Languages: English as a Second Language and Moderns

The Bethune ESL Department has courses for all English language learners. In addition to our semestered ESL A/B and ESL C/D courses, we also have ESL E courses and Presentation Skills courses to help students transition to academic and applied level English courses.

We value experiential learning. Students enjoy a variety of field trips and activities to help them become familiar with their community and Canada and it’s customs and traditions.

The Bethune ESL Department has been instrumental in organizing the TDSB-wide ESL Speech Competition. Students have the opportunity to create their own speeches, compete at the class level, school level and board level. Not only do they gain valuable experience in speaking in front of large audiences, they are also able to win some terrific prizes! This is definitely one of the highlights of the school year!


ESL Levels


In this beginning level of ESL, we focus on vocabulary acquisition. Students learn words to express themselves, and describe their family, friends and the world around them. This level focuses on students’ use of the present tense and writing and reading proper sentences.



This level gives students opportunities to continue vocabulary development and to read stories and begin to analyze character development and lessons learned through reading. Students are taught the past tense and the future tense. By the end of ESL B, students should be writing well-structured paragraphs.



Students in ESL C begin by reviewing the grammar tenses taught in the beginner levels, but with an intermediate lens. Students are expected to have good use of common vocabulary , and sentence and paragraph writing skills. They are expected to read, analyze and reflect on a novel read in class.



In this intermediate level, students continue their grammar study with the perfect tenses. We read and discover fiction and non-fiction texts that focus on Canada and great Canadians. Students will continue to increase their vocabulary and writing skills. By the end of this level, students are expected to express themselves in essay form.



This advanced level of ESL gets students ready for student life after ESL classes. Students critically analyze fiction and non-fiction texts, they practice all grammar points and writing forms. By the end of this course, students should be very close to the proficiency of native-English speakers.


EPS (Presentation Skills)

This course complements students’ learning in their ESL levels by giving them many opportunities to speak in front of their class. We have different formats of presentations, with and without the use of technology; such as individual, group, research, and surveys. Students become very comfortable with themselves as they get more experience speaking in front of an audience.


Ways to Succeed in ESL Class

  • Read every day. It doesn’t matter if you read a novel or a newspaper or even comic books. Regular reading not only helps you read better, but also helps you write better. Reading is a great way to increase your vocabulary and improve your spelling.
  • Participate in class. Speaking English in class helps improve your confidence and gives the teacher an opportunity to offer suggestions on ways to improve your pronunciation.
  • Make friends who speak different languages.
  • Visit stores, restaurants, etc., where people speak English, so you have opportunities to practice your language skills.
  • Continue to speak to your family in your first language(s). Studies show that language learning is additive. This means that students learning a new language should continue to speak their first language(s).
  • Complete each and every assignment. Homework will be regularly assigned and is an important way for you to practice your skills.
  • Always bring the proper materials to class each day: a binder with lined paper, pens, and the textbook.
  • Talk to your teacher anytime, if you have any questions about the course or about your progress.


Course Descriptions:

The Ministry of Education provides detailed course descriptions.


Modern Languages

The Modern Languages Department offers French courses from Grades 9-12. In addition, students have the option of learning Spanish in Grades 10-12. All courses are taught by enthusiastic teachers who speak fluent French, Spanish, or both. They provide students with an exciting and challenging learning environment where they can practice all aspects (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) of the languages. The teachers also provide stimulating "ambiance" where students learn about and immerse themselves in the rich French and Spanish cultures. Enrichment opportunities include contests, films, theatre, restaurants and other excursions in Toronto, and to Quebec as well as daily language and cultural activities in class. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Spanish Club where they can celebrate the language and culture as well as plan events for the school.



Course Descriptions:

Moderns 2023

French and Classical Studies and International Languages