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ESL - English as a Second Language

These courses are designed for English language learners who have had opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in their own language appropriate to their age or grade level. Most English language learners are in this group. These learners may be entering secondary school from elementary school alongside their English-speaking peers, or they may be entering secondary school in Ontario having recently arrived from other countries. They can read and write in their own language within the expected range for students of their age in their own country. They can build on their existing first-language skills when learning English in an ESL program.

The five ESL courses are based on levels of proficiency in English. Depending on learners’ previous experience with English, students may be placed in ESL Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. For example, a student who has been in full-time education in his or her country of origin but who has never studied English would be placed in ESL Level 1. A student who has been in full-time education in his or her own country and has studied some English might be placed in ESL Level 2 or 3 on the basis of the initial English language assessment. A student who has studied English for several years might be placed in ESL Level 3, 4, or 5 on the basis of the initial English language assessment. Students of Grade 9 age whose initial assessment indicates that they are beyond ESL Level 4 (ESLDO) should be placed directly in Grade 9 Applied English (ENG1P) or Grade 9 Academic English (ENG1D).

 
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ELD - English Literacy Development

English Literacy Development (ELD) Courses

These courses are designed for English language learners with limited prior schooling who have not had opportunities to develop age-appropriate literacy skills in any language. These students are from areas of the world where educational opportunities have not been consistently available. Their needs differ in the following two important ways from the needs of their English language learner peers who arrive with age-appropriate schooling:

  • They have significant gaps in their education and therefore have more to catch up on.

  • They need more intensive support for a longer period of time.

ELD courses provide an accelerated program of literacy development for these students.

There are five ELD courses based on levels of literacy development and proficiency in English. Depending on learners’ previous educational experience, first-language literacy skills, and knowledge of English, students may be placed in ELD Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. For example, a newly arrived student with no prior formal schooling and no first-language literacy skills would be placed in ELD Level 1. A student with some prior schooling and some knowledge of English might be placed in ELD Level 2 or 3.