ERIC Number: ED481304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
English as a Second Language in Ontario Schools. People for Education Report.
Ontario students learning English as a Second Language (ESL) face serious challenges and inequities. Students are ineligible for ESL support after having been in Canada for 3 years, regardless of their ability to communicate (although the government's own ESL curriculum states that students may require from 5-7 years to acquire sufficient English fluency to cope with academic requirements). ESL only serves foreign-born students and is unavailable to students born in Canada who cannot speak English. Because of the Grade 10 Literacy Test, ESL secondary students are disadvantaged in their ability to acquire a secondary school diploma. EQAO testing results show that the achievement gap between ESL students and non-ESL students is increasing. Even though immigration in Ontario increased 23 percent in 1 year, the number of ESL teachers and programs in schools has declined significantly. In recent years, access to ESL programs has declined to the point where for the most part, only the neediest students are served. Recommendations include the following: the provincial government change the criteria that qualify students for ESL funding; the funding formula be modified to provide resources for boards to accommodate students arriving in Canada throughout the school year; class sizes be reduced; and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test be significantly modified to address language challenges of ESL students. (SM)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Educational Finance, Elementary Secondary Education, English (Second Language), Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Immigrants, Language Fluency, Language Proficiency, Limited English Speaking, Literacy Education, Second Language Learning
People for Education, P.O. Box 64, Station P, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S6, Canada. Tel: 416-534-0100; Fax: 4160536-0100; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.peopleforeducation.com.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada