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English / Multi-Language Learners

STEP Initial Assessment*

STEP Steps to English Proficiency (Updated Nov 2015).pdf


Initial Language Assessment – User Guide

Oral, Grades 1-2

Reading, Grades 1-3

Reading, Grades 4-12

Writing, Grades 1-3

Writing, Grades 4-12


Elementary - User Guide

* Access to the full initial assessment materials are only available to school boards through a ministry-provided password. If EduGains is still online and you have the password, it is available within the STEP Initial Language/Mathematics Assessment section

STEP Ongoing Assessment

English as a Second Language Observable Language Continua

Video Series - Expert Voices on Supporting English Language Learners

Dr. Jim Cummins

Dr. Eunice Jang

Video Series - Supporting English Language Learners

An example of teaching practices that can be put to immediate use in the classroom and in the school. It also shares practices for schools welcoming newcomers, and working effectively with community partners and families.

Videos and video viewing guides, originally posted on EduGains, are linked below. They are also available as a showcase on the ministry's Vimeo account. 

Supporting English Language Learners Grades 1- 8

Viewers Guide (PDF)

Segment 1: Understanding English Language Learners

Who are ELLs? What are their challenges? What can schools do to support their learning?

Segment 2: Building a Whole School Approach

How can schools build a whole school approach to welcome and support ELLs? What can schools do to engage students and parents in the school community?

Segment 3: Closing the Learning Gap

Which learning strategies benefit not just ELLs but all students? What are the advantages of co-teaching and small group instruction?

Segment 4: Learning Through the Curriculum

How can teachers make the most of a student's first language skills in classroom experiences? Which instructional supports help ELLs acquire English while meeting the demands of the curriculum?

Segment 5: Talking about Language Acquisition and Learning

Why is early exposure to reading and storytelling so important for ELLs? What are the benefits of direct teaching of word knowledge and how language works? Listen to experts Elizabeth Coelho and Jim Cummins discuss the role of first language(s) and the concept of "universal design.

Segment 6: Finding Starting Points to Enable Learning

How do initial assessment practices impact learning? How do you establish an effective learning environment not only for ELLs, but for all students. Why are multiple opportunities to talk and process thinking so important for ELLs?

Segment 7: Adapting the Classroom Program for ELLs

What modifications and accommodations allow ELL students, even at beginning levels of English proficiency, to participate successfully in the classroom and acquire understanding in content areas?

Segment 8: Differentiating Instruction for ELLs

How is differentiated instruction beneficial for ELLs? What instructional strategies are especially powerful?

Segment 9: Aligning the Work

Why does the whole school community need to support ELLs? Listen to system leaders discuss alignment (school/district/province) to support ELLs in Ontario schools.

Segment 10: Concluding Thoughts

Synthesis of key ideas presented in the videos.