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SD46 Indigenous Education

English Language Development




Some students with First Nations ancestry or from another dialectical context may need support to strengthen their English Language skills.  


The English Language Development (or English as a Second Dialect – ESD) program is intended to help students master language skills through culturally respectful and experience/response instruction.  The program does not seek to replace students’ Indigenous Language or community dialect.  Rather, the program “holds up” or honours all three of a student’s languages: their Indigenous language, their community dialect, and the formal English language they need for school and the world of business and work.  The program aims to develop vocabulary and language skills through play and experience so that students are able to appropriately code-switch, or choose the form of language depending on the situation. 

English Language Development, or ESD, is different to regular classroom instruction and different to English as a Second or Additional Language (ELL) instruction.

In SD46,  English Language Development/ESD support happens in one of two ways


The first is when there is one or a very small number of students in a school whose parents have agreed to assessment for ESD services.  In this case, the  Student Support Services Teacher consults and collaborates with the District Principal of Indigenous Learning and takes responsibility for the assessment and development of instruction goals in collaboration with the Classroom Teacher. The Resource teacher provides the day to day support of the student and classroom teachers in ESD programming.  The District Principal takes responsibility for supporting the development of the program. When requested, the District Principal will directly support program delivery.


The second is when there are a significant number of students in a school assessed as eligible for Language Development/ESD services.  In this case, the number of students typically generate enough funding for a specialist teacher to develop the program in collaboration with classroom teachers.  The specialist teacher works in classrooms and also works one to one as well as with small groups. The District Principal takes responsibility for assuring that the programming meets requirements and, when appropriate, will directly support the ESD Teacher in designing program delivery.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments:

Kerry Mahlman
District Principal
Indigenous Learning
School District No. 46 (Sunshine Coast)

Phone: 604 885 8345

Guy Morin
Director of Education
shíshálh Nation

Phone: 604-885-9404 ext. 257

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