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English Language Learners (ELL)

The TCDSB aims to provide all English Language Learners opportunities to successfully develop their skills in English while fostering a school community formed by Catholic beliefs and traditions.

Ontario’s increasing linguistic and cultural diversity provides many opportunities for cultural enrichment and global education for all students. At the same time, because of the variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds that students have, schools need to provide language programs to ensure that all students develop the level of proficiency in English required for success at school and in post-secondary education and the workplace.

Funding for the "newcomer component" of the Language Grant is based on the actual number of students who meet the newcomer criteria. This criterion includes entry date into Canada and country of birth. Funding for the "Pupils in Canada" component is based on census data. Both of these pieces of information are used to estimate the number of students in a school board that may require English language support. Some students who generate funding may not require ESL or ELD support, while others who do not generate funding may require support; therefore, provision of programming/services to any individual English language learner is not directly tied to funding amounts.

Support Programs for English Language Learners (ELLs)

For their first few years in Ontario schools, many English language learners (ELLs) take one of two distinct language-support programs, where they receive direct support from teachers who specialize in meeting their language learning needs:

English As a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is other than English or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.

English Literacy Development (ELD) programs are for newcomers whose first language is other than English or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools. Students in these programs are generally from countries in which their access to education has been limited, or where they may have had limited opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in any language. As a result, they may have significant gaps in their education. Some Indigenous students from remote communities may also have had limited opportunities for formal schooling, and they also may benefit from ELD instruction.

English Language Learners (ELLs) in Elementary Schools

In the Elementary panel, schools are responsible for identifying, assessing, and programming for English language learners.

English Language Learners (ELLs) in Secondary Schools

Newly arrived secondary school students whose first language is not English must be processed through the Orientation Centre before they are placed in a TCDSB secondary school.

Inquiries regarding ESL/ ELD courses and programs should be directed to TCDSB's ELL Resource Teacher (K-12) at (416) 222 - 8282 ext. 2726.

Newcomer Services

There are a variety of agencies in Ontario and throughout Canada that provide services for immigrants and refugees, who make up our newcomer population. Click on Newcomer Services for a list of the many sources for assistance in newcomer issues such as settlement, education, and employment.