, 2, 3, or 4. How do I find out which Division I'm in?
The School of Graduate Studies has
four Divisions. Division 1 is the Humanities. Division 2 is the Social Sciences. Division 3 is the Physical Sciences. Division 4 is the Life Sciences.
What are the main differences between the workshops and the courses?
Courses require more commitment and they provide more help than single-session workshops. You must register for the courses before they start, but you can show up at any workshop without registering in advance. During a six-week course, your teacher will provide you with feedback on your written or oral assignments in order to help you to identify and address specific problems in your oral/written communication.
The workshops, on the other hand, provide only limited opportunity for individual feedback. Each workshop focuses on a particular writing challenge, and the teacher provides examples, guidelines, and exercises designed to help students meet that particular challenge. (If the workshop is on the use of articles, for example, then the teacher will examine the sorts of problems graduate students might encounter with articles and provide exercises to enable students to apply what they are learning.) Many students who register for courses also choose to attend specific workshops relevant to their needs.
What kinds of help can I get at a one-on-one writing appointment?
Students are invited to bring pieces of academic writing at any stage. Instructors can help you to get your ideas into the form of an outline, to assess the effectiveness of your paper’s structure, to evaluate the clarity of your writing, or to identify and avoid stylistic and grammatical errors. The writing appointments are not a proofreading service. They are designed to help you to learn how to evaluate and improve your own writing.
Does ELWS provide proofreading services?
ELWS is not a proofreading service. Our mandate is to teach students to improve their own writing and speaking. In our courses, workshops, and consulting appointments, students are taught to identify and address the problems in their writing. While we recognize that this process takes much longer than a quick copy edit, we also know that students are not well served by becoming dependent on our writing skills instead of developing their own.
Are there other resources available to help me improve my writing?
Numerous online resources are available to assist you as you continue to improve your writing/speaking. Check the
Additional Resources page on the ELWS website for lists of both off- and on-campus resources.