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English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development

English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development

More than 50% of students in the TDSB speak a language other than English at home. While some English language learners are new to Canada, others start learning English when they begin school. We offer a variety of programs and services for English Language Learners.

ESL and ELD Support

Most students can read and write in their first language when they arrive in Canada but may have limited English skills. English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Development(ELD) programs help students learn English so they can participate fully in the curriculum and school life with their English-speaking classmates.

English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students who have had age-appropriate schooling in their home country.

English Language Development (ELD) programs are for students who have had limited prior schooling and have not had the opportunity to develop age-appropriate skills in any language.

ESL and ELD Support pamphlets

Arabic Russian
Bengali Simplified Chinese
English Somali
Farsi Spanish
Gujrati Tagalog
Hungarian Tamil
Korean Urdu

LEAP Program

LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Academic Program) is a special program for students aged 11- 18 who did not have the opportunity to attend school regularly before arriving in Canada. LEAP offers these students a chance to gain English language, literacy, and mathematics skills so that they can participate fully in their classes. LEAP is offered in 40 elementary schools and 13 secondary schools. Application to a LEAP class is made through the student's home school.

Newcomer Reception Centres

Toronto District School Board has two Newcomer Reception Centres: West End Reception Centre and Georges Vanier Reception Centre. All students eligible for secondary school (ages 14 - 20) will visit one of these two Reception Centres before registration at their local secondary school.

During the day students spend at the Newcomer Reception Centre, their English language skills and mathematics skills are assessed. These assessments will help the local secondary school support the new student with the most appropriate courses.

Each Reception Centre has multilingual staff to assist students and families. Newcomer families can also connect with a Settlement Worker, to learn more about topics such as finding housing, looking for employment, accessing health care in Ontario, and a variety of support agencies.


What You Need

All secondary students must make an appointment with the Reception Centre by telephone (see phone numbers below). Students and their families must bring the following to their appointment:

  • Appropriate legal documentation
  • Two pieces of proof of current Toronto address (rental agreement, telephone bill, bank statement, driver’s license, or government document with current Toronto address)
  • School documents from the student’s previous school, if available
  • Proof of immunization, if available

TDSB Newcomer Reception Centres Brochure

Newcomer Reception Centre Locations

There are two Newcomer Reception Centres. Please access the location that is most convenient for you by calling to make an appointment.

West End Reception Centre
777 Bloor Street West, 4th floor
Toronto, ON (south side of Bloor St. at Christie subway station)
416-393-0542 Map and directions to West End Reception Centre


Georges Vanier Reception Centre
3000 Don Mills Road East
Toronto, ON (Don Mills Road East, south of Finch)
416-395-9440 Map and directions to Georges Vanier Reception Centre