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English as a Second Language

The ESL curriculum is based on the belief that broad proficiency in English is essential to students' success in both their social and academic lives, and to their ability to take their place in society as responsible and productive citizens. The curriculum is designed to provide English language learners with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve these goals. Its aim is to help students become successful English language learners who can:

  • use English to communicate effectively in a variety of social settings;
  • use English to achieve academically in all subject areas;
  • take charge of their own learning, independently and in groups;
  • select and use effective learning strategies;
  • integrate confidently into mainstream courses;
  • use English effectively to advocate for themselves in all areas of their lives;
  • make a successful transition to their chosen postsecondary destination (work, apprenticeship, college, university);
  • function effectively in a society increasingly committed to the use of information technology;
  • use critical-literacy and critical-thinking skills to interpret the world around them;
  • participate fully in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of their communities and of Canada.

This culminating vision of successful English language learners identifies the language skills and capabilities required for success in Ontario's education system and for full participation in Canadian society.

ESL Support Room

Students who have recently arrived in Canada and for whom English is a second language may receive additional support. An instructor provides assistance during regular classes, resource periods and noon hour sessions. Students gain a better understanding of English as it is used in their regular courses.


ESLAOO English as a Second Language, Level 1, Open
This course builds on students' previous education and language knowledge to introduce the English language and help students adjust to their new cultural environment. Students will use beginning English language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing for everyday and essential academic purposes; use basic English language structures and simple sentence patterns in short conversations; read short adapted texts; and write phrases and short sentences. The course also provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin to adapt to their new lives in Canada.

ESLBOO English as a Second Language, Level 2, Open
This course expands students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English for everyday and academic purposes. Students will participate in conversations, in structured situations, on a variety of familiar and new topics; link English sentences to compose paragraphs; read a variety of texts designed or adapted for English language learners; and expand their knowledge of English grammatical structures and sentence patterns. The course also supports students' continuing adaptation to the Ontario school system by expanding their cultural knowledge of their new province and country.
Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 1, or equivalent

ESLCOO English as a Second Language, Level 3, Open
This course extends students' skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will make short classroom presentations; read a variety of adapted and original texts in English; and write using a variety of forms of text. Students will also expand their academic vocabulary and their study skills to facilitate the transition to the mainstream school program. This course also introduces students to the rights and responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship, and to a variety of current Canadian issues.
Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 2, or equivalent

ESLDOO English as a Second Language, Level 4, Open
This course prepares students to use English with increasing fluency and accuracy in classroom and social situations and to participate in Canadian society as informed citizens. Students will develop the reading, writing, and oral presentation skills required for success in all school subjects. They will study and interpret a variety of grade-level texts; extend listening and speaking skills through participation in discussions and seminars; write narratives, articles, and summaries in English; and respond critically to various print and media texts.
Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 3, or equivalent

ESLEOO English as a Second Language, Level 5, Open
This course provides students with the skills and strategies they need to make the transition to college and university preparation courses in English and other secondary school disciplines. Students will be encouraged to develop independence in a range of academic tasks. They will participate in debates and lead classroom workshops; read and interpret literary works and academic texts; write essays, narratives, and reports; and apply a range of learning strategies and research skills effectively. Students will further develop their ability to respond critically to print and media texts.
Prerequisite: English as a Second Language, Level 4, or equivalent

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