English as a Second Language, Core Programs

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The Progression of Learning for the Secondary Cycle One and Cycle Two English as a Second Language (ESL) Core programs reaffirms the crucial role that knowledge plays in the development of the three ESL competencies: Interacts orally in English, Reinvests understanding of texts and Writes and produces texts. The Progression of Learning presents in detail the knowledge included in the five sections of the Related Content in the ESL programs: Culture, Language Repertoire, Strategies, Processes and Texts. This document is a supplement to the ESL programs. It provides teachers with a framework to include the knowledge that students need to acquire for each year of secondary school when planning the development of the ESL competencies. To facilitate acquisition of this knowledge, students require a rich learning environment in which they have access to a variety of human and material resources.

The secondary-level ESL programs build on the knowledge that students acquired at the elementary level. These ESL programs are based on the social constructivist theory of learning, the communicative approach, strategy-based learning, cooperative learning and the latest research in second language acquisition. Consequently, students need to be given numerous opportunities to practise and use the knowledge from the Related Content in meaningful contexts in order to develop the ESL competencies.

In the Progression of Learning charts, the letter E shows links between the elementary- and secondary-level ESL programs. The Progression of Learning for the Elementary ESL programs may be consulted to better understand these links. The final year at the secondary-level is largely a year of consolidation as indicated by the predominance of shaded boxes in the charts.

Throughout the Progression of Learning, italicized examples are provided as suggestions and are non-prescriptive.

. . . communicative competence should be the goal of language education,
central to good classroom practice.

S. J. Savignon