[Skip to Content]
HWDSB Building

English as a Second Language

A+ A-

The Elementary ESL Program teaches children in grades 1 to 8 how to communicate in English effectively. A strong command of the English language will help make your child successful in Canadian society.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are supported by System Itinerant ESL/ELD Teachers. While every elementary school in HWDSB has access to a System Itinerant ESL/ELD Teacher, the amount of support available to schools depends upon the number of ELLs in the school population.

Some schools have a full-time System Itinerant ESL/ELD teacher on-site providing students in the early stages of language acquisition with English language literacy instruction or in-class support. Many schools have a System Itinerant ESL/ELD teacher making daily or weekly scheduled visits. These teachers also provide regularly scheduled literacy instruction or in-class support to the ELLs in those schools. Other schools have a System Itinerant ESL/ELD teacher who visits the school periodically to work with staff on effective instructional strategies for ELLs in their classes.

When working with students, the System Itinerant ESL/ELD teachers employ a Balanced Literacy approach, adapted for ELLs, that allows students to acquire English literacy skills and develop oral communication proficiency by simultaneously developing reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through authentic, meaningful tasks. The System Itinerant ESL/ELD teachers also provide support to student learning in all other subject areas through in-class support and capacity-building with their colleagues.

Additional Links:

Practical Guide for Ontario Educators Gr 1 – 8

Many Roots Many Voices

If you have any further questions regarding ESL/ELD programming, please contact the HWDSB Welcome Centre at 905-521-2554.

How to get Started

The first step in enrolling your son or daughter in the Elementary ESL program.

An ESL Assessment

  • Gathers information regarding educational history and background
  • Assesses students to determine proficiency in Mathematics, English and first language.
  • Identifies the appropriate level of language and literacy acquisition.
  • Informs teachers of program adaptations and instructional strategies.
  • Provides information on programs available within the school board and the community.

Who Needs to be Assessed?

  • Students who are new to Canada, entering the Ontario school system for the first time and whose first language is not English.
  • Grades 1 – 8 students who are re-entering the Ontario school system after an absence of two or more years and whose first language is not English
  • Grades 9 – 12 students who are re-entering the Ontario school system after an absence of one term
  • Any students from a French-language school in Canada.
  • All International students.
  • All students who attended schools where English was not the language of instruction.

NOTE:  Children entering junior or senior kindergarten are not assessed at the Welcome Centre.

Documents that may be needed at the Assessment

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Immigration Documents
  • Permanent Resident Card or Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Proof of Address and Telephone Number
  • School documents (report cards, transcripts), if available

How does a Newcomer register a child in grades 1-8?

  • Parents and children go to their home school to be registered.
  • The school registers child(ren) and processes information.
  • The school makes an appointment for the family with the Welcome Centre.
  • Children can begin attending school as soon as they are registered.
  • Child(ren) and parent(s)/guardian(s) attend the Welcome Centre for the scheduled appointment with required documentation.

Phone (905) 521-2554 and book an assessment today!

Updated on Tuesday, March 03, 2020.
Back to the top