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550 Poirier St, Coquitlam, BC, V3J 6A7| Phone: 604-939-9201| Contact Us
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Learning for a Lifetime
Language Development Program

Program Description

The Language Development program is a fulltime, intensive instructional program for elementary students with a severe language-based learning disability that is interfering with their academic skills’ acquisition.
When accepted, students attend classes at Central Elementary for approximately 1 to 2 years. Transportation is provided. Students are taught in a small group setting (up to 10 students) with 1 teacher and 1 education assistant. Students are fully integrated in all other aspects of the school (intramurals or school-wide activities).
Language is the foundation behind instruction. Students continue to be taught a full range of curriculum subjects (language arts, math, science, social studies, P.E., etc.) but curricular units provide a framework to teach specific language skills as well as facts and knowledge. A total communication approach is used (i.e. speech/auditory training, receptive/expressive activities, written forms/cues, role plays, visual aids, gestural communication) in order to develop language and age-appropriate skills.

Referral Process

After consulting with their school-based Speech-Language Pathologist, the School-Based Team refer students with severe language-based learning disabilities to the District Screening Committee. There are 2 screening periods and 2 student intakes each year. Students screened in the spring are usually eligible for placement in September. Those screened in the fall typically begin in January. Students considered for placement should have received direct speech/language intervention for at least 6 months prior to screening.
The following documentation should be presented:
  • District Screening Form with current psycho-educational assessment and intervention history.
  • Language Form summarizing current speech and language assessment data and indicating a priority profile
  • A current IEP to address the academic and speech/language needs of the student.
  • A current audiological / vision screening or assessment.
  • Current work samples and documentation illustrating the difficulties the student is experiencing in the classroom setting
Parents must give verbal consent for screening before students are presented.

Entrance Criteria

  • Significant receptive and/or expressive language deficits.
  • Student must have a significant learning disability related to the language deficits.
  • History of unsuccessful speech-language and academic intervention.
  • Academic difficulties experienced by the student cannot be explained by other factors, such as Attention Deficit, ASD, or other behavioural disorders.
This program best serves students in Gr 3-5. Students are eligible for screening while in Grade 2 for a September Gr 3 placement. Click here to view  Screening Process information

Exit Criteria

A student will exit the Language Class when s/he meets one or more of the following criteria:
  • Majority of student’s language scores fall within the average on a battery of standardized language measures.
  • Student demonstrates minimal or no improvement in their speech or language skills and minimal academic progress over a 12 month period.
  • The student has made acceptable gains in core skill areas and literacy, and is approaching achievement expectations for age peers.
  • The student demonstrates evidence of compensatory learning strategies and social skills to support re-entry into the home-school.
  • The student’s academic difficulties are not primarily related to a language-based learning disability.
  • The student is in grade 5 and would benefit from reintegration into his or her home-school before moving on to Middle School.
A District Review Process involving district and program staff, in consultation with parents, will indicate whether exit is appropriate.
At the end of their placement, students are articulated back into their home-schools by the program teacher and the program SLP.


School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

550 Poirier St, Coquitlam BC
V3J 6A7
604-939-9201 604-939-7828