ESL Students Need More Support

Ontario public elementary schools require additional funding for programs and support for students of immigrants whose first language is not English, the president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said today.
“Teachers do their best,” Emily Noble said. “But because of inadequate funding they are not able to provide these students with the full support they need to succeed academically.”

Noble said ETFO supports many of the findings of a report released today by the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, which called on the federal and provincial governments to increase funding for programs for students with English as a second language/English as a second dialect (ESL/ESD) needs.

She noted that delegates to ETFO’s annual meeting passed motions calling on the federal and provincial governments to provide adequate funding for ESL/ESD students for as long they require support.

“Many students born in Canada do not have English as a first language,” Noble said. Annual meeting delegates said the province must require school boards to provide ESL/ESD programs taught by qualified ESL/ESD teachers for pupils whose first language is not standard English, regardless of where they were born.

“As well there must be increased support for Aboriginal students both on and off reserve,” Noble said. “These students need culturally appropriate programs and support to allow them to achieve academic success.”