SD73’s English Language Learners Continue to Grow and Thrive in Our Schools

Posted On Friday November 25, 2022
Let's Meet and Connect Secondary gathering in June, 2022

In our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, our district mission is to support learning opportunities and environments to inspire students to thrive. As a District English Language Learner Services team, we are committed to welcoming students whose language is not English into caring, inclusive learning communities that inspire risk-taking and growth in English language learning. 

This year, we have welcomed over 150 new English language learners in our school communities for a total of 330 English language learners in our district. Overall, we have seen an increase of 80 ELL students from last year.  

“It is vital to students who are learning English to make connections between their home language and English, and between cultural traditions in our school communities and their families,” explained Becky Webb, a District ELL Resource Teacher. 

Our District’s ELL services enable students in K-12, whose primary language(s) in the home is not English, to develop their potential within British Columbia’s school system. Students’ backgrounds are diverse. Some are born in Canada, some are children of parents on work or student visas, some are permanent residents, and some are refugees. There are more than 60 home languages in our district. 

Recently, the district has welcomed many students and their families from Ukraine. The school settlement workers from Kamloops Immigrant Services are working closely with the schools and ELL resource teachers to support the families and help them adjust to their new environments.

At a recent ELL gathering at the Henry Grube Education Centre, secondary students from Ukraine were asked about their experiences in our school system.  Here is what they shared:

“In Ukraine, we don’t get to pick our schedules and we have to study all the courses. Here, we like being able to pick our classes and try new subjects, like Foods. It’s difficult learning new words, but we understand more English every day. We’ve made new friends from other parts of Ukraine. Everyone is friendly.” 

Some Syrian refugees within SD73 have been in Kamloops for more than five years. Many of these students are now in middle school and high school. It was a huge adjustment for them their first year here in Kamloops; having to leave their families, friends, and life in Syria; having to deal with the trauma from the horrible events taking place in their country, and then having to learn English and understand and become accustomed to Canadian culture and customs. They continue to make progress and experience success in their education and community.  

In SD73, we advocate for the inclusion of ELL students in their school community by fostering universal teaching strategies, cultural awareness, and linguistic proficiency. We encourage students and families to maintain their home language and share their culture and language with the school. Inter-school group activities occur throughout the school year. They offer students the opportunity to celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity and create new friendships and connections.  

Please visit mySD73 > ELL for more information. (Staff website) 

Please visit for more information. (Public website)

Contact Us