ESL Program

Did You Know?

  • In the late 1920's, during an in-house baseball tournament, Rex Schneider entered a team called "Prof Schneider's Battling Lions." This is the first hint that someday Luther teams would be known as the Lions.  

  • Luther graduates have gone on to universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Pennsylvania State, McGill, Queen’s and other renowned educational institutions throughout Canada, North America and the world.

  • Students admitted to Luther College are not required to be Lutheran or Christian. By welcoming students of all faiths and religious backgrounds, Luther College enjoys a richly diverse student body.

  • Do you know someone in Kindergarten to Grade 8 that would like to be part of the Luther Family? Encourage them to join the Future Luther Student program!

  • The first annual Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament was held in 1998 and is still going strong today!

  • Luther students, even though from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, have the opportunity to be part of tightly woven community of students, parents, alumni, teachers and staff. Typically 12% of the school’s student body originates from outside of Canada.

  • The first LIT was held on January 31, 1953. That year it was a one-day tournament involving sixteen teams from Southern Saskatchewan. All preliminary games were played cross court, two games at a time.

  • The International Baccalaureate provides an enriched curriculum that both covers and extends beyond regular Saskatchewan curricula in its depth and detail. It emphasizes the development of the necessary critical skills that university-bound students need to master: reflecting, inquiring, thinking, analyzing and evaluating.

ESL Program

Purpose of ESL at Luther College High School

Luther College has an excellent reputation for developing students’ academic skills so that they are well prepared for post-secondary studies. Therefore, the objective of our ESL program is to equip international students with the requisite English language skills for finding academic success both at Luther and at a post-secondary institution of their choosing. 

Due to the strong emphasis on academics found at Luther, international students coming with a credit in English from another institution may not be able to succeed in Luther’s regular English classes. The same applies to other humanities classes including History and Christian Ethics. Students studying in an academic environment typically need a lot of language support, and because of this fact, Luther provides ample English language support for our international students, both in the classroom and one-on-one, until they have reached a proficiency level where they can find academic success on their own. The placement of international students in both ESL and mainstream courses is based on the results of a language assessment that all non-native English speakers must complete over Skype before attending Luther (see 'Skype Assessments' below).

Objective for Woodcock - Munoz Language Survey

The ESL department at Luther is keen on making the ESL program the best that it can be, and to do this we believe it is important to continually assess the needs of our students so that we might ever improve upon the curriculum used in our ESL classrooms. To better assess the needs of our students, the ESL department has begun to use the Woodcock-Munoz Language Survey Revised (WMLS-R).

The WMLS-R has been designed to measure the language proficiency of English language learners as well as the cognitive-academic language proficiency of students. It assesses picture vocabulary, verbal analogies, letter-word identification, and dictation as measures of oral language, reading, and writing domains. At Luther College High School, the ESL department is utilizing the WMLS-R pre- and post-test model as a comprehensive assessment battery to aid in the planning of instructional programs, for evaluating program effectiveness, and for monitoring student progress. Students will partake in the pre-test upon arrival, and the post-test in the spring of each academic year while attending Luther College High School.

Important to Remember

1) All students planning to graduate from Luther College are required to study one Christian Ethics class per year of study at Luther.  Exceptions are possible if students have recognized credits in Christian Ethics at another institution prior to attending Luther College.  For Intermediate and Advanced Level ESL students the requirement is deferred until the students’ English comprehension is sufficient to study and participate in the Christian Ethics curriculum.

2) We believe that involvement in the school community is essential for the linguistic and personal growth of our international students. Therefore, a major component of our ESL programming is something called Opportunities for Practicing English (OFPE), a series of assignments that measure student integration into the community at Luther.  Students are evaluated on their English language “practice” efforts and involvement in the co–curricular and community life at Luther College.  For example, students may join an athletic team or student club, or participate in the running the school’s annual musical (just a few of many options) then, based on this involvement, students submit an assignment in which they provide an analysis of their English speaking experience.

3) Student attendance for both ESL classes and one-on-one tutorials is critical and will be one of the determining factors in whether or not a student passes into either the next level of ESL or graduate from the ESL program.

Skype Assessments

All international students who do not speak English as their first language must complete an online English language assessment via Skype, which is the initial stage in the application process. This assessment is approximately two hours long and consists of an interview and separate writing, reading, and listening tests. Luther uses the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) to determine which language proficiency level a student is at. We currently accept students whose proficiency level is at CEFR B1 or higher. For more information about the CEFR, follow this link:

 http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_EN.pdf

Beginner Level

Students who test at the Beginner level (CEFR A1 and A2) will not be accepted into Luther College.  These students lack the requisite language skills to function at Luther College not only academically but also in daily life.  Students may reapply at a later date but must reach an Intermediate level (CEFR B1 or higher) to be able to function and study at our high school campus.

Intermediate Level (CEFR B1)

The cost for this program in 2017–18 is $9,890.

1.  All students who test at the Intermediate level are registered in Grade Nine.  This grade level could be adjusted (if appropriate) when the student completes the requirements for Intermediate Level ESL.

2.  This program is for students needing to develop the requisite language skills to participate in a limited amount of the academic program at Luther. 

3. Intermediate students attend three ESL classes (totalling 150 minutes) per day in order to help them meet the linguistic and academic expectations at Luther:

  1. Intermediate students will meet daily with a private teacher to work on their reading, writing, and grammar skills. 
  2. Students will also meet in small groups (2-4 students per group) in a daily conversation class focusing on speaking, pronunciation, and listening skills.
  3. In addition, Intermediate level will attend a daily Vocabulary class.

4. Students will not be registered for humanities classes at this level. Humanities classes include English, History, and Christian Ethics. Students will also not be able to study Science, or any other modern language course. 

5.  In order to pass from the Intermediate level of ESL (CEFR B1), students are expected to demonstrate the requisite language skills for studying at the Advanced level (CEFR B2).  To pass the Intermediate Level, students are required to achieve a grade of 75% or more.

Advanced Level (CEFR B2)

The cost for this program in 2017–18 is $5,060.

1. This program is for students needing to develop the requisite language skills for participating in the full academic program at Luther. 

2.  Advanced level ESL students will attend a daily class that focuses on reading, speaking, listening, and grammar skills. This class is extended to include two additional periods a week that will focus specifically on writing skills (totalling 7 Advanced ESL classes per week).

3.  Students will also attend private tutoring sessions on alternating days (equalling five tutorials every two weeks) with an ESL teacher assigned by the ESL department. These tutorials are lead by the students 50% of the time and by their tutor the other 50% of the time. When a student leads a tutorial session they are expected to bring in questions about the content of their courses, and when the tutor leads the session they focus on a linguistic aspect that it specific to the individual needs of their students.

4.  Most of the students at this level will be registered in a grade nine English class in order to experience the expectations in the humanities classes at Luther College. 

5.  Students that have received a transfer credit from their previous school in English 10 that is recognized by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Learning will be registered for English 10 in their first semester at Luther.

6.  Students will not be permitted to study other humanities classes at this level.  These include History, Christian Ethics, and a language other than Latin.

7.  Students are expected to receive a grade of 75% or more in order to pass the Advanced ESL course (CEFR B2) and move into the Higher Level ESL program (CEFR C1).

Higher Level (CEFR C1)

The cost for this program in 2016–17 is $3,480.

1. This program is for students ready to participate more fully in the academic program at Luther with consideration given to their level of English comprehension.

2. Students will receive tutorial assistance for one class period every second school day (equalling 5 tutorials every two weeks).  These tutorials will assist students to better understand their assignments in all classes but with particular focus on the humanities where language comprehension is a work in progress. Higher Level students are expected to control each of their tutorial sessions by bringing prepared questions about the content of their humanities courses. Their tutor’s role is to guide them to think critically about the content and to develop their own opinions and arguments, thus gradually helping them to become autonomous learners.

3.  Students at this level will be registered to study English and Christian Ethics. Students may be registered in a maximum of two humanities classes while studying Higher Level ESL with no more than one class in each subject. 

4.  In exceptional cases students may be allowed to also register for History in addition to Christian Ethics and English (typically happens when a student must repeat Higher Level).  For a student to be eligible, all of the teachers this student had the previous semester must agree they have exceptional motivation.  In such situations, the student may be allowed to add the third humanities class.

5. Students are limited to two Humanities classes and are not allowed to enrol in two courses of English simultaneously with a language other than English (i.e. Latin, French, and German).

6. To pass from Higher Level, students must meet the following three criteria:

  1. Students at this level will be expected to pass all of the courses they are registered in and maintain an overall average of 65%.
  2. The student’s English and Christian Ethics (and History if permitted) teachers must collectively agree that the student is ready to move on without further ESL support. This agreement is based on the student’s performance during class time, their level of involvement, and whether the student showed sufficient evidence of mastering course content.
  3. The student’s Higher Level tutor must agree that the student is ready to move on without further ESL support based on their performance during tutorial sessions. The tutor will refer to the CEFR C1 benchmarks to determine whether the student is demonstrating language skills at this level, including critical thinking and clearly articulating opinions and outlining arguments in both speaking and writing, among many others.

**If one or more of these three criteria are not met, then a student will likely need to repeat Higher Level ESL for another semester so as to make sure that the student is receiving the support they need to meet their academic goals.