The number of ELL (English Language Learners) is growing across the GTA, but as school board budgets come under fiscal pressure, the resources for ESL programs are being cut back. ELL's are all different, some having studied some English prior to arriving in Canada, others have never had an English class, while some are children of diplomats or visa students spending a year or two abroad, yet others are refugees escaping war and hardship in their birth countries.
It takes the average ELL student seven years to gain enough academic English to be considered fluent in the language. Culture shock, and the need to survive in a new country (e.g., seeing snow for the first time, not finding the foods they have grown up with, etc.) have an impact on the psychological well being of students and their families, and not speaking the language makes it difficult for many students to connect socially with their peers.
Teachers, ELL's, and their parents need to have access to resources and to information to help them navigate around these barriers and help them to be successful.
http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php Chinese (Mandarin) -> English
http://www.zkorean.com/dictionary/search Korean -> English
http://www.rustran.com/ Russian -> English
http://www.farsidic.com/ Farsi -> English
Ontario ESL Curriculum:
Links to ESL education websites for students and parents:
For additional information on ESL topics click on the "Blog" tab at the top of the page in the menu bar.
"English is a funny language; that explains why we park our car on the driveway and drive our car on the parkway."
"If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur." (Doug Larson)