English Language Learners

Limestone Learning Foundation
English language learners (ELLs) are students in provincially funded English language schools whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English1 that is significantly different from the variety used for instruction in Ontario’s schools, and who may require focused educational supports to assist them in attaining proficiency in English.

These students may be Canadian born or recently arrived from other countries. They come from diverse backgrounds and school experiences, and have a wide variety of strengths and needs. (ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS ESL AND ELD PROGRAMS AND SERVICES: Policies and Procedures for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12).


English as a Second Language (ESL) is available to all students in the Board, either through direct itinerant support with a qualified ESL teacher, or indirect support from the ESL teacher via the classroom teacher.

An initial assessment is completed using the Ministry STEP assessment tool and placement shared with the classroom teacher. ELLs are integrated into the regular classroom, exposed to the English language daily, but also with encouragement to share their first Language. These students learn the English language at the same time as they are learning and achieving Ontario curriculum expectations. The program maximizes exposure to survival English skills and to the pre-teaching and teaching of subject specific language and vocabulary. Itinerant ESL teachers use a variety of support models based on student need and ranging from: individual one-on-one support, small group support and/or in-class support through a shared model all year long, or in strategic week blocks of time.

Parents should contact the school principal when registering, and the connection will be made to the ESL teachers.


A full-time, full-year English as a Second Language (ESL) program for students who need to finish their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) is available to secondary students. The program maximizes exposure to English in the first two years. The program promotes integration into the regular high school setting as quickly as each individual student can handle the transition. Co-op opportunities are available to help students acquire marketable skills and learn about future careers through on-the–job training with community employers. Individualized assessment of language level and previous academic background is considered. Where required, students are offered individualized counseling for language program, for integration into the school system and community.

Depending on the level of each student, appropriate ESL classes, sheltered curriculum classes and regular classes are built into customized timetables. Sheltered classes can include: civics and career studies, science, business computers, geography and history. Credits in physical education, visual art or music (performance an/ or vocal), communication technology or other computer courses, technical studies and peer tutoring are suggested to enhance English skills and to encourage a well-rounded education.

Secondary schools offering courses:

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.