The BC Ministry of Education defines English Language Learner (ELL) students as those whose primary language, or languages, in the home is/are other than English, and who may therefore require additional services in order to develop their individual potential within British Columbia’s school system.
Some students speak variations of English that differ significantly from the English used in the broader Canadian society and in school; these students may also require ELL support (from English as a Second Language; Policy Framework, Ministry of Education, 1998).
In the West Vancouver School District, ELL is an additional service that enables English Language Learners (ELLs) to succeed in the regular classroom. The ELL program in West Vancouver has three main goals:
- To develop the students’ social language required to learn and communicate appropriately with peers and adults.
- To develop the students’ academic language required to learn and communicate the skills and knowledge covered in all subjects.
- To preserve and develop a pride of heritage, and to develop an understanding of Canadian culture.
The Role of the ELL Specialist
As a resource person, the ELL specialist may act as an advocate for ELL students, for multicultural understanding in the school and community, and for the idea that continued growth in students’ first languages should be supported (BC Ministry of Education – Special Programs: ELL).
The ELL specialist works collaboratively with classroom teachers. While this individual’s role is many faceted, it typically has three aspects:
- Language Teacher – providing English instructional support
- Resource Person – assist and collaborate with classroom teacher and the school community
- Family Liaison Contact – ongoing communication between home and school
For more information, please contact the District Principal, Special Education and Student Support Services at (604) 981-1095.