English as a Second Language

The Bethune ESL Department has courses for all English language learners. In addition to our semestered ESL A/B and ESL C/D courses, we also have ESL E courses and Presentation Skills courses to help students transition to academic and applied level English courses.

We value experiential learning. Students enjoy a variety of field trips and activities to help them become familiar with their community and Canada and it’s customs and traditions.

The Bethune ESL Department has been instrumental in organizing the TDSB-wide ESL Speech Competition. Students have the opportunity to create their own speeches, compete at the class level, school level and board level. Not only do they gain valuable experience in speaking in front of large audiences, they are also able to win some terrific prizes! This is definitely one of the highlights of the school year!


Teacher(s): Ms N. Soni

This course builds on students’ previous education and language knowledge to introduce them to the English language and help them adjust to the diversity in their new environment. Students will use beginning English language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing for everyday and essential academic purposes. They will engage in short conversations using basic English language structures and simple sentence patterns; read short adapted texts; and write phrases and short sentences. The course also provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to begin to adapt to their new lives in Canada.


Teacher(s): Ms N. Soni

This course extends students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English for everyday and academic purposes. Students will participate in conversations in structured situations on a variety of familiar and new topics; read a variety of texts designed or adapted for English language learners; expand their knowledge of English grammatical structures and sentence patterns; and link English sentences to compose paragraphs. The course also supports students’ continuing adaptation to the Ontario school system by expanding their knowledge of diversity in their new province and country.


Teacher(s): Ms D. Ceccol

This course further extends students’ skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English for a variety of everyday and academic purposes. Students will make short classroom oral presentations; read a variety of adapted and original texts in English; and write using a variety of text forms. As well, students will expand their academic vocabulary and their study skills to facilitate their transition to the mainstream school program. This course also introduces students to the rights and responsibilities inherent in Canadian citizenship, and to a variety of current Canadian issues.


Teacher(s):Ms D. Ceccol

This course prepares students to use English with increasing fluency and accuracy in classroom and social situations and to participate in Canadian society as informed citizens. Students will develop the oral-presentation, reading, and writing skills required for success in all school subjects. They will extend listening and speaking skills through participation in discussions and seminars; study and interpret a variety of grade-level texts; write narratives, articles, and summaries in English; and respond critically to a variety of print and media texts.


Teacher(s): Ms L. Barrs, Mr. G. Williams

This course provides students with the skills and strategies they need to make the transition to college and university preparation courses in English and other secondary school disciplines. Students will be encouraged to develop independence in a range of academic tasks. They will participate in debates and lead classroom workshops; read and interpret literary works and academic texts; write essays, narratives, and reports; and apply a range of learning strategies and research skills effectively. Students will further develop their ability to respond critically to print and media texts.

Literacy and Presentation Skills


This course helps strengthen essential reading and writing skills, providing students with extra literacy support. It also emphasizes the knowledge and skills required to plan and make effective presentations and to speak effectively in both formal and informal contexts, using such forms as reports, speeches, debates, panel discussions, storytelling, recitations, interviews, and multimedia presentations. Students will research and analyse the content and characteristics of convincing speeches and the techniques of effective speakers; design and rehearse presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences; select and use visual and technological aids to enhance their message; and assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ presentations.

Course Descriptions:

The Ministry of Education provides detailed course descriptions.