English as a Second Language Overview

In Ontario, media components are included in the English as a Second Language curriculum in the Social-Cultural Competence and Media Literacy strand. The document English as a Second Language and English Literacy Development (2007) identifies four overall expectations in this strand:

  1. Use English and non-verbal communication strategies appropriately in a variety of social contexts;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, and of the contributions of diverse groups to Canadian society;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of and adaptation to the Ontario education system;
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of, interpret, and create a variety of media works.

"The plethora of print, screen, and electronic mass media messages directed at adolescents and youth makes the development of media literacy especially important for secondary students. The media-literacy aspect of this strand explores the impact and influence of mass media and popular culture by examining the art and messaging of texts such as films, songs, advertisements, television shows, magazines, newspapers, billboards, photographs, and websites. Because of the significant influence that implicit and overt media messages can have on students, it is important for students to develop the ability to evaluate such messages critically. Understanding how media texts are constructed and aimed at specific audiences enables students to respond to media texts intelligently and responsibly."

Click on a grade level under English as a Second Language for a list of media-related outcomes and links to supporting resources from the MediaSmarts site. (Note: as many of our lessons can be adapted to suit different grade levels, specific lessons may be listed for more than one grade. Teachers should also note that individual lessons often satisfy a number of learning outcomes.)