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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.  

Updated January 2018 

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