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ESL Program Overview 416
ESL Program Overview


Our Department offers all five levels of English as a Second Language. Students newly arrived to Canada are tested and then placed in the appropriate level by assessors at the York Region District School Board’s Reception Centres.  These courses are designated according to levels of proficiency in English and literacy development, not necessarily by grade. They are intended for students whose first language is a language other than English.
Other departments in our school offer ESL subject specific courses at the applied and academic levels in the following compulsory courses:  grade 9 and grade 10 science, gr. 9 geography, gr. 10 history, and grade 10 civics and careers.  We also offer optional courses in business and family studies. 
Course Strands
The content in each of the English as a Second Language courses is organized into four interrelated strands or broad areas of learning: 
  • listening and speaking,
  • reading,
  • writing,
  • socio-cultural competence and media literacy.  
ESL Curriculum Expectations -Strands and the Ministry of Ontario Expectations
Listening and Speaking
The Listening and Speaking strand has three overall expectations, as follows:
Students will:
  1. demonstrate the ability to understand, interpret, and evaluate spoken English for a variety of purposes;
  2. use speaking skills and strategies to communicate in English for a variety of classroom and social purposes;
  3. use correctly the language structures appropriate for this level to communicate orally in English.
The Reading strand has three overall expectations, as follows:
Students will:
  1. read and demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts for different purposes;
  2. use a variety of reading strategies throughout the reading process to extractmeaning from texts;
  3. use a variety of strategies to build vocabulary;
  4. locate and extract relevant information from written and graphic texts for a variety of purposes.
The Writing strand has four overall expectations, as follows:
Students will:
  1. write in a variety of forms for different purposes and audiences;
  2. organize ideas coherently in writing;
  3. use correctly the conventions of written English appropriate for this level, including grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation;
  4. use the stages of the writing process.
Socio-cultural Competence and Media Literacy
The Socio-cultural Competence and Media Literacy strand has four overall expectations, as follows:
Students will:
  1. use English and non-verbal communication strategies appropriately in a variety of social contexts;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, and of the contributions of diverse groups to Canadian society;
  3. demonstrate knowledge of and adaptation to the Ontario education system;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of, interpret, and create a variety of media works.

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