English language learners

The term “English language learner” is defined by English Language Learners: ESL and ELD Programs and Services: Policies and Procedures for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2007).

If an English language learner is working toward a Grade 9 mathematics credit (MTH1W) in a publicly funded school, the student is required to participate in the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. There are no deferrals or exemptions for the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics.

Section 2.9.1 of English Language Learners states: “English language learners should participate in the Grade 3 and Grade 6 provincial assessments in reading, writing and mathematics and the Grade 9 provincial assessment in mathematics, when they have acquired the level of proficiency in English required for success.”

Further reference:

  • Supporting English Language Learners: A Practical Guide for Ontario Educators, Grades 1 to 8 (2008)
  • STEP: Steps to English Proficiency, A Guide for Users (2015)

Ensure decisions regarding special provisions are made:

  • prior to the test
  • for each student individually
  • in consultation with the student and parents or guardians or the mature student, and with the appropriate educators

English language learners can receive the following Special Provision of:

  • extended periodic supervised breaks.

All English language learners are permitted to use a digital or paper language resource (e.g., dual-language glossary, translating tool), if these are used on a regular basis and are non-instructional (e.g., no definitions). This resource can be in electronic or paper format and it can also be one that the student created themselves (e.g., a personal glossary). 

Breaks are not considered part of the time allotted for the assessment and extra time with supervision is permitted for all students.

English language learners who have special education needs and an Individual Education Plan are entitled to accommodations. Refer to the Accommodations section for more information.

School administrators must designate the special provision for English language learners in the Student Record under the Special Provisions tab. Refer to the section Editing the student information for details on accessing the Student Record.

Updated on April 24, 2024