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English as a Second Language

Welcome to the English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum. This information page includes an overview of the curriculum and important information about the program structure, assessment and materials available.

1. Program Overview

The Kativik school board’s competency-based English Second Language program is taught from grade 3 to secondary 2.3 (often referred to as secondary 5). The program is described and explained in two key documents: the Program of Study and the Progression of Learning

Inside each document, you will find the scales of learning development that range from level 1 to level 12. To better understand how to teach and evaluate using the scales, Kativik Ilisarniliriniq (KI) offers educators two additional resources: Competency 2 Reading exemplars and Competency 3 Writing exemplars. These two exemplars provide concrete examples of C2 and C3 at each level of the scales of competency.

Educators are encouraged to use all four documents when preparing to teach English as a Second Language and to evaluate students’ language development. KI also recommends that teachers become familiar with the Québec Education Program (QEP) published by MEES, the Ministère de l’Éducation de l’Enseignement supérieur (in English, Ministry of Education and Higher Education).

Program of Study

Although the English as a Second Language (ESL) program differs from the QEP (Quebec Education Plan), it is based on MEES’ requirement. In general, KI’s language programs are competency-based and evaluate students’ ability to use the language in a variety of contexts. The programs observe students’ evolving mastery instead of evaluating how well they perform on a test.

To read complete information about the English as a Second Language curriculum download the Primary / Secondary Program of Study.



Progression of Learning

This document is organized into three sections: 1) progression of learning, 2) essential knowledge, and 3) annex. The first two sections highlight two teaching tools: progression of learning and essential knowledge for English as a second language. These tools reaffirm the crucial role that knowledge plays in the development of the ESL competencies. They outline the knowledge required by students to become competent ESL learners. They assist teachers in their overall planning and also outline when knowledge is to be introduced, practiced and acquired. The tools will help teachers ensure that their students’ learning, in addition to competency development, is consistent with their peer groups across KSB. Overall, when combined, both tools bring consistency to the way English is taught specifically in schools and, more broadly, across Nunavik. In the annex of this document, teachers will find lists of suggested vocabulary and grammar that students require in order to be competent users of English. These lists correspond to items found in the essential knowledge. 



2. Assessment

Our language programs are based on competencies and are assessed using the scales of learning development.  Here are the three competencies for the English as a Second Language program.

Interacts orally in English

Understands and responds to texts

Writes texts

3. Pedagogy

Balanced Literacy

It is important to use a balanced literacy approach to teaching and learning a second or even third language. This approach is holistic; the 3 English skills intertwine to facilitate language acquisition. A balanced approach to literacy means that all 3 skills are regularly taught as learning objectives in your classroom and that you balance the time you spend teaching each skill. To learn more, read the article Teaching a Language is About finding Balance.


Multidisciplinarity aims to integrate several subjects to contextualize learning and increase relevance for the learner. Using the same vocabulary in multiple subjects helps with language acquisition. Students must use a word more than 15-20 times before they can remember it. So using vocabulary in multiple contexts is the best way to acquire it.

Learning centers

Centers are a classroom organization where small groups of students rotate through activities (separate areas), individually or in teams.  Students move between activities at set intervals of time.  This is a good strategy to get your students moving, both at the elementary and secondary levels.  Learning centers can help keep students engaged and consolidate their learning. They can also add variety to your lesson plans. Centers can be adapted to any class!  This approach greatly helps in differentiating content for students. Here are some ideas you can use in your classrooms to incorporate learning centers into your lesson plans.

A elders-centered approach:

Elders have a very important role in Inuit culture as knowledge holders. The integration of their knowledge in different school subjects is conducive to second language learning. The 3 competencies of the English as a second language program can easily be worked on with the knowledge and participation of the Nunavimmiut elders. Building learning and assessment sequences around texts, interviews and short films featuring elders will have a positive impact on your students. View a variety of interviews with some of Nunavik’s elders.

4. Resources

Many resources are available to teach second language in the classroom or online. Our team constantly updates the Nunavik-IcE platform to provide you with Inuit-centered Education resources.

Some of the following resources support reinvestment of knowledge, they are not designed to support the process of constructing knowledge with teacher guidance or the application of knowledge by the end of the school year (for more information, see elements of knowledge in the progression of learning).

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5. Communication

Contact your education consultants by email or by phone at 819 964-1136.



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