English as a Second Language

English Language Learners & International Students Program 

We offer many supports for our English Language Learners (ELL) and International students. As our students are each individuals, the type of supports and arrangements that we make for our students are personal and individualized.

Our focus with the ELL and international students goes beyond explicit language instruction.

  • Community – Part of our focus is to encourage our ELL and International students to feel like they are a part of the community. Not just with same-speaking-language students, but with all the students here.
  • Safety & Support – We have people on staff who are dedicated to working with our ELL and International students. We help them with their bus registrations, buying lunch, location of classes, timetabling, and bathroom location – anything that they need. Having someone that the students can go to and trust is vital to their enjoyment of their experiences at our school.
  • We focus on providing the students with an experience that goes beyond classroom lessons. We would like the students to have an enriching experience that involves balance between classroom instruction and the world outside of the classroom.

We offer:

ELL Classes: The English language learner classes are created and organized around the needs of the learner. This year, we are running a level 1, 2, 3 split ELL class, as well as a Social Studies Canadian Studies class, as that is what our students this year needed in terms of support. Within the classes, the assignments and expectations vary based on the individual student and their language capabilities. The work that the students do emphasizes the four strands of language learning; speaking, listening, reading and writing. We work extensively on vocabulary in this class both on conversational vocabulary as well as academic vocabulary.

English language Support for ELL or International Students who are not enrolled in specific ELL classes. We offer one-to-one teacher-student support to all our English language learners and international students with an ELL teacher. Students are able to work on strengthening their language skills for their various academic subjects through accessing this support that is available. This happens in the morning tutorial, after school during student spares and at lunchtime.

Access to various learning technologies – ELL and international students have access to technologies such as: Rosetta Stone, D2L, SMART, Read and Write Gold as well as various other teacher-approved web-based language learning resources posted on D2L.

Off-campus trips for ELL students and International students – in an effort to enrich the experiences of our ELL and international students, we offer off-campus excursions that the students are invited to attend. This exposes our students to our great city as well as provides them with new and enriching opportunities to use their English in real-life settings as well as form a community and make new friends.

Careful consideration of ELL student timetables, credit needs, and evaluations – All the ELL and International students have their timetables evaluated by the Learning Leader of the ELL department at the start of each semester. This is done to ensure that the students’ timetables are balanced and that the students are in the correct classes. Students who are still gaining English language competency meet with the Learning Leader of the ELL department and discuss their language needs as well as course requests and long-term goals. The Learning Leader of ELL then meets with a Guidance Counsellor and the student’s timetable is built. The timetable is continually discussed throughout the year to ensure that the students are benefiting and that the classes they are enrolled in reflect their language capabilities.

Benchmark Report Card – Twice a year, students who are enrolled in English Language classes will be assessed formally in their reading, speaking, listening and writing. These assessments with evolve into a comprehensive, measurable language acquisition report card. Progress over the course of the school year can therefore be tracked.

Involvement in the school – ELL and international students are strongly encouraged to get involved in the school. These students have attended Leadership and Yearbook club meetings and have signed up to get involved in some school-based activities. The ELL and International students who are in ELL class will be involved in December’s Grade 9 tours as a way to get involved and show pride in their school.

Tours for students – New ELL and International students are introduced to the Learning Leader of the ELL department and have a conversation upon first meeting. When the student begins their classes here, they are met by a student-ambassador. The student-ambassador shows the new student where their classes are, and provides them with a tour of the building. The ambassador also is encouraged to welcome the new student to join them for lunch that day.

Accommodations – ELL and International students are encouraged to utilize the extra time accommodation on their assignments, quizzes, tests and final exams. Our classroom teachers and learning centre are available to assist ELL and international students in using this support.

Course Descriptions

We welcome students into English Language program at William Aberhart High School throughout the school year. We provide students with a timetable based on their English skill level and English Language Learners (ELL) classes are tailored, personalized and flexible to meet our students’ specific learning needs. Each student is unique and therefore, a student’s progression varies: some students move through our ELL program quickly, while others need more time with English mastery.

Our English language learners are assessed either at Kingsland Center or at Aberhart. We look at the student's English language proficiency as well as their skills in mathematics. We will then timetable the student in the appropriate English and math classes.

Within the ELL classroom, we focus on the four strands of language learning: speaking, listening, reading and writing. ELL students enrolled in English language classes will receive two English Language Benchmark report cards each year, in addition to regular report cards. The ELL Benchmark report cards are based on individual student assessment within the four strands of language learning and provide data as to students’ language progress throughout the school year.

ESL 10 Level 1 (2A)

This is a beginner level class offered for our level 1 and 2 students. In this class, students focus on reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary as well as learning some basic communication skills. Students enrolled in this class will be working towards completing Alberta ESL Proficiency Benchmarks 1 and 2. There is no credit assigned for this course.

ESL 10 Level 2 (2B)

(5 credits)

This is a beginner level English class. It is a continuation of ESL 10 Level 1. Level 2 students continue to work on building their English skills in all capacities. Students enrolled in this class will be completing Alberta ESL Proficiency Benchmark 2.

Expository English 15 (3A) 

(5 credits)

This is an ESL course designed to challenge our level 3 students with various types of text. This is a high-beginner/low intermediate class. Students will begin to learn how to respond to text. As well, there is an emphasis on reading strategies and paragraph writing as well as the continued development of vocabulary and grammar proficiency. This class is for students who are working towards completing Alberta ESL Proficiency Benchmark 3.

ESL 10 Level 3 (3B) 

(5 credits)

This is a continuation of Expository English 15. This is a low-intermediate/intermediate level English class. Students will continue to develop their language skills. There is a strong emphasis on improving writing skills, vocabulary-building and grammar. This class is for students who are completing Alberta ESL Proficiency Benchmark 3.

Introduction to Canadian Studies 15 

(5 credits)

This is a Social Studies course designed for our level 2 and 3 students. Students work on their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills while developing their knowledge of Canadian geography, history and citizenship.

Science 14 for English Language Learners 

(5 credits)

This is an introductory Science class that exposes students to Science vocabulary in English as well as expectations and exposure to writing English lab reports. This class is taught by a science teacher and has the extra support of an educational assistant.

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