English Language Learners

- Personalized, Adaptive, Language Building

In an effort to support students of all ages and abilities, The Reading Foundation clinics in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto have worked to adapt our programs to suit the unique academic needs of English Language Learners (ELL). Our systematic approach, one-to-one setting and thoughtfully designed programs are perfect for students learning to use spoken and written English at school as well as in everyday life.

Programs suited to ELL programming:

Discover Reading© -- Beginner, Basic and Advanced Levels


A reading program designed to systematically teach English reading and spelling as well as vocabulary. It is as much a proven effective remediation solution for struggling students as it is an excellent program for students learning the English language. Among Discover Reading’s© many distinguishing features is its emphasis on the correct production and pronunciation of English sounds and words.

Three different levels--Beginner, Basic and Advanced--accommodate English Language Learners of all ages and abilities.

Key Features:

  • Teaches how sounds are produced in the mouth by focusing on motor feedback; the correct positions and movements of the tongue and lips are emphasized
  • Systematically progresses through letter and sound connections
  • Exposes students to various regular and irregular spellings of English sounds
  • Teaches phonemic processing - segmenting, blending, manipulating sounds
  • Teaches how to apply knowledge to word attack, identification, and spelling
  • Teaches English prefixes and suffixes
  • Develops fluency and accuracy through oral context reading and timed reading challenges
  • Teaches reading with expression in hourly oral context reading sessions leading to gains in oral language abilities
  • Builds English language vocabulary

Discover Meaning©


Creating mental images for information is fundamental to reading and listening comprehension as well as communication. The heart of reading is understanding and enjoying what you read. According to dual coding theory, a powerful and well-researched theory of comprehension, the formation of mental images enhances learning by improving comprehension.

Our comprehension program supports the needs of English Language Learners by building vocabulary and a deeper understanding of the written and spoken language. The very nature of our approach to teaching comprehension encourages and teaches ELL students to verbally describe mental images and provide summaries of information in their own words. Students new to the English language will increase their comprehension while learning vocabulary and increasing their oral language skills.

Discover Meaning© was designed to strengthen reading and listening comprehension with a systematic and engaging approach.

In our one-to-one setting, students will practice making and describing mental images for various types of information—from short paragraphs of nonfiction to longer passages such as those they might encounter in their school work.

Key Features:

  • Teaches students dual coding: how to create complete mental images for language concepts
  • Builds English language vocabulary and conversation skills
  • Develops higher level comprehension skills: determining the main idea, making inferences, drawing conclusions, predicting and evaluating
  • Introduces basic writing skills: writing complete sentences, answering questions with complete sentences, and writing summaries
  • Develops helpful strategies: note-taking, studying for tests, and listening to lectures

Discover Math™


Our math program provides instruction for students requiring development or refinement of their understanding of mathematical concepts, arithmetic and their applications. The ELL student will become familiar with English vocabulary, terminology and problem solving encountered in mathematics. Because Discover Math™ extensively utilizes manipulatives, language and mental imagery, ELL students are provided with ample opportunities to practice their conversational English in our one-to-one setting.

The program covers all curriculum areas from grades 1 through 9, following the objectives of the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol’s (WNCP) Common Curriculum Framework, as well as the Ontario Curriculum.

Key Features:

  • Is multisensory in nature and based on unique learning principles
  • Begins with a base-line assessment to determine the student's needs
  • Uses manipulatives, language, and mental imagery extensively to provide an understanding of all math operations and concepts
  • Encourages conversation and verbalization of math in English
  • Covers all content areas in the math curriculum
  • Builds mathematics vocabulary in a curriculum focussed context
  • Integrates and applies understanding to problem solving

Discover Writing©


For students who seek to more clearly express thoughts through written language, Discover Writing© hones students’ written language skills while offering strategies for connecting their mental imagery to their writing. English Language Learners enrolled in our writing program will benefit from its focus on correct grammar, sentence structure and writing conventions. Many students enrolled in Discover Writing© also benefit from instruction in Discover Meaning©--all students can become better English writers when they improve their reading and listening comprehension.

The three levels of the program--Beginner, Basic and Advanced--accommodate students from age six to adult.

Key Features:

  • Encourages the use of visualization to connect mental imagery to written language
  • Teaches effective writing at all levels: from words and sentences to paragraphs and essays
  • Exposes students to a variety of genres and methods of development
  • Develops grammatical concepts and crucial editing and revision strategies
  • Expands English language vocabulary via the writing process