English Second Language
Fairview Elementary School serves the educational needs of our community as well as the English as a Second Language (ESL) students throughout Red Deer Public Schools for grades Kindergarten to grade 5. We welcome newcomers to Canada from across the world and we honor and celebrate the incredible diversity that this brings to our learning community. Approximately 40-45% of our current school population are identified as ESL.
All students are placed into their appropriate grade and participate in all subjects that are offered at Fairview within their homeroom. ESL students in grades 2-5, may be provided small group instruction in the morning to further develop their language skills and proficiency with the English language if needed. Each student is expected to make progress and advance all language arts skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing, and representing. In addition, students will be given many opportunities to participate in Canadian cultural activities.
Fairview staff work closely with Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) to assist immigrant and refugee students and their families with their transition to school and life in Red Deer.
Research shows that it takes most ESL students four to seven years to develop academic language skills equivalent to their English-speaking peers. Learning a new language is a complex and gradual process. Progress rates can vary a great deal for two apparently similar students. Although many ESL students may develop a high degree of English communication skills within about two years through exposure to English speaking peers, television and school, this does not usually reflect their overall academic proficiency in English.
Ways to Support Your Child
Parents are strongly encouraged to continue to speak their home language with their children. Bilingualism or multilingualism has many important benefits including connection to culture, academic achievement and future career opportunities. Maintaining your home language can actually help your child learn English as they can make vocabulary connections between the two languages.