Students who are English language learners may require English as a second language (ESL) program planning and instructional supports to achieve grade‑level expectations and reach their full potential. For information on coding and funding for students who are English language learners, refer to the Funding Manual for School Authorities.

Senior high schools with students who are English language learners should refer to the ESL Senior High School Program of Studies, the Supporting English Language Learners web page and the English as a Second Language Alberta Authorized Resource List, Grades 10–12. School authorities may also offer locally developed courses to address the needs of English language learners.

Annual language proficiency assessments and ongoing monitoring and documentation of students’ language proficiency development is required to inform instructional planning and the provision of timely and appropriate learning supports.

A child/student who was born outside of Canada and has entered Canada as a refugee will typically require English as a second language (ESL) or Francisation supports as well as significant additional supports and services to address considerations such as limited or disrupted formal schooling experiences and possible exposure to traumatic events while adjusting to an unfamiliar language and culture.

The Alberta K–12 ESL Proficiency Benchmarks, located on the Supporting English Language Learners web page, have been developed to guide ESL programming and to support teachers in assessing and reporting the progress of English language learners.

For more information, see the English as a Second Language Policy or contact the High School Careers (K–12), Arts & Wellness, Languages and Locally Developed Courses Branch. For contact information, see Appendix 1.

External Learning

Students may be able to get high school credits for learning opportunities they take on their own to support career and life planning. These external courses

  • are not part of provincial curriculum
  • happen outside school through government-recognized organizations (e.g. Canadian Armed Forces, Lifesaving Society)
  • give students a more personalized and flexible way to complete high school
  • let students pursue their passions and earn up to 5 credits toward a high school diploma or certificate
  • are not substitutes for required high school courses
  • do not require Alberta Education pre-requisites for students to participate
  • do not provide funding to school authorities

While students initiate the request for credits, their school is responsible for following Alberta Education’s processes for external course approval and awarding credits.

Alberta Education will review the external learning opportunity and ensure the providing organization is fulfilling its responsibilities and meeting course requirements.

Approved external learning opportunities will be listed in the Provincially Authorized Senior High School Courses and Course Codes.

For more details, visit High School credits for external learning.