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Academic English Coaching

The Student Learning Common’s Academic English Coaching program offers free, one-to-one English language support for students for whom English is an additional language.

Note: This service is only available to registered undergraduate SFU students. Non-SFU students, including visiting scholars, post doctorate students and FIC students are not eligible.


1. Register and create a WCOnline account

To participate in the program, fill out the online registration form and create a WCOnline account with your SFU email, if you do not have an existing account created already.

2. Attend an orientation session (online)

You will learn about the coaching model, how it differs from other services offered by the Student Learning Commons, and what the program expectations are. You will also have an opportunity to work with student volunteers to help you write your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals. Your goals may be related to any aspect of improving your English, such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, note-taking, and/or vocabulary development. Orientation e-mails will be sent out each week until the program is full.

aec goal setting

Download the printer-friendly poster detailing the steps of the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals used in the orientation session.

The SMART Goal Setting Steps Poster (text version)

To make the most of your Academic English Coaching sessions, follow this process for setting goals:

  1. CREATE SOME GOALS FOR YOURSELF THIS TERM SPECIFIC: Think about Who, what, when, where, and why.
  2. MEASUREABLE: Establish criteria for measuring progress towards achieving your goal. How will you know when your goals have been accomplished?
  3. ACHIEVABLE: Your goals should be set such that you will be willing and able to accomplish them. Are you at least 50% sure you will accomplish it?
  4. RELEVANT: Goals should fit with your immediate and long-term plans.
  5. TIME-FRAME SPECIFIC: Aim to accomplish your goals during a certain time frame. For example, “I will write for 30 minutes each day.

REMEMBER: Find the desire within yourself to achieve your goals. If you experience setbacks, try not to become discouraged, but rather learn from it! Make necessary adjustments and continue striving for your goals. Be aware that it takes time to form new habits; be patient with the process. You may find goal setting somewhat challenging at first; it will get easier with practice.


3. Booking 

After the orientation session, you will be able to book your first 3 sessions. Each session is 50 minutes. Your coach will book subsequent sessions, if available. You can expect to have up to 5 coaching sessions in total. We would recommend booking with the same facilitator each time every two weeks to make the most out of your sessions. If you are late to your consultation, or need to change or cancel your consultation, please email learning-commons@sfu.ca asap.

4. Meet with your coach 

In your first meeting with your coach, you are invited to share your SMART goal plan and/or create new goals with the help of your coach. Your coach will also recommend services, supports, and resources aimed at helping you meet your goals, both weekly and semester-long goals. You may be asked to complete tasks related to achieving your goals between sessions and come to your next sessions ready to share your progress with your coach. You are welcome to bring course materials or assignments to your coaching sessions to help you in achieving your SMART goals. Please keep all communication between you and your coach within your scheduled consultation times, and refrain from contacting your coach by e-mail outside of these times.

Consultation Terms of Service and Agreement

If you are late to your consultation, or need to change or cancel, please email learning-commons@sfu.ca.

NO-SHOW POLICY: If you don’t show up for an appointment and didn’t request a cancellation, your appointment will be marked as a no-show. After a second occurrence you will lose booking privileges for the remainder of the semester. 

CANCELLING A BOOKING: If you cannot come for your appointment, you may use the online booking system to cancel the appointment 5 hours or more in advance. Appointments that are cancelled within 5 hours of the start time will be marked as a late cancellation.

If you have more than three late cancellations during the same term, you may be blocked from booking further SLC appointments for the rest of the term, or until you reach out to us at learning-commons@sfu.ca

5. Bundles 

Bundle your coaching sessions with other SLC services, such as the Conversation Partners Program, Let's Talk, Vancouver Stories, A Taste for ConversationWriting/Learning Consultations, Read Ahead (Graduate students only), Write Away (Undergraduate students only), or SLC workshops.

6. Complete the Program

After attending 3 or more sessions, you will be eligible to receive co-curricular (CCR) credit for participating in the coaching program. You are welcome to register again in subsequent semesters, but new students will have priority.

Student status
Consultation preference
Have you participated in this program before?

The information on this form is collected under the authority of the University Act (R.S.B.C. 1996, c.468). It is related directly to and needed by the University for services provided by the SFU Library. The information will be used to administer the Academic Literacy Coaching for Multilingual Students program. If you have any questions about the collection, use and disclosure of this information please contact Gwen Bird, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, at 778-782-3265 or gbird@sfu.ca.​