English as an Additional Language (EAL) for Students
EAL PROGRAMS IN RIVER EAST TRANSCONA SCHOOL DIVISION (RETSD)
In RETSD, we provide students with the education, guidance, and services they need to learn and become the best they can be. We know our students who are English language learners face extra challenges and may need special help if they are to succeed. That's why we have established several English as an additional language (EAL) programs. Research shows that these programs can help students who are new to the country and learning the English language.
What is an EAL Program?
EAL programs are designed to help English language learners be successful in school. Students in EAL programs attend EAL classes for part of the day, where they receive academic and social support along with language training. During the rest of the day, they attend classes that do not require high levels of English ability. As soon as the students are ready, they are encouraged to attend all classes with students their own age or grade level. The length of time in the EAL program varies with each student.
Who Can Access EAL Programs?
EAL programs are available to English language learners in Grades 5–12 who are residents of RETSD. This includes students who are newly arrived to Canada, and students who have been in Canada a while but still need help with English.
Note: English language programming and support for students in kindergarten to Grade 4 happens at their community school.
Where are EAL Programs Located in RETSD?
There are three EAL programs in the division. Students usually attend the program that is closest to their home and most appropriate to their age level and English ability. The programs are located at:
John Pritchard School (Grades 5–8)
1490 Henderson Hwy.
Collège Miles Macdonell Collegiate (Grades 9–12)
757 Roch St.
Kildonan-East Collegiate (Grades 9–12)
845 Concordia Ave.
LANGUAGE, ACADEMICS & LITERACY (LAL)
Students arriving in RETSD with interrupted formal education are encouraged to attend the Collège Miles Macdonell Collegiate LAL program. In this program, students with significant language and knowledge gaps will benefit from individualized programming and support as they learn English and become accustomed to life in Canada.
HOW DO EAL/LAL PROGRAMS HELP STUDENTS?
Knowing English is an important part of adjusting to life in Winnipeg. The programs are designed to help students become comfortable in English, both in and out of school. Although students may learn conversational English in one to two years, it may take up to 10 years for them to learn academic English. Teachers in the programs have experience helping students learn the vocabulary they need to be successful in school.
Academic concepts are learned at different stages and in different ways in each country. The programs focus not only on English, but also on important academic concepts. Students are prepared to enter the regular classroom with the background knowledge that is essential for success.
Assistance with Adjusting to Life and School in Canada
Moving to Canada can be a big adjustment for many students. They must get used to a new culture and a new way of "doing" school. Teachers in the programs know how difficult this transition can be. They help students become aware of cultural differences and expectations in Canada. Being in a supportive environment can make this adjustment period easier for students.
Meeting Other Students Who Have Had Similar Experiences
Being in the programs allows students to meet other students going through the same process of adjustment. They are able to talk to students and teachers who understand the feelings they are experiencing. Newcomers in the program may feel less isolated and they have opportunities to build positive new friendships.
HOW DO NEWCOMER STUDENTS ACCESS EAL/LAL PROGRAMS?
When newcomer students register for school, they meet with the newcomer reception facilitator. The facilitator helps students and families determine if the programs are appropriate, and assists with registration. Students who did not register for school through the newcomer reception facilitator, but who would like to access the programs, are encouraged to discuss the options with their current school.
Students who are not part of the programs, but who need help with English, will be supported at the school they are attending. This supportive plan will outline how the school will assist the student to meet outcomes and be successful in school.
STUDENTS' THOUGHTS ABOUT EAL
"It helped me learn how the Canadian school system is different from back home."
"It helped me make friends easily."
"It helped me get ready for regular classes."
"EAL helped me become a confident person."
"I remember my first day in EAL, my teacher said, 'Good morning' and asked, 'How are you?' I did understand what she asked but I couldn't respond and was too afraid of my awful pronunciation. Today, I can laugh about, but I'm sure not ashamed of what happened, because that was one of the steps I had to climb to reach the top."
"I like EAL because it's a class where we learn and have fun. We meet new people and we do things that help us learn, and the teachers are nice and funny."
"EAL helped me in learning English and also in adjusting to Canadian culture. It helped me a lot, and now I'm in all the classes and working hard."
For more information, contact the newcomer reception facilitator at 204.669.5643 or firstname.lastname@example.org.