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. The objective of our English as a Second Lanuage (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.
The ESL program uses a mixture of classroom and one-on-one instruction to ensure individual needs are being assessed and supported in a positive and caring learning environment. Benchmarked by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), the ESL program uses a three-step approach that helps to graduate our students from communicative confidence to autonomous learning.
Our Approach to ESL
1. The first step in our learning approach is our ESL Foundations program (CEFR B1). Here, students will encounter a mixture of communication, reading/vocabulary, and writing strategies designed to improve their academic skills, as well as provide opportunities for the students to use their English conversation in natural and meaningful ways. These combinations help to instil both academic and social confidence as our students become more accustomed to the expectations of a Canadian high school environment.
2. The second stage of ESL development, ESL Academic (CEFR B2), places increased emphasis on the academic skills required for high school and beyond. The students in this program will focus more on the academic reading, writing, research, and analysis skills needed to succeed in an academic environment. This course combines an academic ESL class with a writing strategies class and one-on-one language coaching. The combination of which helps to ensure that each student's global and individual language needs are met.
3. Finally, our ESL higher-level program (CEFR C1) will help address additional reading, writing and analysis questions and concerns students may encounter in upper-level courses. Students are taught in a one-on-one environment, where their specific course and language needs can be addressed. Students at this level are given additional help to direct them toward finding their answers and becoming more autonomous learners. These three steps help prepare our ESL students to work more effectively in any environment they may encounter, whether that be social or academic.
Supporting the Whole Student
In addition to our academic pursuits, the ESL program at Luther helps to support the non-academic needs of our students. Our "International Minded" staff member helps to facilitate opportunities for our students to join the high school through many events and activities. These include the International Café, school buddies and a wide variety of other activities that help our new students feel welcome and part of the Luther family. Students in our program are all encouraged to join afterschool clubs, sports teams, arts (drama, musical theatre, and choir). It is through these experiences that our students gain more motivation to practice and use their newly acquired language skills. These activities help create a positive high school experience, where our students are given the chance to make friends and expand their experiences.