English as a Second Language

English language skills, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking, are critical to achieving academic and career success in an English-speaking country. While becoming fluent in another language may appear daunting to non-native English speakers, NFCI’s elaborate support system strives to simplify the process and facilitate student success.

NFCI Exchange Student Studies have shown that a quality language environment is of paramount importance to the successful acquisition of a new language. NFCI has a strict English-only policy that applies to all students and staff to maximize student’s exposure to and use of English.

Peer Learning

The friendly and positive learning environment at NFCI promotes student collaboration and cooperation. Students can advance their language skills through learning with and from each other in after-school clubs and workshops that seek to ignite their passion for the English language.

Flexible Program for Learning English as a Second language (ESL)

Many of our students come to us from non- English speaking countries, and require a unique language learning experience in order to gain the skills and confidence needed to function both academically and socially in Canada. NFCI’s ESL program is designed to meet our students diverse English Language learning needs, and is complemented by the academic assistance that is provided to all students on a daily basis.

ESL students will complete a series of linguistic training sessions led by native English-speaking linguistic experts who have extensive experience in working with ESL students. Students will acquire important verbal and non-verbal communication skills that are essential to achieving success.

Components of the ESL Program

NFCI’s ESL program consists of the following components:
  • Step-by-step learning regimen to build a solid language foundation,
  • Interactive lessons promote student involvement in the learning progress,
  • Independent and group activities to enhance student enthusiasm, individual learning and teamwork skills,
  • Opportunities to collaborate with students from other local schools to strengthen social communication skills, and
  • A supportive learning environment to boost and reinforce student’s confidence and self-efficacy

Students are required to complete an English placement test before enrolling in the ESL program to determine language proficiency and course level placement. The placement test may be repeated at the end of an ESL course if considered appropriate by the teacher for possible acceleration beyond the next level.

Completion of any of the five ESL courses qualifies the student to receive up to three full credit towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), with the fourth credit from a Grade 12 compulsory English course. Once students have completed the ESL program, they will move on to academic English courses, which begin with grade 9 English through to grade 12 University English courses.

The ESL Program Curriculum

Level 1 – ESLAO
Length of Course: 1 Semester
Prerequisite: None
Course Description: This course provides an introduction to the English and helps students adjust to the diversity of the new environment by building upon student’s previous education and language knowledge. Students will also gain the knowledge and skills needed to begin to adapt to life in Canada.
Course Objectives:
  • Apply basic English listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills in everyday essential academic tasks,
  • Engage in short conversations using simple English language structures and sentence patterns,
  • Read and comprehend short adapted text material, and
  • Compose phrases and short sentences following the basic rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Final Assessment: Exam
Level 2 – ESLBO
Length of Course: 1 Semester
Prerequisite: ESLAO or placement test
Course Description: This course expands on students’ listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills for everyday and academic purposes. Students will continue to discover the diversity of life in Ontario and in Canada, and adapt to the Ontario school system.
Course Objectives:
  • Participate in structured conversations and discussions on a variety of familiar and intriguing topics,
  • Read and comprehend a variety of texts designed and/or adapted for ESL learners,
  • Appropriately manipulate more advanced English grammatical structures and sentence patterns, and
  • Compose paragraphs by organizing sentences in a logical manner.
Final Assessment: Exam
Level 3 – ESLCO
Length of Course: 1 Semester
Prerequisite: ESLBO or placement test
Course Description: This course further advances students’ English skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will also be introduced to the rights and responsibilities that are inherent in Canadian citizenship, as well as important and interesting current issues in Canada.
Course Objectives:
  • Prepare and deliver short oral presentations in a classroom setting,
  • Read and comprehend different forms of English literature,
  • Compose short texts in a variety of literary forms,
  • Further expand academic vocabulary, and
  • Enhance study skills for a smooth transition to the mainstream education curriculum.
Final Assessment: Exam
Level 4 – ESLDO
Length of Course: 1 Semester
Prerequisite: ESLCO or placement test
Course Description: This course prepares students to use English with increasing fluency and accuracy in classroom and social situations, and to participate in the Canadian society as informed citizens.
Course Objectives:
  • Develop and improve the verbal and written communication skills that are required for success in school subjects,
  • Actively participate in and effectively contribute to discussions, seminars, and workshops,
  • Study and interpret a variety of grade-level texts,
  • Synthesize information and compose narratives, articles, and summaries, and
  • Critically analyze and evaluate various forms of print and media texts.
Final Assessment: Exam
Level 5 – ESLEO
Length of Course: 1 Semester
Prerequisite: ESLDO or placement test
Course Description: This course provides students with skills and strategies for a successful transition to college and university preparation courses that are offered in English, as well as other secondary school disciplines. Students will be encouraged to develop independence in academic tasks.
Course Objectives:
  • Actively participate in and lead debates and workshops,
  • Read and interpret literary works and academic texts,
  • Compose essays, narratives, reports, and critical reviews of or response to various forms of print and media texts, and
  • Effectively apply a variety of research skills and learning strategies.
Final Assessment: Exam