English Language Learners

Parent Information and Resources

The information below is intended for parents and guardians to support the English language development of your children. Please note, it is strongly recommended that the primary language of the home is spoken, and the diversity of cultures be celebrated in our school community. Please reach out to your school if you have any further questions.

Family of Languages

Student Information and Resources

The following sites have been recommended to you by the District ELL team in order to help practice English outside of school. We encourage you to continue speaking, reading, and writing in your first language. Being able to speak more than one language is a valuable skill that will open doors and provide opportunities in your future.  


Explanation of ELL in Schools

ELL services help students whose primary language, or languages of the home, are other than English to develop their potential within British Columbia’s school system. Some students who speak variations of English that differ significantly from the English used in the broader Canadian society may need similar services to access the curriculum. 

How do we designate? 

  • The District Resource ELL Teacher will conduct an English language proficiency assessment with your child in person.
  • These assessments reflect both academic language needed in school, and social language needed for day-to-day life (for example, friendly conversations, reading maps and schedules).
  • The District ELL Resource Teacher will consult with the administrator, learning assistance resource teacher (LART) and/or the classroom teacher(s) before they designate the student as ELL. 

What is an AIP? 

  • An AIP is the Annual Instructional Plan created by the District Resource ELL Teacher.
  • The AIP identifies the areas of the English language that your child will need to work on throughout the year .
  • The AIP is reviewed with both the classroom teacher(s) and Learning Assistance Resource Teacher (if applicable). 
  • The original is placed in the student’s ELL file in the office. 

ELL Service

Once designated as an ELL, a student can receive up to 5 years of additional support in regards to their English language development. This can include the following: 

  • Weekly pull-out support (one-on-one or small group)
  • Adaptations and accommodations made by the classroom teacher, as recommended in the AIP 
  • Collaboration between the District Resource ELL Teacher and classroom teacher to ensure student success 
  • Formal diagnostic assessments performed at least once a year
  • Annual Instructional Plan created at the beginning of every school year.

Further information regarding the ELL Policies can be found at Ministry of Education and Child Care

Home Support

Click here for summer ELL support in Kamloops (June 2024).

Students who are learning English at school are often tired at the end of the day. We encourage you to keep speaking your primary language at home so that it is not lost or forgotten. However, if you are looking for ways to support their English language development at home or when school is out of session (i.e. summer vacation), you can do so in the following ways.

  • Watch age-appropriate programs in English (with subtitles in your primary language if needed) 
  • Choose books of interest and at the appropriate level (speak with classroom teacher if you have questions) 
  • Write 2-3 sentences a day in English (mini-journal) 
  • Label objects at home in English
  • Try to have one short conversation with another member of the household in English
  • Encourage a consistent daily schedule for homework during the school year
  • Provide a quiet place in the home to complete homework.


Games are a great way to develop English skills for all ELL students (regardless of age). Enjoy playing these suggested games as a family!


  • Spot-it
  • Go Fish
  • Guess Who
  • Sequence
  • I Spy
  • Vocabulary Bingo


  • Story Cubes
  • Scattergories
  • Bananagrams
  • Apples to Apples
  • Balderdash

For all ages...

  • Charades
  • Scrabble
  • Jenga
  • Boggle
  • Pictionary
Online Resources 

Primary/ Intermediate (K-7)

Games to learn English logo

 Secondary (8-12)

Other Useful Resources

Community Resources

City of Kamloops Programs and Activities

  • find schedules and information for public swimming, skating and other fitness activities
  • register for a program or class
  • Women in Wellness Initiative for Newcomers

Kamloops Museum and Archives

  • visit the museum in downtown Kamloops to learn more about Canadian history 

Public Library

  • The Thompson-Nichola Regional Library has 2 locations in Kamloops, as well as a traveling mobile library
  • Borrow books, magazines, DVDs and more
  • Access the computers and photocopiers and internet
  • Sign up for free family programs
  • Get e-books and search for books using the online catalogue
Settlement Workers in Schools  - Kamloops Immigrant Services
What is SWIS?

SWIS website

  • The Settlement Workers in Schools program is a school-based outreach program that assists students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. This program helps newcomer students and their families transition into the Canadian School system and their new community. 

SWIS assists with:

  • School registration and orientation (Elementary & Secondary)
  • Understanding school policies and procedures
  • Communicating with teachers and administrators
  • Parent-Teacher interview support (interpreter support available) 
  • Connecting with school, community services and resources including access to recreation for low income families
  • Workshops and information sessions (Parenting in Canada, Lunch Box Nutrition)
  • Consultation on school transition
  • Advocating for newcomer students and families

Additional supports available to families who work with SWIS: 

  • Counselling support (interpreter provided if needed) 
  • Tutoring support (all ages)
  • Youth and child programing (extra-curricular)
  • Mentorship program 

Contact SWIS:

Phone: 778-470-6101 ext. 119

Clara Kong- clara@kcris.ca

Oral Language
  • Duolingo: a free and interactive language-learning website, also available as mobile app
  • ESL Video: Listen, watch, and answer questions
  • Idioms- An idiom is a word or phrase that is different from its literal meaning. For example, "It is raining cats and dogs". 

Language Elements


  • Visuwords: Type in your word and it will show you visually how that word can be used
  • Visual Dictionary: View your word visually with labelled images
  • Tier 2 Vocabulary: Explanation, lists, and translation
  • Tier 2&3 Vocabulary: Common core words in academic subjects
  • Vocabulary lists: Organized by theme
  • Free Rice: an educational trivia game that also donates to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its work saving and changing lives around the world.

Online Support

  • When searching for something on Wikipedia, go to Simple Wikipedia for a simplified version of the article. 
  • When searching for something on Google, type the word kids afterwards for simplified content. For example, type "Photosynthesis kids" instead of "photosynthesis"

Offline Activities

When you are not at school, there are still ways to develop your English language, without looking at a screen. Here are some suggestions on how to develop your English in authentic ways: 

  • ESL at home- 12 weeks of offline activities that you can do with little to no materials. These activities are also available in severall different translated languages.
  • Read for pleasure- Find a book that you enjoy and read it. Talk about it with friends and family. 
  • Writing Journal- Write a few sentences a day in English, without worrying about sentence structure and spelling. Read them out loud to yourself. Does it sound right to you? 

Canadian Content

Improve your English and understanding of Canadian culture by exploring these recommended sites. Also, look for books about Canadian history, geography, and celebrations at your school or public library. 

  • CANADA from ISS of BC; Janis's ESL: includes links to many sites all about Canada

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