English Language Skills

What it is

An area of student need, involving the acquisition of the English language. While not officially part of special education, English Language Learners will have special education needs in the same proportion as students whose first language is English. ELL students often benefit from some of the resources related to special education.

Teaching Strategies

• Provide direct instruction in English language (oral, written and reading).
• Use computers and dictionaries for translation and language acquisition (games).
• Use assistive technology for speech to text.
• Allow extra time for processing and responses.
• Reduce the quantity of work.


• Use preferential seating, so that the student is close to assistive devices.


• Allow extra time.
• Allow translation supports.
• Offer an alternative location.
• Ensure the student understands directions.
• Read questions to the student, provide prompts, and scribe.
• Chunk tests/assignments and give feedback for each part.
• Offer a choice of assessments and include maps and charts to support language.


Page on Ontario Ministry of Education EDU GAINS website, with definitions, resources and strategies for use with English Language Learners.

Variety of resources, sorted by topic.

Variety of lessons, organized by topic.