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Organizing Schools

Kindergarten

In Kindergarten, children learning English typically are in the regular classroom with their same-age peers. Explicit language instruction is required to develop oral language for children learning English as a new language. The following chart shows how children at lower English language proficiency levels require more time, support and explicit instruction. As their proficiency increases, explicit language instruction with a more specific language focus is required.

Level 1
Beginning
Level 2
Developing
Level 3
Expanding
Level 4
Bridging
Level 5
Extending
  • Small Group Instruction through Learning Centres
  • Explicit instruction
  • Modified outcomes
  • Small Group Instruction through Learning Centres
  • Explicit instruction
  • Modified outcomes
  • Grouping in the Classroom
  • Explicit instruction
  • Differentiation
  • Grouping in the Classroom
  • Explicit instruction
  • Differentiation
  • Grouping in the Classroom
  • Explicit instruction
  • Differentiation

Grades 1 to 9

This following table shows examples of effective organization and support practices for English language learners in grades 1 through 9. It illustrates that:

  • an English language learner’s proficiency influences the level and type of support he or she needs
  • the subject influences how much support an English language learner needs
  • the types of support required change as a student’s English language proficiency increases
  • students require a balance throughout the day of sheltered/explicit instruction opportunities and opportunities to interact with their English-speaking peers.

Class Assignment

When making class assignments, consider each individual student and his or her:

  • academic ability and/or skills
  • language proficiency
  • learning preferences
  • cultural background/home language
  • gender
  • interests.

Timetabling

When creating the school timetable, it is beneficial to create blocks during which groups of students are working on a similar subject. For example, create blocks according to:

  • English language arts/humanities
  • mathematics/science
  • literacy and numeracy needs
  • cross-curricular topics or projects; e.g., two subject-area classes scheduled back to back.

Creating these blocks allows classes to combine and regroup. For example:

  • students are regrouped from several classes on the same subject scheduled at the same time to create a sheltered class
  • two classes combine and redistribute the students to create groups based on language or subject matter needs
  • two classes are combined and then divided into three groups to be taught with an additional teacher.

Clustering in Junior High

When students with a range of English language proficiencies are dispersed across a variety of classes, teachers often have to differentiate instruction across a broad range of proficiency levels in all classes. To allow teachers to plan and use their time efficiently, groups of English language learners can be clustered by proficiency in particular classes. For example, several English language proficiency Level 1 or 2 learners may be clustered in one class so that each teacher differentiates for the group of beginner students, and/or Level 3 English language learners can be grouped for their core subjects. English language learners with Levels 4 and 5 proficiency may be dispersed; however, teachers should still plan to support them based on their language learning needs.


Level 1

Beginning

Level 2

Developing

Level 3

Expanding

Level 4

Bridging

Level 5

Extending

OVERVIEW

50–75% Time in Sheltered Classes: Core subjects with modified language input or selected curriculum outcomes modified or taken from lower grades

25–50% Time Supported in
Grade-level Classroom:
Focus on explicit instruction of basic language features and concepts

50–75% Time in Sheltered Classes: Core subjects with modified language input or selected curriculum outcomes modified or taken from lower grades

25–50% Time Supported in
Grade-level Classroom:
Focus on subject-specific language

60–75% Time Supported in
Grade-level Classroom
: Core subjects and options with curriculum outcomes at grade level; content of core courses may be modified for language input and/or concepts

25–40% Time Grouped for Language-specific Instruction: May require sheltered instruction for language arts and social studies

75–90% Time Supported in
Grade-level Classroom
: Core subjects and options; curriculum outcomes at grade level with scaffolding (differentiation with targeted language input)

10–25% Time Grouped for Language-specific Instruction: Opportunities for occasional small group instruction within classroom context, resource setting or tutorial

90–100% Supported in Grade-level Classroom: All core subjects and options; curriculum outcomes at grade level with differentiation

10% or less Time Grouped for Language-specific Instruction:Opportunities for occasional small group instruction within classroom context, resource setting or tutorial

Language Arts

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Differentiation

Social Studies

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Differentiation

Science

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Mathematics

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Class or Group

Explicit instruction Modification

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Explicit instruction Differentiation

Sheltered Group in a Grade-level Class 

Differentiation

Grouping in a Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Music

Grouping in a Grade-level Class

Modification

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Modification

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Art

Grouping in a Grade-level Class

Modification

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Modification

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Physical Education

Grouping in a Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation

Grouping in a
Grade-level Class

Differentiation


In Alberta, most English language learners are placed in classes with their English-speaking peers according to course selection; however, based on their language proficiency and academic backgrounds they may have specific timetabling requirements. English language learners receive explicit English language support and instruction through small group instruction, differentiation and grouping. Occasionally, some English language learners of lower proficiencies or with limited formal schooling experiences may have sheltered instruction for part of the day and are placed in grade-level courses when appropriate.

Sheltered Courses If there is a larger number of English language learning students at Levels 3, 4 or 5 in your school, it can be beneficial to offer sheltered classes in which English language learners are clustered together in a separate class so that instruction can be specially designed to focus on the language components of a particular subject. Classes work toward the outcomes in the subjects’ programs of study, but provide explicit instruction on the vocabulary, language structures and discourse patterns of that discipline. Examples of sheltered classes are often found in Science 10, English 10 and Social Studies 10. Ideally, these classes are co-planned and taught by an English as a second language (ESL) specialist teacher and a subject-area teacher.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Courses

When schools have a large English language learning population and adequate resources, it is beneficial to offer English language learners with lower language proficiency the ESL 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 courses. If your school has few English language learners and/or limited resources, there may be a school in your district that can accommodate your English language learners with limited English language proficiency.

If it is not possible to offer independent ESL courses, consider enrolling English language learners in the appropriate ESL course, but have them attend an ELA 10-4 or 10-2 class where the teacher will teach the ESL outcomes. The students will receive credit for the ESL course.

If there is a small number of English language learners with specific learning needs at several schools within a jurisdiction, e.g., limited formal schooling or newcomers, the jurisdiction may consider designating a school to host a class for these students.

Locally Developed Courses

Some locally developed courses have been created for English language learners that schools can access by following the guidelines provided by Alberta Education (see Locally Developed Courses).

Adjunct Courses

Adjunct courses may be provided for the most linguistically demanding courses in the mainstream; e.g., primarily English literature courses and perhaps social studies courses. Adjunct courses run parallel to courses such as ELA 20-1 or Social Studies 30-2. They provide additional time to focus on the vocabulary and structures of the materials and to strengthen students' academic strategies, especially as they prepare for diploma-level courses.

Because high school courses require a minimum proficiency in English, a number of locally developed courses have been developed for English language learners at lower proficiency levels so that they may develop language skills needed with age-appropriate content. The following chart shows how students progress through these courses as their language proficiency develops and work toward placement in grade-level high school courses.

The Sample High School Pathways Table chart can assist guidance counsellors in determining the appropriate course selection and sequence based on a student’s English language proficiency. It also helps English language learners and their families understand the time it will take to successfully meet high school completion requirements.


Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 5

Level 5

ESL

ESL 10
 Level 1 (1120)

no credit

ESL 10
Level 2

(1121)

ESL 10

Level 3 (1122)

ESL 10

Level 4

(1123)

ESL 10

Level 5

(1125)

no credit

ESL English for Academic Success 35

(LDC 3351)

3 credits

ESL English for

Academic Success 35

(LDC 3351)

3 credits

ENGLISH

N/A

N/A

Expository English 15

(LDC 1513)

Expository English 25

(LDC 2513)

English Language Arts 10-1

English Language Arts 10-2

English Language Arts 20-1

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 30-1 English Language Arts 30-2

SCIENCE

N/A

ESL Science 15

(LDC 1213)

Science 10

Science 14

Science 20

Science 14

Science 24

Science 20

Science 14

Science 24

Biology 20

Chemistry 20

Physics 20

Science 20

Science 30

Science 24

Biology 20

Chemistry 20

Physics 20

Science 30

Biology 20

Chemistry 20

Physics 20 Biology 30

Chemistry 30

Physics 30

SOCIAL STUDIES

N/A

ESL Introduction to Canadian Studies 15

(LDC 1212)

ESL Introduction to Canadian Studies 25

(LDC 2212)

Social Studies 10-1

Social Studies 10-2
Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2

Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2

Social Studies 30-1

Social Studies 30-2

Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2
Social Studies 30-1

Social Studies 30-2

Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2
Social Studies 30-1

Social Studies 30-2

MATHEMATICS

ESL Introduction

to Mathematics 15

(LDC 1350)

ESL Introduction

to

Mathematics 15

(LDC 1350)

Mathematics 10C

Mathematics 10-3

Mathematics 10-4

Mathematics 10C

Mathematics 10-3

Mathematics 10-4

Mathematics 20-3

Mathematics 20-4

Mathematics
10C

Mathematics
10-3

Mathematics
20-1

Mathematics
20-2

Mathematics
20-3

Mathematics 20-4

Mathematics 10C

Mathematics 10-3

Mathematics 20-1

Mathematics 20-2

Mathematics 20-3

Mathematics 20-4

Mathematics 20-1

Mathematics 20-2

Mathematics 20-3

Mathematics 20-4

Mathematics 30-1

Mathematics 30-2

Mathematics 30-3

Mathematics 30-1

Mathematics 30-2

Mathematics 30-3

Mathematics 31

PHYSICAL EDUCATION (PE)

PE 10

PE 10

PE 10, 20

PE 10, 20, 30

PE 10, 20, 30

PE 10, 20, 30

PE 10, 20, 30

CALM

N/A

N/A

CALM

CALM

CALM

CALM

CALM

Complementary

Introductory CTS and/or Music, Art

Keyboarding, etc.

Introductory CTS and/or Foods, Fashion,

Cosmetology

Computer

Application, etc.

Any complementary course appropriate to student program, provided that any perquisites are met.

 

Long-term Planning

Create a systematic long-term plan for each English language learner, which may include additional time in high school beyond three years. It is essential that high schools have supports in place that extend until Grade 12 and include transition planning.

Timetabling

Because English language learners enter high school at different ages and with different language proficiencies and backgrounds, their timetables should be individually customized. English language learners need a carefully structured timetable based on language proficiency, skills, knowledge and experience. That is, students take courses with lower linguistic demands first and gradually add the courses with higher linguistic demands as they become more proficient in English. Typically, students take physical education, some arts and some CTS courses first; then add mathematics, then science and finally social studies and English language arts (ELA). This may mean, for example, that English language learners do not take a Grade 10-level English language arts course until the second semester of Grade 11, after they have had the opportunity to develop their English language proficiency.

Samples of Timetables for High School English Language Learners

The following samples illustrate how timetables can be constructed based on language proficiency, previous schooling and educational goals. 


English Language Proficiency Level 2 – Sample Grade 10 Timetable 


Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Grade 12 Returning

Semester 1

Semester 1

Semester 1

Semester 1

ESL 10 Level 1 (1120)

Expository English 15

(LDC 1513)

Expository English 25

(LDC 2513)

English Language Arts 10-1

English Language Arts 10-2

English Language Arts 20-1

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 30-1

English Language Arts 30-2

Introduction to Science 15 (LDC 1213)

or

ESL Introduction to Canadian Studies 15

(LDC 1212)

Introduction to Canadian Studies 25

(LDC 2212)

Introduction to Canadian Studies 25 (LDC 2212)

or

Social Studies 10-1

Social Studies 10-2

Science/Chemistry/

Physics/Biology

ESL Introduction to Mathematics 15

(LDC 1350)

or

CTS or Fine Arts option

Mathematics 10-C

Mathematics 10-3

Mathematics 20-1

Mathematics 30-1

Physical Education 10

CTS or Fine Arts option

CTS or Fine Arts option

CTS or Fine Arts option

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2

ESL 10 Level 2 (1121)

ESL 10 Level 3 (1122)

ESL 10 Level 4 (1123)

English Language Arts 10-1

English Language Arts 10-2

English Language Arts 20-1

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 20-1

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 30-1

English Language Arts 30-2

Introduction to Science 15 (LDC 1213)

or

ESL Introduction to Canadian Studies 15

(LDC 1212)

Science 14

Science 10

Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2

Social Studies 30-1

Social Studies 30-2

ESL Introduction to Mathematics 15

(LDC 1350)

or

CTS or Fine Arts option

CALM/CTS

Science/Chemistry/

Physics/Biology

Science/Chemistry/

Physics/Biology

CTS or Fine Arts option

CTS or Fine Arts option

CTS or Fine Arts option

CTS or Fine Arts option

 

English Language Proficiency Level 3 – Sample Grade 10 Timetable 

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Adult Transition Programming

Semester 1

Semester 1

Semester 1


Expository English 15
(LDC 1513)

Expository English 25
(LDC 2513)

English Language Arts 10-2

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 30-2

Physical Education 10



Social Studies 30-2

Introduction to Mathematics 15
(LDC 1350)

Mathematics 10-3

Mathematics 20-3

Mathematics 30-3

CTS option

CTS option

CTS option

RAP

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2


ESL 10 Level 3 (1122)

ESL 10 Level 4 (1123)

English Language Arts 10-2

English Language Arts 20-2

English Language Arts 30-2


Introduction to Canadian Studies 25 (LDC 2212)

Social Studies 10-2

Social Studies 20-2


Science 14

Science 24

CALM


CTS option

Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)

RAP


CTS option

RAP

RAP



Summer School

Summer School



RAP

RAP


 

English Language Proficiency Level 4– Sample Grade 11 and 12 Timetables 

Grade 11

Grade 11

Grade 12

Grade 12

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 1

Semester 2

Expository English 25

ESL 4

ESL 4

English Language Arts

10-2

English Language Arts

10-1

English Language Arts

10-1

English Language Arts

10-2

English Language Arts

20-1

English Language Arts

20-2

English Language Arts

20-1

English Language Arts

20-2

English Language Arts

30-1

English Language Arts

30-2

Introduction to Canadian Studies 25 (LDC 2212)

Social Studies 10-1

Social Studies 10-2

Social Studies 20-1

Social Studies 20-2

Social Studies 30-1

Social Studies 30-2

Mathematics 20 – 1

Chemistry 20

or

Physics 20

or

Biology 20

Mathematics 30-1

Chemistry 30

or

Physics 30

or

Biology 23

CTS or Fine Arts complementary course

CTS or Fine Arts complementary course

CTS or Fine Arts complementary course

English for Academic Success 35 (LDC 3351)

Summer School

Summer School

CALM

English Language Arts 10-1, 10-2, 20-1, or 20-2

Mathematics 31

Second Science


Clustering
When students with a variety of English language proficiency levels are dispersed across a variety of classes, teachers often have to differentiate instruction across a broad range of proficiency levels in all classes. To allow teachers to plan and use their time more efficiently, groups of English language learners can be clustered by proficiency in particular classes. For example, several English language proficiency Level 1 or 2 English language learners may be clustered in one class so that each teacher differentiates for the group of beginner students, and/or Level 3 English language learners can be grouped for their core subjects. Levels 4 and 5 English language learners may be dispersed; however, teachers should still plan to support them based on their language learning needs.