Support for English Language Learners
English Language Learners New to Ottawa
Once families have arrived in Ottawa, they should contact the Family Reception Centre at 613-239-2416 to make an appointment for initial assessment and school placement. The Family Reception Centre staff will recommend the most appropriate placement for students after assessing their educational background, English language proficiency and mathematics skills. The Family Reception Centre is open 12 months of the year and is located in the Adult High School building, 300 Rochester Street, Room 202. Families should call WELL BEFORE the first day of school in September, wherever possible, to avoid delays. Appointments will be scheduled only after families have arrived in Ottawa.
Please Note: The Family Reception Centre assesses students aged 4 to 20 who wish to pursue their education in the public school system at the elementary or secondary level. If you have any questions about whether or not your child requires an assessment, please contact the Family Reception Centre.
Course Selection — Completing the Option Sheet
Grade 8 and secondary students will complete the Option Sheet process at their school with the assistance of parents/guardians and school staff. Please contact your child’s school for further information or contact ESL/ELD staff in Curriculum Services at 133 Greenbank Road at 613-596-8211, ext. 8539.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Support
ESL programs are intended for students whose first language is not English or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools and who arrive in Canada with age-appropriate first-language literacy skills and educational backgrounds. Secondary students receive a credit for their ESL language courses but the courses are not linked to any grade since placement is based on English language proficiency.
Note: Students taking ESL language courses at the secondary level may also be able to choose some sheltered content courses to further support their learning, depending on availability. Please consult your child’s secondary school Option Sheet for details.
English Literacy Development (ELD) Support
ELD programs are intended for students whose first language is not English or is a variety of English significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools and who arrive in Canada with significant gaps in their education. They are most often from countries in which their access to education has been limited so that they have had limited opportunities to develop language and literacy skills in any language. Secondary students receive a credit for their ELD language courses but the courses are not linked to any grade since placement is based on English language proficiency and educational background.
Secondary Schools Offering ESL and ELD* Courses
Central Orientation Class (COC)
The focus of the COC is on acquiring English literacy and math literacy skills. Eligible students are aged 18 to 21 who are newcomers to Ottawa. Students earn one high school language credit per semester (e.g., ELDAO, ELDBO) depending on their level of English language proficiency. Mathematics is offered as either an upgrading or credit course depending on math proficiency. The COC is located at Adult High School. For more information on the COC or to make an appointment for assessment, please call the Family Reception Centre at 613-239-2416.
Multicultural Liaison Officers (MLOs)
The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), in cooperation with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, provides the services of multicultural liaison officers (MLOs) to the Family Reception Centre and a number of schools. As a team MLOs are able to provide assistance in a variety of languages to schools to help address the settlement and integration needs of immigrant and refugee children and their families. Please contact the Family Reception Centre at 613-239-2416 or your child’s school for more information.
Adult ESL Support (Credit)
Contact Adult High School’s main office at 613-239-2707.
Adult ESL/Literacy Support (Non-credit)
Contact Continuing Education’s English as a Second Language Programs for Adults at 613-239-2737 or 613-239-2297.