English Language Learners

Warne Sisler Warne.Sisler@burnabyschools.ca Department Head
Claudia Gillard Claudia.Gillard@burnabyschools.ca
  • Dev: Eng 
  • Exp: SS
  • Exp: Science
Devyn Hoyle Devyn.Hoyle@burnabyschools.ca
  • Exp: Eng
  • Exp: SS
  • Dev: CL
  • Dev: SS
Christina Melo Christina.Melo@burnabyschools.ca
  • Exp: Science
  • Dev: Science
Erin Seong Erin.Seong@burnabyschools.ca
  • SIOP
  • Dev: Science
Jack Tran Jack.Tran@burnabyschools.ca
  • Dev: CL



English Language Learners arrive in Canada with a desire to maintain academic progress while they are in the process of acquiring social and academic English language skills.  Content-based ELL courses assist with this goal by focusing language learning on the content and language skills that are necessary for success in secondary school classes.  ELL teachers differentiate instruction to meet the individual needs of all students.


Overview of Levels 1 and 2 Language and Literacy Courses:

The intent of ELL Language and Literacy is to prepare ELL students for successful participation in mainstream English classes.  Language and Literacy explores who we are and our connections to a wider world through the study of fiction and nonfiction texts.  Emphasis is placed on scaffolding language to support critical thinking.  A wide range of literary and factual genres including short stories, novels, poems and plays, biographies and expository writing are included to develop an understanding of how authors use language to communicate effectively with their intended audience.


Overview of Levels 1 and 2 Cultural Studies Courses:

 The intent of ELL Cultural Studies is to prepare ELL students for successful participation in mainstream social studies classes. Cultural Studies explores the interaction of students and their communities.  Initially students focus on familiar, concrete environments of family and communities.  As their linguistic abilities increase, topics extend to less familiar national and international communities. Emphasis is placed on scaffolding language to support critical thinking. The major themes of society, politics and law, economy and technology and environment might be explored through five essential questions.


Overview of Levels 1 and 2 Science Applications Courses:

The intent of ELL Science Applications courses is to support successful participation in mainstream science classes. Initially, in ELL1 Science Applications, students focus on topics that are concrete and familiar.  As linguistic abilities increase, topics extend to those that are more abstract and theoretical.  Emphasis is placed on scaffolding language to support critical thinking.  In ELL 1 Science Applications, the major streams of life science, physical science, earth and space science might be explored through six essential questions.

The purpose of ELL2 Science Applications is to support literacy development for ELL students currently enrolled in mainstream science courses.  Emphasis is placed on the development of all four language strands- listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Liaison with science teachers helps to insure coordination of content and language learning.  The focus of ELL 2 Science Applications is the development of specific science literacy skills rather than presentation of separate content objectives.


Overview of Level 1 Technical and Applied Language Course:

The intent of ELL Technical and Applied Language is to support student success in a number of elective secondary courses such as physical education, home economics, technology education, and career and health education.  As well, it is important to help students acquire the cultural and linguistic knowledge necessary to insure personal safety.


Transition to ELL Level 3 and 4 Courses—Language Adapted (LA) Courses:

In Language Adapted courses, ELL learners continue to build on their academic language skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  They also have the opportunity to earn graduation credits.  In the English 10 course, students will write a Provincial Exam which will form 20% of their final mark for the course.  Please see English and Social Studies websites for further information.


ELL course descriptions are cited directly from the Burnaby ELL document developed by many ELL Burnaby educators in June 2013.  Topics may vary from the ones indicated above as it is dependent upon student interests and readiness levels.