ESL and ELD Programs at CIC Waterloo

The ESL and ELD curriculum are designed to help English language learners develop the skills they need to develop proficiency in everyday English and, most especially, the proficiency in academic English that will allow them to integrate successfully into the mainstream academic school program.

For many English language learners, achievement of the expectations may require them to adopt new ways of learning and new ways of interacting with others. However, growth towards full linguistic and cultural competence in English should not be at the expense of students’ own languages and cultures.

A major goal of any instructional program for English language learners should be to encourage students to value and maintain their own linguistic and cultural identities so that they can enter the larger society as bilingual and bicultural individuals in Canada and beyond.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses

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 at CIC Waterloo.

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.  Their needs differ in the following two important ways from the needs of their English language learner peers who arrived with age-appropriate schooling:  they have significant gaps in their education and therefore have more to catch up on; and, 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 the 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.

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