English as an Additional Language

“A welcoming and inclusive multi cultural school is one in which students and parents of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds feel welcome, valued, and included.”  Coelho 2004


As the number of newcomer families increases, Garden Valley School Division continues to adapt to the changing needs of its students by providing English as an Additional Language (EAL) instruction. The EAL program prepares newcomer students by developing the skills that will support their success.

Research indicates that most English language learners acquire conversational fluency and day-to-day language proficiency within a year or two. During this time they also acquire a basic vocabulary of high-frequency words (such as old, food, or tired). However, it takes much longer for most English language learners to catch up to their peers in using English as a language for learning.

In observing English language learners, many may assume that, once these students can converse in English, they are proficient in using the language and require no additional support or consideration. However, the research shows that, whereas students are often proficient in conversation and the use of day-to-day language within a year or two, they need several more years to develop academic language. During this period, they need support and encouragement to be patient and persist.

EAL instruction in Garden Valley School Division

  • Assists learners in adding English to their linguistic repertoires and becoming proficient in the language
  • Provides learning opportunities that will allow learners to continue to develop intellectually and as citizens.
  • Assists learners in successfully integrating into and contributing to the classroom and school community
  • Enables learners to benefit from school programming and to achieve the learning outcomes identified in the provincial curriculum
  • Enhances choices and opportunities for learners to access and benefit from adult and post-secondary learning experiences.