Programs » English Language Learners Program

English Language Learners Program

​The English Language Learner (ELL) program at Wellington Catholic supports students whose first language is not English. Wellington Catholic welcomes all new families into the Catholic community.

Each year, new ELL students are assessed by trained teachers to establish the student's level of English proficiency. Students with limited English skills are usually at STEP 1 and 2 and will require some additional supports in the classroom. For students at STEP 3-6 the ELL Resource teacher plans with the classroom teachers so that the student can achieve success.

Teachers help students bridge curriculum through strategies such as, creating dual language books, using visually supportive materials and resources, explicitly teaching vocabulary and its' structures  and linking big ideas to prior knowledge.

The length of time needed to achieve a level of proficiency in English where supports are no longer needed varies from student to student. Generally, students require 6 months to 2 years to learn the everyday language but it can take up to 5 to 7 years to be able to use academic language effectively.


English language learners who require support during the elementary school years and high school are placed in their age-appropriate grade level and attend the school closest to their home according to district boundaries. ELL resource teachers offer support to the classroom teacher and to students who are at the early stages of learning English.

Instruction for ELLs is generally content-based and linked to grade-level curriculum expectations. These expectations are adapted according to the students' stage of English language proficiency. Once English language learners are able to achieve grade-level expectations without changes to their program, they no longer require support.


Teachers and students work together to link concepts and cultures to new learning. Each newcomer brings a wealth of expertise and experiences to the classroom environment. All the students in the class gain the opportunity to listen, interact and learn from one another. In this way everyone benefits by expanding points of view and developing the character traits of respect, patience, acceptance and inclusiveness.


Immigration Services and/or the County of Wellington settlement workers provide assistance to newcomers in the areas of translation, employment, housing and advocacy as required.

Resource Links:

County of Wellington – Settlement Services

Immigration Services  Guelph-Wellington

Guelph Wellington Local Immigration Partnership

For more information on government funded programs and initiatives, please visit:

Supporting English 
Language Learners 
A practical guide for Ontario educators 
Grades 1 to 8

Click Here
English Language Learners ESL and ELD Program and Services

Click Here
Supporting English 
Language Learners with 
Limited Prior Schooling
A practical guide for Ontario educators
Grades 3 to 12

Click Here
English Language Learners 
in Kindergarten
A practical guide for Ontario educators

Click Here​