International and Aboriginal Language Programs and Courses
Code: GGAG.AR Topic: International and Aboriginal Language Programs and Courses
Issue Date: 29/01/2020 Effective Date: 29/01/2020 Review Year: 2024
INTERNATIONAL AND ABORIGINAL LANGUAGE PROGRAMS AND COURSES The Edmonton Public School Division offers two types of International and Aboriginal language education.
Bilingual Programs Edmonton Public Schools provides bilingual programming for students in the following languages: Spanish, Ukrainian, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Mandarin, and ASL (American Sign Language).
The term bilingual programming is used to describe a partial immersion program where English and a second language are both languages of instruction. In bilingual programming, students are taught both English language arts and the language arts of the target language.
Second Language and Culture Courses Second language and culture courses in Edmonton Public Schools currently exist for the following languages: Arabic, Mandarin, Ukrainian, Spanish, Cree, German, Japanese, Latin, American Sign Language, and Punjabi. International language and culture and bilingual students must not be combined in the same classroom for instruction in the target language.
Bilingual Programs The entry points for students beginning a bilingual program are Kindergarten or Grade 1. Exceptional circumstances may be considered at the discretion of the receiving principal.
Second Language and Culture Courses The primary entry points for students beginning the study of second language and cultural courses will be Grade 4, Grade 7 or Grade 10. Some elementary schools may begin in Kindergarten or in Grade 1. Some senior high schools may offer courses for students beginning second language and cultural courses if the numbers warrant and in accordance with Division regulations. Grade 7 entry points for specific languages will be at school sites, and implemented in consultation with the Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE).
EXEMPTIONS The intention of the Division language policy is to provide opportunity for all students to learn a second language. However, the Division also recognizes that there may be instances when the educational best interests of a student could warrant an exemption from the second language requirement.
The principal in consultation with parents/guardians may exempt a student from second language programming, if the student:
has moderate or severe special needs;
is an English Language learner; or
requires an intervention plan or additional supports and services.
Bilingual Programs To successfully complete the learner outcomes of a bilingual program, students should have access to the following percentage of instructional time in the target language:
Percentage of Time
Up to 100%
Grade One to Grade Six
35% - 50%
Grade Seven to Grade Nine
30% - 50%
Grade 10 to Grade 12
at least 20%
It is strongly recommended that, wherever possible, the portion of the day allocated to instruction in the target language be uninterrupted and undivided by English instructional time. Blocking of instructional time to maintain a strong linguistic environment is recommended.
Second Language and Culture Programs To enable students enrolled in a language and culture course to successfully complete the learner outcomes required in the curriculum, students from Grade 4 through 9 will receive 95 hours of instruction in the language per year, which will be timetabled to provide between 140-160 minutes per week of instruction.
It is recommended that where language and culture courses in Grades 1 to 3 are taught, instruction be provided for 95 hours per year.
In elementary and junior high schools international language and culture courses should be timetabled over a 10 month period and not be semestered.
It is recommended that in the high school language and culture courses be scheduled for delivery over 10 months.
CURRICULUM The Division's international language programs shall implement the programs of study that are prescribed by Alberta Education or approved by the Division under the authority of the School Act. Only sites designated as bilingual sites may offer language arts courses in the target language.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION The target language will be the language of instruction in the bilingual and second language classroom.
LEARNING RESOURCES The schools offering bilingual programs and second language courses will ensure that students have access to the basic learning resources authorized by Alberta Education and/or authorized by the Division or principal.
CERTIFICATES The Division shall provide opportunity for students who wish to receive internationally recognized diplomas in specific languages.
German: Deutsches Sprachdiplom
Ukrainian: University of Lviv Ukrainian Language Exam
Spanish: Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera (DELE)
Mandarin: Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Chinese Proficiency Test
Japanese: Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT)
COURSE CHALLENGE The Division shall administer the course challenge provision in accordance to the procedures outlined in the Guide to Education: ECS to Grade 12.
Students who wish to challenge a course will need to demonstrate evidence of readiness for the challenge, e.g., samples of student work recommended by a teacher. The process will be in accordance with the Division's International Language Challenge procedure. Challenge students shall not be eligible to receive the Division certificate.
SPECIAL NEEDS Special needs students may be exempted from the language requirement in accordance with regulations established by the Minister.
STUDENT TRANSPORTATION SERVICES Transportation for students in bilingual programs shall be provided in accordance with board policy. See Board Policy DEA.BP - Student Transportation and Administrative Regulation DEA.AR - Transportation Services.
LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY ASSESSMENT All teachers new to an Aboriginal, international language and culture or bilingual program assignment shall take the Division's Language Proficiency Assessment. All teachers of Aboriginal or international languages with a second language teaching assignment, who have not taken the Language Proficiency Assessment, are encouraged to do so.
Edmonton Public Schools is helping to shape the future in every one of our classrooms. We’re focused on ensuring each student learns to their full potential and develops the ability, passion and imagination to pursue their dreams and contribute to their community. Learn More»
We acknowledge that we are on Treaty 6 territory, a traditional meeting grounds, gathering place, and travelling route to the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene and Nakota Sioux. We acknowledge all the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.
Edmonton Public Schools
Centre for Education
1 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 4G9 780-429-8000