Intermediate Level (CEFR B1 - IELTS 5 - TOEFL 61)
The Foundations Program (CEFR – Intermediate B1) provides the basic requirements to build a strong foundation for both academic and social English skills. Students in this program have carefully planned schedules approved by the ESL director and the Vice-Principal of Academics that seek to balance the academic, artistic, and social needs of our students. This balance helps to create a right brain/left brain approach to language learning.
To graduate from the Foundations ESL program, students in this course must maintain a 75% average in their 3 ESL classes (Conversation, Reading/Vocabulary, Writing). Assessments for these classes are benchmarked using the CEFR B1/B2 standard as their goal.
ESL Foundations Classes
In addition to a small selection of Grade 9 classes, the students in this program take three ESL classes every day (150 minutes/day) for one semester. The classes in the Foundations level use a number of strategies to develop and strengthen language development. These include interactive classes, games, daily journals and reading/vocabulary logs, a commitment to technology, and careful attention to planning and strategizing the order and pace of lessons for our students.
The first class is a group conversation class. Here, students will learn to connect what they are learning to experiences in the community. This program seeks to build communicative confidence through a variety of challenging activities where students learn to negotiate meaning, reflect, develop fluency, and use many opportunities for authentic practice in a supportive environment.
Students at this level will also take a Vocabulary/Reading class. In this class, students will develop the skills needed to engage in self-directed vocabulary acquisition and build better reading comprehension skills in a small group setting. Students in this class will use technology to build vocabulary lists, create a reading log and discuss progress with their classes. The teachers will use a variety of methods to help readers retain more information and think more critically about their subject matter.
Finally, a one on one writing skills class will give special attention to the area that most students struggle with when studying in Canada. Because Luther College High School is a university prep school, our students need special attention to develop their academic writing skills. The ESL program gives individualised daily writing sessions, where teachers can help the student develop their writing using many innovative and creative methods in the process.
Language learning is a difficult process. While our strict daily regiment of ESL classes works to support our students in their academic life, other scheduled classes will help support their social and artistic needs. In addition to their Reading, Conversation, and Writing classes, students in the Foundations Program are also be offered several regular classes. These include Art, Wellness, Drama, Music and Math 9. While many of these classes are non-credit classes, they do provide authentic opportunities in a low stakes environment to practice many of the language skills taught in their ESL classes. Classes like drama, art, and wellness emphasise speaking and listening skills while providing a fun environment where our students can display many of their talents in classes that do not rely heavily on reading or writing.