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Common Acronyms 

ELL - English Language Learner (the student) 

ESL - English as a Second Language (a program for ELLs with no gaps in their schooling) 

ELD - English Literacy Development (a program for ELLs with limited prior schooling) 

ELL - English Language Learner (the student): 

Students in provincially funded English-language schools whose first language is a language other than English or a variety of English that is significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools, and who require focused educational supports to assist them in attaining proficiency in English. These students may have been born in Canada or may be recently arrived from other countries.  

 

ESL - English as a Second Language (the program): 

Programs for students whose first language is a language other than English or a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools. Students in these programs have had educational opportunities to develop age-appropriate first-language literacy skills.  

 

ELD - English Literacy Development (the program): 

Programs for students whose first language is a language other than English or a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools. Students in these programs may be from countries in which their access to education has been limited, or they may have had limited opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in any language. Schooling in their countries of origin may have been inconsistent, disrupted, or even completely unavailable throughout the years that these children would otherwise have been in school. As a result, they arrive in Ontario schools with significant gaps in their education.  

STEP - Steps to English Proficiency: 

A framework for assessing and monitoring English language learners’ language acquisition and literacy development across the Ontario curriculum.  

 

IELTS - The International English Language Testing System: 

IELTS is a test… in language assessment on four key English language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. It is designed to assess the language ability of people who aim to study, work, immigrate and integrate an English-speaking environment. 

 

OLB - Observable Language Behaviours: 

The Observable Language Behaviours continua describe ELLs' English proficiency development in three broad strands-oral, reading, and writing. Each strand is guided by the Ontario language curriculum. The Oral strand is defined in terms of listening and speaking skills. Reading is organized by the elements: meaning, form and style, and fluency. The Writing strand emphasizes the view of writing as a process, progressing from prewriting and organization of ideas, to writing and editing. The Observable Language Behaviours continua have two main purposes: one is to inform programming and the other is to track the student's language proficiency. For further information on the OLBs refer to the STEP. 

 

OSSLT - Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test: 

The standard method for assessing the literacy skills of students for the purpose of determining whether they meet the Ontario secondary school literacy graduation requirement. The OSSLT is based on the expectations for reading and writing throughout the Ontario curriculum up to and including Grade 9. 

  
Updated January 2018

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