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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
FAQ
  • Are there good websites we could visit? [+]
  • Can my child have more science or math and fewer electives? [+]

    ​Usually no……in the Canadian education system, we place a high value on educating the whole child. We believe that it's important that your child experience many different things including the electives. Middle schools give children the chance to sample many different things. We also believe that students and their families have choices in the courses the student takes. Therefore, secondary schools offer a wide range of electives to choose from.​

  • Can my child just try English class and take it again if he is unsuccessful? [+]

    ​No, students need reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to be successful in an English class. Going into English class without sufficient English skills would be like taking a driving test without the skills to drive. Again, I ask you to think of my children. How would they do in a literature course in your home country without strong reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in your home language?​

  • Can my child still graduate if he/she is already 18 years old and still in an EAL program? [+]

    ​Your child can stay at his/her secondary school until the end of the semester that he/she has turned 19 in. That provides extra time, sometimes as much as a year at the secondary school. There is summer school and online courses. Still, some students will not have completed all courses to graduate by 19 years old. Coquitlam Continuing Education offers courses that will allow students to graduate. Douglas College also provides options. I urge you to talk to your child's school counselor if your child is still in an EAL program at 18 years old.​

  • How can we help our child at home? [+]

    ​There are many ways to help your child. Talk at the supper table. Watch TV together and discuss what you are watching. Read to your child (in your home language or English), listen to your child read to you, discuss what you or he has read, go to the library, encourage your child to draw and write stories, visit interesting places and talk about and write about the experiences, provide a quiet place and time for your child to do homework and read, make sure your child gets a lot of sleep, encourage your child to join clubs and teams, sing together, point out interesting sights, encourage your child to take risks with language…….and many more.​

  • How do you decide if my child needs EAL? [+]

    ​If your child uses a language other than English at home or had EAL in another school or if the classroom teacher believes that your child is having difficulty coping with the curriculum because of a lack of experience with English, the EAL teacher will do an English assessment of your child's English skills. The assessment looks at your child's reading, writing , speaking and listening skills. Each skill is scored on a 5 level scale (with level 1 being Beginner and level 5 being Consolidating).​

  • How is Continuing Education (adult Education) similar and different from the secondary school program? [+]

    ​Universities view the marks obtained in Continuing Education and in the secondary programs equally; both programs offer the same total number of hours of instruction per course. Continuing Education offers only grade 10-12 courses which can be completed in a much shorter period of time. The majority of Continuing Education students are between 19 and 22 years of age. Call 604 936 4261 for more information.​

  • How is EAL service delivered? [+]

    ​EAL service is delivered in a number of different ways depending on the school community, the number of ELLs, the school timetable, the age of the students and other factors. At elementary schools, students are sometimes “pulled out" of classes to be taught with other ELLs in a separate classroom by an EAL teacher. As well, sometimes the EAL teacher goes into the classroom to help the ELLs. Sometimes the EAL teacher supports the classroom teachers who support the ELLs. At kindergarten, the EAL teacher always goes into the kindergarten class. At middle school, the EAL service could be “pull out" or in class. At secondary, ELLs attend EAL classes like Beginners, Intermediate, Skills , Composition and others. They must finish these courses before they can take English 10, 11 and 12.​

  • How will my child go to university? [+]

    ​Universities will look at your child's 4 best provincially examinable courses, including English 12 and other factors. Students can attend university after 19 years of age. There is more than one opportunity to enter university. Your child might enter through Continuing Education or transfer after completing courses at a college. There are many paths to the same goal​.

  • How will my child graduate from high school? [+]

    ​Your child needs to complete 80 credits of the 2004 Graduation program. This includes a) 12 required courses, b) 28 elective credits and c) completion of the 4 credit Graduation Transition program. You can see the grad requirements at www.bced.gov.bc.ca/graduation/

  • How will you help my child? [+]

    ​The EAL teacher will help your child to develop speaking, listening, reading , writing , vocabulary and grammar skills. The EAL teacher and the classroom teacher(s) will help to develop English skills while also teaching content your child needs to keep up with the others. Our EAL teachers use oral English as a pre-reading and pre-writing strategy, so expect a lot of speaking. The EAL teacher will use information from your child's assessment to determine where to begin and what skills need the most development.​

  • Is it possible to translate school and teacher information into our home language? [+]

    ​GOOGLE TRANSLATE will translate English into a large number of different languages. The translations are not always great, but you should be able to get the gist of the message. Google “Google Translate" to get to the site.​

  • Is there EAL service in all School District 43 schools? [+]

    ​Yes, EAL service is provided at any school with an ELL.​

  • My child doesn’t seem to be getting better at English. What can I do? [+]

    ​Researchers have found that EAL students “plateau" (don't improve for a while) at times. Your child shouldn't get discouraged. These plateaus are usually temporary after which your child will start to improve again. As well, researchers have found that ELLs go through a silent period after they arrive. They are taking in a lot of English, but are not able to use spoken English to talk about it yet. Some students get discouraged when they see that the Canadian school system is more difficult than they had thought. Some lose motivation when it becomes clear that they will not be able to go directly to university. The EAL teacher or school counselor can explain options to them. Parents need to be encouraging even though things are not going according to plan.​

  • My child speaks English well. Why does he/she need EAL? [+]

    ​Many English Language Learners develop strong SOCIAL spoken English in less than two years. However, research says that it takes 5-10 years to become proficient at ACADEMIC English (the English needed to be successful in subjects at school). We are helping your child prepare to be successful in all the schooling they will have in the future. Removing an ELL too soon from EAL service could have negative effects on their academic success in the future.​

  • Should we get a tutor? [+]

    ​This is a difficult question. Some tutors are better than others. Tutors are expensive. Tutors can be helpful by focusing time and energy onto your child's English weaknesses. As a parent, I would want to see the tutor's plan for my child. Does it address my child's weaknesses in English? Does it require my child to do more than worksheets? Is vocabulary in context (and not just a wordlist)? Is my child interacting often and enthusiastically with the tutor? Is the tutoring helping?​

  • Should we stop using our home language at home? [+]

    ​NO! There are many reasons for you to continue using your home language at home. We don't want your child to lose your home language. Being bilingual (2 languages) or trilingual (3 languages) will be a very valuable asset in the workforce in the future. As well, the home language will help your child stay connected to your culture and to family. Also, research shows that literacy in one language helps to build literacy in another language. If you work on the home language at home, we will work on English at school.​

  • What competencies does my child need to leave EAL? [+]

    ​The EAL teacher will determine if your child can meet the prescribed learning outcomes for her/his classes with the English skills she/he has. The teacher will also work to reduce the vocabulary gap that exists between English speakers and English Language Learners. The EAL teacher will continue to serve your child until your child is academically literate in English and able to be successful in her/his other classes.​

  • What if I don’t want my child in EAL? [+]

    ​First, I would want to know why. The teachers, parents and student are part of a team that has the same goal- the success of your child. Your child is in an EAL program because he/she needs more English skills to be successful in school. Often ELLs have vocabularies that are smaller than those of children from English speaking homes. Your child may have reading, writing , speaking or listening skills that need further development. Please be patient. Please contact the teacher with your concerns. Being in EAL will NOT affect your child's opportunity to go to a top university. However, weak English skills WILL affect your child's admission to university.​

  • What if my child doesn’t pass English 12? [+]

    It is difficult for a student arriving in grades 10, 11 or 12 to graduate on time. That is a short time to acquire a lot of English skills. There are many options for a student that doesn’t pass English 12. He can usually stay at his secondary school until the end of the semester when he turns 19. For many students, that’s an extra year to build English skills and take courses (or repeat them). Continuing Education in School District 43 has some options for students who are 19 and don’t have English 12. Douglas College also has options for these students. Summer school and online learning are other possibilities. EAL students in Canada often need more time. Not everyone goes to college or university immediately after 4 years of high school. It’s ok to take extra time to learn English well in order to be successful at college or university.​

  • What is EAL and ELL? Why the name change? [+]

    ​EAL is English as an Additional Language. We think this better fits many of our students for whom English is not a second language but a third or fourth. The Ministry of Education and some other school districts call former ESL students English Language Learners (ELLs). Some people disagree with this name because we are all English Language Learners! You will hear both EAL and ELL used in Coquitlam. In fact, in SD43, we often use EAL to describe teachers and programs and ELLs to describe students.​

  • What is EAL and ELL? Why the name change? [+]

    ​EAL is English as an Additional Language. We think this better fits many of our students for whom English is not a second language but a third or fourth. The Ministry of Education and some other school districts call former ESL students English Language Learners (ELLs). Some people disagree with this name because we are all English Language Learners! You will hear both EAL and ELL used in Coquitlam. In fact, in SD43, we often use EAL to describe teachers and programs and ELLs to describe students.​

  • What other options are available to my child after secondary school? [+]

    Not every student can attend university in Canada. Students can attend college for a) a one year certificate program, b)a 2 year diploma program, c) a 1 or 2 year university transfer program. As well, many colleges offer degree programs. As well, there ar​

  • What’s the best way to build a larger vocabulary? [+]

    ​ELLs have smaller vocabularies than students who speak English at home. This vocabulary gap gets larger as students get older unless they work hard at building bigger vocabularies. The best way to build vocabulary is to read. Students should record words they don't know from all the reading they do. They should guess at meanings and later look these words up to see if they were correct. Students must use new words frequently in order to add them to their vocabularies. Students should also use word families and learn common prefixes, roots and suffixes to boost their vocabularies. Most textbooks have glossaries in them and important words are usually in darker type. Students should use these to build vocabulary in their classes​.

  • What’s the fastest way to build English skills? [+]

    ​Learning English is hard work. It takes a lot of time and energy. In my experience, the best readers read a lot, the best speakers speak a lot , the best writers read and write a lot and those with large vocabularies read and speak a lot. Reading is a key factor.​

  • When can my child take regular English classes? [+]

    Secondary schools have EAL courses that must be completed first. Students need to be reading, writing, speaking and listening at a level that will allow them to cope with the curriculum, participate actively and meet the prescribed learning outcomes for t​

  • Why do kindergartners get EAL service? [+]

    ​We have begun offering EAL service to kindergartners because we want to begin to build English skills early. Research says that early intervention is wise and helpful. EAL is always IN the kindergarten class and is designed to build vocabulary and to increase oral interactions. Kindergartners usually go to grade one with comfort and confidence because of the early EAL service.​

  • Why do you pull my child out of class? [+]

    ​Sometimes it is better for your child to be with other ELLs of similar English ability. That's when the EAL teacher pulls your child out of class. Because building English skills is so important, we think it's worth the disruption of pulling your child from class. We are providing more and more EAL service in the regular classroom.​

  • Why is my child in EAL? [+]

    ​Your child is in EAL to build his/her English skills (reading, writing , speaking, listening , vocabulary ,grammar) to the point that he/she can be successful in all his/her classes.​

  • Will EAL service affect my child’s chances of going to university? [+]

    ​No, in Canada, thousands of ELLs are now in university. The goal of EAL is to help your child build strong academic English, so he can be academically successful. His ability to get high enough marks to qualify for university depends on his success in his classes. He needs strong reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to be successful in his classes. Therefore, EAL increases your child's chances of going to university.​

  • Will my child graduate sooner if he/she drops EAL classes and takes more academic classes? [+]

    No, only 28 elective credits can be applied to the graduation program; students need to complete 12 required courses including English 10, 11 and 12 and Social Studies 10 and 11.​

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School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)

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