Multilingual learning

The SCDSB offers programs and services to multilingual learners (MLL) in elementary and secondary schools. When necessary, schools can arrange for use of The Translation Line, a service that provides the assistance of a third-party language interpreter when placing phone calls and receiving phone calls with individuals who speak a language other than English.

A MLL is a student that is new to Canada and learning English, or born in Canada and first starting to learn English when they enter school. These students may require focused educational support to assist them in attaining proficiency in English. English as a Second Language (ESL) programs help students learn English while simultaneously participating in the curriculum and school life with their English-speaking classmates.
English Literacy Development (ELD) programs help students who arrive in Ontario and have limited prior schooling or access to formal education. ELD programs support students to develop the literacy skills they need in English in order to be successful with the academic knowledge of the Ontario curriculum.

The Ontario English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum ensures that students receive the support they need to learn the language and the Ontario curriculum simultaneously.

For more information about ELL support in the SCDSB, contact [email protected].

School-level support for MLL


Elementary schools

MLL teacher facilitators work with classroom teachers to support English language learners develop English proficiency, cultural awareness, and effective strategies needed to succeed in learning the Ontario curriculum. Programs are developed and targeted instruction are provided by the classroom teacher and adaptations to the curriculum are made based on each student’s individual needs.

Secondary schools

In designated secondary schools, students can take up to five ESL courses towards their diploma. Students may substitute up to three ESL or ELD courses for compulsory English credit requirements for their diploma. Additional ESL/ELD credits may be counted as optional credits for their diploma. Also, students are offered other credit courses adapted to their needs (e.g., history, mathematics, science).