English Language Learning Students
Date came into force or revised
March 3, 1999. Revised, November 2011. Updated July 1, 2012, updated May 2017
English Language Learning services assist students to become proficient in the academic English or French (in the Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF)) of B.C. schools, to develop both intellectually and as citizens, and to achieve the expected learning standards and/or outcomes of the provincial curriculum.
Rationale or purpose of policy
This policy provides expectations and guidance to B.C. schools about English Language Learning services so that students who need additional language support to access the provincially prescribed curriculum can develop their individual potential within British Columbia’s school system.
- See Sections 75, 79(3), 85(2), 168 (2) of the School Act (PDF)
- Also see Ministerial Order M191/94, the Student Progress Report Order (PDF), Ministerial Order 205/95, the Graduation Program Order (PDF)
Policy in full
English Language Learning (ELL) services are provided to assist students to become proficient in English, to develop both intellectually and as citizens, and to achieve the expected learning standards and/or outcomes of the provincial curriculum.
Students receiving ELL services are called English language learners or English Language Learning students. Some students whose primary language or language of the home is English (or French in the CSF) need support in the academic English of B.C. schools in order to access the curriculum. These students are also ELL students and are sometimes referred to as English Skills Development (ESD) students.
Boards of Education identify and report ELL students to the Ministry of Education.
Boards provide educational programs and ELL services for ELL students based on the following expectations.
Program planning should recognize the objective of full integration into the mainstream school program as soon as feasible in order to achieve the expected learning standards and/or outcomes of the provincial curriculum.
To graduate, ELL students must meet the requirements of the the Graduation Program Order (PDF). Schools may adapt instructional assessment methods, provide more time and/or adapt educational materials to give these students the greatest opportunity possible to achieve the learning standards and/or outcomes of the provincial curriculum.
ELL students must follow provincial curriculum except where they are unable to demonstrate learning in relation to the expected learning standards and/or outcomes set out in the applicable educational program guide for a course or subject and grade (Required Areas of Study in an Educational Program Order (PDF)).
Where ELL students cannot demonstrate their learning in relation to the expected learning outcomes of the provincial curriculum, school districts should ensure that appropriate ELL services, including English language instruction, are provided.
The ELL student's program should focus on the acquisition of language, knowledge, and cultural understanding that will enable the student to access the provincially prescribed curriculum.
Over time it is expected that support levels will diminish as students progress successfully in a fully integrated program.
Service should be adjusted on the basis of an ongoing assessment of language skills and review of student performance.
The reporting requirements for ELL students who are following the provincial curriculum for a course, subject or grade are the same as for other students. These requirements are described in the Student Progress Report Order (PDF). Letter grades, and percentages where appropriate, must be used to indicate students' levels of performance in relation to the prescribed learning outcomes.
Letter grades are not appropriate where ELL students are not yet able, due to their level of language proficiency, to follow the provincial curriculum or a course in a locally developed program. In that case, progress reports must contain information describing what the students can do, areas in which they require further attention or development, and ways of supporting them in their learning.
Teachers have the professional obligation to report progress only for students whom they have personally instructed and evaluated. Where an ELL specialist or other teacher support is responsible for providing some portion of a student's educational program, s/he should provide written information on the student's progress for inclusion with the report of the classroom teacher(s).
All progress reports for an ELL student must include reporting on the student’s progress in the acquisition of English.
Effective reporting should recognize potential linguistic and cultural differences of the student and their family. Wherever possible and appropriate, interpreters should be provided for parent/teacher conferences.
The Ministry of Education provides supplemental funding to school districts to enable them to deliver English Language Learning services to ELL students.
Procedures related to policy
For a school district to receive ELL Supplemental Funding for a student reported to the Ministry as an ELL student, all of the following must be met and documented:
- An annual assessment of English language proficiency has determined that the student’s use of English is sufficiently different from the academic English of B.C. schools that they are identified as requiring specialized services to access the provincially prescribed curriculum. These services will enable the student to adjust to the linguistic and cultural environment in order to be successful in the B.C. school system.
- An Annual Instructional Plan (AIP) is designed to meet the needs of the student
- Specialized ELL services are provided for each student, documented in a list or schedule
- Progress in the acquisition of English is reported to parents in regular reporting periods, and evidence of reports is documented
- Progress reporting includes reporting on the student’s progress in the acquisition of English
- An ELL specialist is involved in planning and delivering services
- Additional ELL services must be provided and may include the following:
- individual and/or small group instruction
- reception classes
- pull-out services
- push in/classroom adaptations
- additional services provided within the regular classroom environment
- When the additional services provided to the student are adaptations within the regular classroom, there must be documentation of support provided that is specifically designed to address linguistic needs of each student identified in the assessment referenced above