English as a Second Language (ESL)

ALL ESL Classes for 2020-2021 school year end on June 25.

No Summer ESL classes

Register NOW for classes starting September 13

(in-person and limited online options)

ESL Office is CLOSED June 28 - Aug 30

Just Arrived? Been here a long time? Professionally Trained? Visiting?

Learn, improve, perfect your English to:

  • Open up work and professional opportunities
  • Broaden education choices
  • Strengthen community connections

English Language classes or English as a Second Language (ESL) is an affordable English language training program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.  St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres is the largest English language class provider in Waterloo Region & surrounding area open to newcomers, visitors and citizens who have been here both a short time or a long time.  All students are 18 years of age and older and English is not their first language.

BENEFITS of taking English classes at St. Louis…. English for School, Work, LIFE!

Students quickly develop strong English language communication skills and learn everything they need to know to live, work and learn in Canada. All ESL and LINC English Language classes teach the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing using Portfolio Based Language Assessment.

To qualify to attend ESL classes at St. Louis, you must be

  • an adult age 18 years and older
  • Convention Refugee or
  • Permanent Resident or
  • Landed Immigrant or
  • CANADIAN CITIZEN who was a newcomer to Canada at some point in your life and English is not your first language
  • Visitor to Canada (additional fees apply)
  • at ANY Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level

Once enrolled in any ESL class (morning, afternoon, evening or Saturday), students are expected to participate in remote classes regularly.

How do I know my English is good?

English Language Assessments are done at the YMCA.

Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre to determine if you are eligible for a free language assessment 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

If you have had a language assessment in the last two years by the YMCA or in class or have been placed on a waiting list, you may qualify for acceptance into a St. Louis ESL remote learning class.  The YMCA can confirm which English Language class you are eligible for and which language level you are at.


If you are a VISITOR TO CANADA

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre first to determine if you are eligible for a free language assessment:  519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

Step 2: If you are not eligible for a free assessment with the YMCA, contact esl.stlouis@wcdsb.ca 

Fees:

  • Assessment $60
  • Monthly fees apply for classes (pre-paid to the end of each month).

Canadian Language Benchmarks – What do they mean?

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) are used in Canada to teach and test language learning for adults.  It is important to understand the CLBs if planning to go to English class, train, look for work or study at a College or University.  The benchmarks describe tasks that people can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Literacy and Level 1: Welcome to English School! We will help you start to learn English.

Level 2 and 3: You will develop and have an adequate knowledge of simple spoken and written communication to function in the community like shopping, going to the doctor and speaking to your children’s teacher.

Level 4: You know enough English, now, that you could begin to apply for Canadian Citizenship.  Take Citizenship preparation classes. Or you can consider taking a specialized English Language class. Call 519-745-1201 for details.

Level 5  and 6: Your English should be good enough to get and keep a job and gain some Canadian work experience.  Don’t stop learning English. Continue in your ESL classes and keep moving forward to the next CLB level. Or take a different ESL class that will help you improve your soft skills, pronunciation, computer or customer service skills. Once you have completed level 6, you may continue to improve your reading, writing skills or you can apply to take the St. Louis Culinary Arts Training, or Hairstylist and Barber Training Keep going to level 7 to prepare for the IELTS tests!

Level 7+: At this level you can begin to take other classes at St. Louis, including working toward earning Secondary School Credits, or developing employment skills with Personal Support Worker Training.

English Language Classes through the ESL program offer the following in person and limited online classes:

  • Literacy
  • CLB 1 to CLB 7+
  • Listening and Speaking
  • Reading and Writing
  • Pronunciation
  • Computer use
  • IELTS  Preparation

Open to all students!  Returning St. Louis Visitor students welcome!

What will I learn?

Listening: You will be able to understand spoken English in a variety of situations including going to the doctor, shopping or visiting your children’s school.

Speaking: You will develop your English language vocabulary and be able to speak to others in increasingly complex ways and in a variety of situations including job interviews, speaking with your doctor to name a few.

Reading: You will be able to understand written texts like application forms, instructions, personal and professional emails and bank statements or more advanced academic reading and workplace relevant examples

Writing: You will be able to write in English to help you complete job applications, fill out forms and prepare documents, craft business emails, write a letter to your children’s teacher as well as prepare for academic writing, essays and reports.

What is Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA)?

Portfolio Based Language Assessment is a standard in-class assessment process that instructors use in all St. Louis ESL and LINC classes in Canada as a way to measure your language abilities. Each student receives a Language Companion binder to collect and show what they can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. Task-based learning will help you achieve this. Your portfolio is reviewed by your instructor and used to help inform your progress results.

ESL is offered at multiple locations at various times through St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres.
Please find below the class dates, times and locations that these programs are offered.

ALL ESL Classes for 2020-2021 school year end on June 25.

Register NOW for September!

2021-2022 Class Start and End Times by Location: 


M o r n i n g  C l a s s e s  


Mon to Thurs, 8:45am – 11:45am / Friday, 10:00am – 11:45am
St. Louis – St. Benedict Campus, Cambridge

St. Louis – St. Mary’s Campus, Kitchener
St. Louis – St. Francis Campus, Kitchener
St. Louis – Emmanuel Campus , Waterloo

St. Louis - ONLINE - limited morning options only


Saturday, 9:00am – 12:oopm
St. Louis – St. Mary’s Campus


A f t e r n o o n  C l a s s e s   


Mon to Thurs,  12:30pm – 3:00pm / Friday, 12:30pm – 2:00pm

St. Louis – St. Benedict Campus, Cambridge

St. Louis – St. Mary’s Campus, Kitchener
St. Louis – St. Francis Campus, Kitchener
St. Louis – Emmanuel Campus , Waterloo


E v e n i n g   C l a s s e s


Mon & Wed and/or Tues & Thurs 6:30pm – 9:30pm 
St. Louis – St. Mary’s Campus, Kitchener

Mon & Wed, 6:30pm – 9:30pm 
St. Louis – St. Benedict Campus, Cambridge

Tues & Thurs 6:30pm – 9:30pm 
St. Louis - ONLINE - limited to CLB 1-6 ONLY

ESL classes are FREE to those with status in Canada.   Visitors to Canada pay fees. 

St. Louis is accepting ESL students who have had a language assessment in the LAST 2 YEARS, at the Assessment Centre or in any LINC or ESL class.

Are you a Visitor to Canada? 

Returning St. Louis Visitor students would pay the following Fees:

  • Assessment: $60
  • Monthly fees apply for classes (pre-paid to the end of each month).

To continue payment of  visitor's fees, please contact esl.stlouis@wcdsb.ca.

When schools re-open after COVID-19, ESL students who attend class, may be purchase a spot in our licensed child care centre for your pre-school age child.  Note licensed child care is not open in Summer.

While you are learning English, your child will:

  • learn through play
  • interact with other children
  • develop skills and language appropriate for their ages

Warm and caring staff strive to provide fun and educational activities to support children’s settlement in Canada. The best possible atmosphere for children’s development and learning is created by establishing relationships between staff and families built on mutual respect. While ESL adult parents are learning or improving their English language skills, their pre-school children are as well… Everyone is learning English and growing in so many ways!

To register, you may purchase (or apply for Child Care Subsidy ) for child care in our licensed child care; Spots for Tots<– click here for details.

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre – 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

They will book an appointment and tell you what documents to bring.  Note: Visitors will need an assessment with St. Louis (see details below)

Step 2: Have your English language skills assessed for FREE. They will tell you your CLB benchmark numbers.

Step 3: Register online.


ONLINE Registration for September 13 Open now - No In-person registration


St. Louis – St. Mary’s Campus, 77 Young Street, Kitchener. Click on this link to register -->  Registration Online 


St. Louis – Emmanuel Campus, 22 Bridgeport Road West, Waterloo. Click on this link to register --> Registration Online 


St. Louis – St. Benedict Campus, 50 Saginaw Parkway, Cambridge. Click on this link to register --> Registration Online 


St. Louis – St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Drive, Kitchener. Click on this link to register --> Registration Online


Online Classes, Waiting List. Click on this link to register --> Registration Online 

We will contact students as soon as possible when they complete the online registration.


VISITOR to Canada?

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre first to determine if you are eligible for a free language assessment: 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

Step 2: If you are not eligible for a free assessment with the YMCA, contact esl.stlouis@wcdsb.ca

Fees:

  • Assessment $60
  • Monthly fees apply for classes (pre-paid to the end of each month).

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre first to determine if you are eligible for a free language assessment: 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

Step 2: If you are not eligible for a free assessment with the YMCA, contact esl.stlouis@wcdsb.ca

Fees:

  • Assessment $60
  • Monthly fees apply for classes (pre-paid to the end of each month).

St. Louis ESL teachers are teaching ESL from their homes during COVID-19 school closures!

At minimum, English Language instructors at St. Louis have their Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Ontario qualifications and many have worked in the field and at St. Louis for 10 years plus. Our ESL teachers use everyday tasks and real-world examples to help refugees, permanent residents, landed immigrants… (and citizens too) develop their English, while settling, integrating and discovering Canadian culture.

Many are creatively supporting our students from their home to yours.  Stay home, Be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information:

Emails and phone messages will be answered as soon as possible after August 31, 2021

Call: 519-745-1201 ext. 245 or 229

Email: esl.stlouis@wcdsb.ca

YMCA ASSESSMENT CENTRE

Kitchener Office
519-579-9622

Cambridge Office
519-621-1621

Email: intake@ytr.ymca.ca

St.Louis-ontario