ESL Ministry

As a multicultural community, we want to support those of you whose first language is not English. Our adult ESL program helps you to learn English, become more familiar with life in Canada, and help your spiritual well-being by discussing biblical teachings. These classes are relaxed, friendly places for you to practice your English, make new friends, and get connected with people from other countries. You will learn and practise speaking, reading, listening and writing English using both our ESL books and Bible-based curriculum.

Please read through the ESL Program information below. When you scroll down, you can Join the Waitlist (registrations for classes are closed now), or Contact Us if you still have questions.

ESL header

中文?한국인?Português? Española? Pусский?

Click the icon in upper-left corner, choose language and go to the auto-translated page.

About Our ESL Program

  • Fall Semester, 2023: Monday, September 18 – Friday, November 24, 2023

    Winter Semester 2024: Monday, January 8 – Friday, March 15, 2024.

    Spring Semester, 2024: Monday, April 15 – Friday, June 21, 2024.

    Registration dates: Sunday, March 3, 2024 – Saturday, March 23, 2024 (registrations are open, if interested in the program register now).

    • Please register during the registration time before the start of each semester.
    • Before you register, please read the following information to understand and agree to the program description.
    • Our classes are free, but you must commit to at least one semester and should buy the book used in the class.
    • All NEW students must register.
  • Our ESL program offers many classes of different levels. We have a class for you no matter how long you have been speaking English!

    Our volunteer teachers are patient, encouraging and caring, and these classes are a safe place for you to practice your English, make new friends, and have fun with folks from other countries. You will have a chance to share your cultural and family experiences, and hear interesting stories from other students.

  • Our program uses ESL books that systematically progress through six English levels. Following, are the different levels with preview links of the student books that are used for them. The student books are $25 each and will be used for the whole school- year which consists of three semesters (Fall, Winter and Spring).

    There are two components to each ESL class:

    • The English language component based on the above ESL books.
    • The Bible-based component that corresponds to the English level of that class.
  • To place you in the correct English level, we will give you two assessment exercises:

    • A multiple-choice online reading test that will take 10-15 minutes
    • A speaking test by a Zoom meeting that will take 10-15 minutes
    • The results of the two tests will be reviewed by our Registration Team in order to place you in the most appropriate class and level as described above. We will also take into consideration your attendance preference and class availability.
  • ESL volunteers help students learn English and become more familiar with life in Canada. They also help students with their spiritual wellbeing by discussing biblical teachings.

    Who can apply? 

    Teacher assistants must know Jesus as their personal Saviour and be willing to become a Willingdon Church member. Teachers need to be Willingdon Church members.

    How do I get involved?

    If you are interested in teaching or co-teaching an ESL class, please fill out the volunteer form. Select “International Language Ministries” as your area of ministry, and select “ESL Teacher/Assistant” as the specific area you would like to volunteer in. After you submit the form, we will get in touch with next steps.

    We are so grateful for your interest in serving with us!

Class Schedules

(Vancouver BC times, Pacific Time Zone)

  • In-person classes will be at Willingdon church on Friday mornings only from 10:00 am – Noon.
  • Online Zoom classes will be in the weekday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.
  • All classes are taught in English, except Introductory C level classes will be in Mandarin/English, P level in Portuguese/English,  R level in Russian/English  and I level in Iranian (Farsi)/English.
  • You may sign up for an in-person OR online class. Please make sure the class you want matches with your availability before you register. Example: If you want an In-person class, you need to be available Friday mornings.

Please be ready to commit yourself to attending at least a full 10-week semester before registering.

Friday Morning 10am – 12 noon In-Person classes @Willingdon Church are offered as follows:

  • C1A Introductory 1 (Mandarin/English)
  • C2A Introductory 2 (Mandarin/English)
  • E1A Introductory 1
  • E1B Introductory 2
  • E2A Beginner
  • E3A Intermediate
  • E4A Advanced 1
  • E5A Advanced 2

Weekday Evenings 7pm – 8:30pm ZOOM On-line classes are offered as follows:

  • C2A Introductory 2 (Mandarin/English) – Mondays
  • I1A Introductory 1 (Farsi/English) – Thursdays
  • P2 Introductory 2 (Portuguese/English) – Tuesdays
  • R1 Introductory 1 (Russian/English) –  Thursdays & Fridays
  • E1A Introductory 2 – Wednesdays
  • E1B Introductory 2 – Thursdays
  • E2A Beginner – Mondays & Tuesdays
  • E3A Intermediate – Mondays & Tuesdays
  • E4A Advanced 1 – Wednesdays
  • E5A Advanced 2 – Wednesdays & Thursdays

Student Testimonies

Masahito from Japan in E4 Advanced 1 Online Class

My name is Masahito, and I came from Japan two years ago. The reason why I joined ESL at Willingdon Church was that I wanted to improve my English skills and make new friends. We study with about 10 people once a week using Zoom. In our class, I think the most useful practice was for each student to do a short presentation: for example, explaining to a tourist how to get to a destination, or instructing someone how to cook something easily. I am not good at speaking, but I realized that if I had prepared before I talked, I could speak better. Also, we learned English through studying some Bible verses. I know them in Japanese, but I sometimes don’t understand the meanings in English. Sometimes, when the teacher asked me to explain them, I couldn’t come up with words to explain them clearly. Now my next goals are to speak more fluently and explain the Bible verses more clearly.

In Japanese:


Rachel From Korea in E4 Advanced 1 In-person Class

My name is Rachel. I am retired now. When I immigrated to Canada, my English was very poor, so I really wanted to study hard but I needed to take care of my son and my husband, both of whom needed to study, so there was no time for me to do that. Later, even though I had opportunity to learn ESL for several months, I had to work and I was very sick which made it not possible for me to study.

Finally, I retired and had time, so I found Willingdon Church which combined ESL with Bible study. I really appreciate Willingdon Church giving us a chance to study the Bible in English.

Whenever I read the Bible, I am very at peace. Now, I can read the Bible in English and in Korean together, which helps me to understand better and more clearly.

The Bible studies inspire me. I find beautiful stories and I come to know how much God loves me so I love my Saviour more, too. I can also introduce Jesus not only to Koreans but also to English-speaking people.

Thanks to my English teachers who are dedicated Christians. They teach not only English but also that Jesus cares and loves us.

I hope all of you will become stronger in Christ’s love and find hope in Christ throughout the year.

In Korean:

캐나다 이민왔을때 영어가 많이 부족했습니다. 그래서 정말 공부하고 싶었는데 아들과
남편이 공부를 했기 때문에 제 몫은 없었습니다.
몇달간의 ESL후 저는 일해야 했고 많이 아프고 시간도 없어서 공부할수가 없었습니다.
마침내 저는 은퇴하였고 시간이 생겼습니다. 그리고 나는 윌링던교회에서 하는
ESL+성경공부를 발견했고 저는 윌링던 교회가 우리에게 성경을 영어로 공부할수 있게
해주신것에 감사하고 있습니다.
제가 성경을 읽을때 혹은 찬송가를 부를때 한국어와 영어를 같이 보면 더 정확하게 이해가
되어 편합니다.
성경에서 아름다운 이야기를 보고 하나님이 저를 얼마나 사랑하시는지 발견하게 되고
감동합니다. 그리고 저도 나의 구원자이신 예수님을 제일 사랑합니다. 그리고 예수님을
한국분들 뿐만 아니라 영어권에게도 소개할수 있습니다.
특별히 영어교사이신 힐다과 사라에게도 감사드립니다. 훌륭한 크리스챤으로서 영어만
이 아니라 예수님안에서 배려와 사랑을 가르쳐주십니다.
여러분 모두에게 하나님의 축복이 희망과 사랑이 함께 하시기를 바랍니다.


Rita from Brazil in E4 Advanced 1, E5 Advanced 2 Online Classes

My name is Rita. I’m from Brazil and I have been living in Vancouver since 2019. I found out about the ESL program offered by Willingdon Church and I applied to study in Level 4. At that time, the class was in-person, face-to-face. After starting the program, I discovered that there were many newcomers like me who needed help to improve the English skills in order to live and connect in the new culture.

In the beginning, I was very shy because I didn’t want to speak wrongly, but step by step I realized that the difficulty was common to other students. In the middle of 2020, because of the COVID pandemic, the classes went online. The classes are designed to teach the four basic English skills: speaking, reading, listening and writing. After these subjects, we learned about the Bible. The teachers are very friendly and volunteer their time to help us improve our English while giving us spiritual support.

Now I’m studying in level 5, where I find support to improve my English skills, to connect with other people, and to understand better the messages during the Sunday services at the church.

I appreciate very much this opportunity, the teachers, the ESL coordinator, Willingdon Church, and I’m sure this program has blessed many people culturally and spiritually. I wish the ministry will continue to grow and bless more people.

Thanks to all and God bless!

In Portuguese:

Oi pessoal,

Meu nome é Rita, sou brasileira e moro em Vancouver desde 2019.

Eu soube do programa English School Learning (ESL) oferecido pela Willingdon Church e me inscrevi para estudar, iniciando no Nível 4.Naquele momento, as aulas eram presenciais. No decorrer do programa, conheci muitos recém-chegados como eu, que precisavam de ajuda para melhorar o inglês de forma a viver e se conectar na nova cultura.

No começo, eu era muito tímida porque não queria falar errado, mas aos poucos fui percebendo que a dificuldade era comum aos outros estudantes. Em meados de 2020, por conta da pandemia do COVID, as aulas passaram a ser online.

A dinâmica da aula é a seguinte: na primeira parte são trabalhadas as 4 habilidades básicas, a saber:  escrever, falar, ler e ouvir; na segunda parte são ministrados estudos bíblicos. Os professores são amáveis, voluntariam seu tempo para nos ajudar a melhorar nosso inglês enquanto nos dão apoio espiritual.

Agora estou no nível 5, sempre encontro apoio para desenvolver minha fluência na língua inglesa, me conectar com outras pessoas e entender melhor as mensagens durante a celebração aos domingos na igreja.

Agradeço muito esta oportunidade, aos professores, o coordenador do ESL, a Willingdon Church, e tenho certeza que este programa tem abençoado muitas pessoas cultural e espiritualmente. Desejo que o ministério continue crescendo, alcançando e abençoando mais pessoas.

Obrigada. Deus abençoe a todos!

Jenny from Hong Kong in C2 Introductory 2 and E1 Introductory Online Classes

I am from Hong Kong. My name is Jenny. I know that Willington Church has free ESL English courses, both in person and online. I signed up and became an online learning English student at introductory level C1 class. After the first year was over, my teacher promoted me to enter both C2 class and E1 class. C2 class is conducted in Mandarin and English, and E1 is taught in English completely. These two classes use the same textbook, so participating in different classes for a repeated study really helps to improve my listening and expression skills. My heart is full of joy and gratitude!
All the teachers are adhering to the great love of Christ Jesus, serving voluntarily in the church, spending a lot of time preparing for the students, and never being late for class, teaching seriously!
I am a student who likes to ask questions, but the teachers never blame me, they try their best to explain and help me understand what I ask, which makes me feel grateful and I really admire them!
There’s one thing I want to emphasize, i.e. we have Bible study time in every class. It helps me to know the love and thought-provoking teachings of the Lord Jesus. I am reminded of the infinite length, height and depth of His great love!

In Chinese:

我来自香港.名字是Jenny. 我知道威灵顿教会有免费的ESL英文课程,有实体和网课。我报名参加,成为威灵顿教会在网上学习英文初级C1班的学生, 学期完结后老师提升我进入C2班和E1班,C2班是普通话和英语双向进行,E1是全程用英语上课。两个班级用的是同一本教材,参加不同的班,又能重复学习,真的有助于改善自己的听力与表达能力。心中满是欢喜与感恩!


我是一个爱发问的学生 但老师们从不责备我,想尽办法解释、帮助我明白所问。使得我心存敬佩与感谢!


Bushra from Syria in E2 Beginner Online and E3 Intermediate In-person Classes

I came to Canada about a year ago from Syria. My whole life changed after I moved here, and like every immigrant, the start was not easy. I was introduced to Willingdon church by a common friend two months after I arrived. Through the Welcome Centre and the Café, I learned about the ESL classes. I started attending first on Zoom and then got a chance to register for in-person sessions. Throughout our conversations in each class, I get a chance to hear more English, get introduced to new words, attempt to speak and get corrected when I make mistakes. I found myself getting better, especially in my conversational skills. As my English improved, I was more comfortable navigating around my community, getting groceries and meeting new people. Aside from learning English, the ESL class introduced me to new friends from around the world who share similar stories and faith as mine. Willingdon gave me an opportunity to connect with people on a spiritual level and have a family away from home.

In Arabic:

جئت إلى كندا منذ حوالي عام من سوريا. تغيرت حياتي كلها بعد أن انتقلت إلى هنا ، ومثل كل مهاجر ، لم تكن البداية سهلة. لقد تعرفت على كنيسة ويلينجدون من قبل صديق مشترك بعد شهرين من وصولي ، ومن خلال المقهى ومركز الترحيب ، تعرفت على دروس اللغة الإنجليزية كلغة ثانية. بدأت الحضور أولاً في zoom ثم حصلت على فرصة للتسجيل في الجلسات الشخصية. خلال محادثاتنا في كل فصل، أحصل على فرصة لسماع المزيد من اللغة الإنجليزية ، والتعرف على كلمات جديدة ، ومحاولة التحدث والتصحيح عندما أرتكب أخطاء. وجدت نفسي أتحسن ، خاصة في مهارات المحادثة. مع تحسن لغتي الإنجليزية ، كنت أكثر راحة في التنقل حول مجتمعي ، والحصول على البقالة والتعرف على أشخاص جدد. بصرف النظر عن تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية ، قدمني فصل اللغة الإنجليزية كلغة ثانية إلى أصدقاء جدد من جميع أنحاء العالم ، ممن يشاركونني نفس القصة والإيمان. أعطاني Willingdon فرصة للتواصل مع الناس على المستوى الروحي والحصول على عائلة بعيدة عن المنزل.

Sarai and Nisi from Mexico in E5 Advanced 2 Online Class

In México our parents and we used to go to a congregation similar to Willingdon Church. When we arrived to Canada, we felt that we needed to find a church for us to meet who have the same faith. After a while we found Willingdon Church, and we felt very welcome and comfortable. We never thought that, as a multicultural church, they gave languages lessons, and we could continue practicing and studying English, without my parents needing to pay, and it has been a blessing. We felt very comfortable and accepted in our group with our adult classmates, even though we are underage. Also, it has been a blessing that our English has improved and we have learned more about the Bible. We are very grateful to our teachers for the way they teach us.

In Spanish:

En México nuestros padres y nosotras íbamos a una congregación similar a Willingdon Church; cuando nosotros llegamos a Canadá, sentimos que necesitábamos encontrar una iglesia para seguirnos congregando. Después de un tiempo encontramos la iglesia de Willingdon y nos sentimos bienvenidos y cómodos. No nos imaginamos, que por ser una iglesia multicultural, dieran clases de idiomas, y tendríamos la oportunidad de seguir practicando y estudiando inglés, sin que mis padres tuvieran que pagar, y esto ha sido una gran bendición. Nos sentimos muy cómodas y aceptadas en nuestro grupo con nuestros compañeros adultos, aunque nosotras seamos menores de edad. También ha sido una bendición que nuestro inglés ha mejorado, y que también hemos aprendido más acerca de la Biblia. Y estamos muy agradecidas a nuestros maestros por la manera de enseñarnos.

David Lives in Bolivia and Attends Online E4 Advanced 1 Class

My name is David. I live in Cochabamba, a city located in the center of Bolivia, which is in South America. I have a Canadian friend from Vancouver, his name is Geordon Rendle who was the International President of Youth for Christ, where I serve God in my country, and he was the one who gave me references to the Willingdon Church; I looked it up on the internet, and I also found the ESL program. Since October of last year, I have been in the Advanced Level online classes, I have been very blessed with each lesson, with the teaching of the word of God, and I have also practiced and improved my English vocabulary with my new friends and teachers. I like my classes a lot, although sometimes, due to the time change, they are a bit late. In August 2021, my mom passed away and my cousin who lives in Vancouver encouraged me to go live in Canada, and now that is my plan for the following year.

In Spanish:
Mi nombre es David Lino De La Torre, vivo en Cochabamba una ciudad ubicada en el centro de Bolivia que se encuentra en Sudamérica. Tengo un amigo canadiense de Vancouver, su nombre es Geordon Rendle quien fue el Presidente Internacional de Juventud para Cristo, donde sirvo a Dios en mi país, y fue quien me dio referencias de la Iglesia Willingdon; la busqué en internet, y también encontré ESL; desde octubre del año pasado estoy en las clases en línea del nivel avanzado, he sido muy bendecido con cada lección, con la enseñanza de la palabra de Dios, y también he practicado y mejorado mi vocabulario en inglés con mis nuevos amigos y maestros. Mis clases me gustan mucho aunque a veces por el cambio de horario son un poco tarde. En agosto de 2021, mi mamá falleció y mi prima que vive en Vancouver me animó a irme a vivir a Canadá, y ahora ese es mi plan para el siguiente año.

Antonina from Kyrgyzstan in E5 Advanced 2 In-person Class

My name is Antonina Kim, I have lived in Canada BC for 16 years. English is my second language and I always had a goal to improve my speaking, listening and grammar skills. I heard about the ESL classes provided by Willington church and decided to apply for it. I went through testing and was directed to the Advance Class.

I did not know that the lessons were going to consist of two parts: one hour is grammar, listening and communication and the second hour is Bible study. I like both parts. In the second part of our lessons, I learned so much more about Jesus. I am improving not only in my English skills but also growing spiritually. We have a lot of fun in our lessons. It is a very friendly environment, we share our stories from our lives, cultural differences as my classmates are from different countries. I am so grateful for this opportunity from Willingdon Church, and big thanks to our teachers for their kindness, patience and love.

In Russian:

Меня зовут Антонина Ким, я прожила в канаде 16 лет и всегда старалась улучшить свой Англииский, так как это мои второй язык. Я узнала что Вилиндон церковь набирает студентов на Английские курсы и  решила записаться . Прошла тестирование и меня определили в адванс группу. Я не знала что класс будет состоять из двух частей, первый час это грамматика, разговор, новые слова, прослушивание диалогов, а второй час это изучение библии. Мне нравятся обе части. Во второй части наших уроков я узнала очень много об Иисусе более глубже и шире. На этих занятиях я улучшаю не только свой английский но и расту духовно. Наши уроки проходят очень весело в дружеской обстановке. Мы делимся историями из нашей жизни, особенностями наших культур так как студенты из разных стран. Я очень благодарна Вилингдон церкви за эту предоставленную возможность и большое спасибо нашим учителям за их доброту, терпение и любовь которую они проявляют к нам .