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English Language Learners

ESL Literacy

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are provided for students needing English Language Instruction. Students can take as many as 5 ESL courses in English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Writing. ESL students are integrated for the remainder of the time in courses including Physical Education, Art and other elective areas. Testing occurs regularly and, if space permits, students are promoted as soon as they are able to move to a higher level of English instruction.  For more information, contact Ms. S. Ringdahl by calling the school at (604) 713-8233.

The Beginning Level

Students who have had little or no English language instruction take two English 1 level courses: ESL 1 ENGLISH and ESL 1 WRITING. Although these two courses have different content and often different methods of teaching, they are similar in that they emphasize a beginning use of English. Students are introduced to the very basics of the English language: its sounds (listening and repeating), basic vocabulary, word order, sentence and question formation, simple tenses, and spelling. Students learn their first 1000 words in the context of practical, everyday life topics necessary for getting along in their new English-speaking environment.  The Beginning level student also takes two content courses in Socials and Science, ESL 1 SOCIAL STUDIES and ESL 1 SCIENCE. These courses introduce ESL students to the geography, history, and government of Canada, British Columbia, and Vancouver in particular. ESL 1 SCIENCE presents a modified Science 8 program using simplified language structures.

The Intermediate Level

Students who have had some English language instruction but are not yet reading at a grade 6 level take two English courses: ESL 2 ENGLISH and ESL 2 WRITING and a Social Studies course ESL2 SOCIAL STUDIES. While the content and teaching methods of these two courses may vary, the emphasis is on English language use at an elementary level. Students are ready to learn hundreds of new words as they gain an understanding of many new tenses in the context of more difficult readings. Generally speaking, student? progress from controlled writing activities to free writing as they develop more understanding of both language and sentence structures in communicating meaning.

The Transitional Level

As second language learners gain proficiency using English and become integrated into mainstream courses, they require language support only in English and Socials. These students who are in transition between ESL English and Tupper’s regular programs take TRANSITIONAL ENGLISH, TRANSITIONAL SOCIAL STUDIES, and an ELC (English Language Center) course. The curricula parallels the Grade 9 English and Socials programs and introduces students to the academic expectations of mainstream courses. Transition students are ready to learn to read between the lines, understand implication and inferential language, attempt creative writing, and respond to more sophisticated language use. These students have approximately 4000 words in their repertoire and continue to meet hundreds of new words each month.

ESL Literacy Pre-Employment Program (ELPP)

The goals of this program are to prepare students for successful future employment while continuing to develop their academic potential for entry into Adult Education. The ELPP program is designed for ESL and literacy students who, for a variety of reasons, are not making sufficient academic progress to graduate by age 19.
Pre-requisite: Referral from the Central Screening Committee of the VSB.  For more information, contact
Mr. S. Coderre by calling the school at (604) 713-8233. There is also more information provided by the Vancouver School Board at
Check out our ELPP Website at for more information.