Spoken English Learned Quickly (FREE ENGLISH NOW) website
ESL...and Learning Disabilities

ERGO Considerations prior to testing -recommendations
wikiHOW ESL Books
WEBQUEST English is as easy as pie
WEBQUEST: Welcome to learning English Verbs
WEBQUEST: Introductions
WEBQUEST: Parts of Speech
Cultural Issues: Technology: Equity WEBQUEST
WEBQUEST: A Quest for Native Accent Reduction
WEBQUEST: Let People Know Your Words
Teaching Creative Writing Through Web Pages
WEBQUEST: Practising Prosodic Features for Better Teacher Talk
WEBQUEST: You can learn English
American Slang
WEBQUEST Procedural Writing: How to Open a Bank Account
A Knight's Grammar Quest
When Words Mean More Than They Say (Idioms)
Mandarin Lesson
Amarillo Quest
Having Fun with Reading
Idioms in your pocket
What are you like? What do you look like?
Unit designed for Chinese university students studying ESL (Organ Donation)
Wollongong: A Great Place to Visit
WEBQUEST Universe Project
wikiHOW: World Languages
WEBQUEST Learning English is Fun
WEBQUEST How can we improve our reading skills?
WEBQUEST: Working with short stories
WEBQUESTS: Eating Disorders
I am a pronoun
What makes a good story
Bucket List with a Twist
Reading inspires children
Teaching Literature Treasure Hunt
Urban Legend Activities
Book Lovers Never Go To Bed Alone
How to express yourself
WEBQUEST: Teaching Listening & Speaking
WEBQUEST: Teaching Reading & Writing
Writing E-Mails & Notes
Reading Strategies & Activities for under-resourced students
Reading Strategies for under-resourced students
Two English Language Variations
WEBQUEST: Taking Care of Our Environment (ESL)

WEBQUEST: Reading Motivation

WEBQUEST Going to a New Country


WEBQUEST: Figures of Speech

ESL Wikispaces


Classroom teachers are the key educators of students who have special education needs. They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with special education teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal. Special Education Transformation: The Report of the Co-Chairs with the Recommendations of the Working Table on Special Education, 2006 endorses a set of beliefs that should guide program planning for students with special education needs in all disciplines. Those beliefs are as follows:

• All students can succeed.
• Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
• Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research, tempered by experience.
• Classroom teachers are key educators for a student's literacy and numeracy development.
• Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
• Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning environment that supports students with special education needs.
• Fairness is not sameness.

In any given classroom, students may demonstrate a wide range of learning styles and needs. Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that accommodate a diversity of learning needs.

In planning ESL and ELD courses for students with special education needs, teachers should begin by examining the current achievement level of the individual student, the strengths and learning needs of the student, and the knowledge and skills that all students are expected to demonstrate at the end of the course in order to determine which of the following options is appropriate for the student:
• no accommodations2 or modifications; or
• accommodations only; or
• modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or
• alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations for a course and which constitute alternative programs and/or courses.

If the student requires either accommodations or modified expectations, or both, the relevant information, as described in the following paragraphs, must be recorded in his or her Individual Education Plan (IEP). More detailed information about planning programs for students with special education needs, including students who require alternative programs and/or courses, can be found in The Individual Education Plan (IEP): A Resource Guide, 2004 (referred to hereafter as the IEP Resource Guide, 2004). For a detailed discussion of the ministry's requirements for IEPs, see Individual Education Plans: Standards for Development, Program Planning, and Implementation, 2000 (referred to hereafter as IEP Standards, 2000). (Both documents are available at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca.)

Students Requiring Accommodations Only

Some students are able, with certain accommodations, to participate in the regular course curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently. Accommodations allow access to the course without any changes to the knowledge and skills the student is expected to demonstrate. The accommodations required to facilitate the student's learning must be identified in his or her IEP (see IEP Standards, 2000, page 11). A student's IEP is likely to reflect the same accommodations for many, or all, subjects or courses.

Providing accommodations to students with special education needs should be the first option considered in program planning. Instruction based on principles of universal design and differentiated instruction focuses on the provision of accommodations to meet the diverse needs of learners.

There are three types of accommodations:
• Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia.
• Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the classroom and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting.
• Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions (see page 29 of the IEP Resource Guide, 2004, for more examples).

2. "Accommodations" refers to individualized teaching and assessment strategies, human supports, and/or individualized equipment.


If a student requires "accommodations only" in ESL or ELD courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the appropriate course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student's Provincial Report Card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of accommodations will be included.

Students Requiring Modified Expectations

Some students will require modified expectations, which differ from the regular course expectations. For most students, modified expectations will be based on the regular course curriculum, with changes in the number and/or complexity of the expectations. Modified expectations represent specific, realistic, observable, and measurable achievements and describe specific knowledge and/or skills that the student can demonstrate independently, given the appropriate assessment accommodations.

It is important to monitor, and to reflect clearly in the student's IEP, the extent to which expectations have been modified. As noted in section 7.12 of the ministry's policy document Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999, the principal will determine whether achievement of the modified expectations constitutes successful completion of the course, and will decide whether the student is eligible to receive a credit for the course. This decision must be communicated to the parents and the student.

When a student is expected to achieve most of the curriculum expectations for the course, the modified expectations should identify how the required knowledge and skills differ from those identified in the course expectations. When modifications are so extensive that achievement of the learning expectations (knowledge, skills, and performance tasks) is not likely to result in a credit, the expectations should specify the precise requirements or tasks on which the student's performance will be evaluated and which will be used to generate the course mark recorded on the Provincial Report Card.

Modified expectations indicate the knowledge and/or skills the student is expected to demonstrate and have assessed in each reporting period (IEP Standards, 2000, pages 10 and 11). The student's learning expectations must be reviewed in relation to the student's progress at least once every reporting period, and must be updated as necessary (IEP Standards, 2000, page 11).

If a student requires modified expectations in ESL or ELD courses, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the learning expectations identified in the IEP and on the achievement levels outlined in this document. If some of the student's learning expectations for a course are modified but the student is working towards a credit for the course, it is sufficient simply to check the IEP box on the Provincial Report Card. If, however, the student's learning expectations are modified to such an extent that the principal deems that a credit will not be granted for the course, the IEP box must be checked and the appropriate statement from the Guide to the Provincial Report Card, Grades 9–12, 1999 (page 8) must be inserted. The teacher's comments should include relevant information on the student's demonstrated learning of the modified expectations, as well as next steps for the student's learning in the course.

ELLs in Kindergarten with possible
Special Education needs
It is important to recognize that ELLs will demonstrate exceptionalities (including giftedness)
in similar proportions to the general population. However, it is often diffi cult to determine
the nature of ELLs’ exceptionality before they are fully fl uent in English. Characteristics of
learning a second language may mimic characteristics of some learning exceptionalities.
For example, a child who can focus on instruction only for a short period of time may raise
a question about a possible special education need, but for an ELL it may be indicative
of a lack of comprehension or exhaustion from trying to work out what is being meant.
For further information, see Ontario Ministry of Education, The Kindergarten Program, 2006
(Revised), pp. 25–26.