English as a Second Language (ESL)

HCDSB Youth Settlement Workers

Our school board’s youth settlement workers are available to provide settlement information and support to our English as a Second Language (newcomer) families:

Luz Elena Arias, English & Spanish
Email: ariasl@hcdsb.org 
Phone: 905-630-1296

Rui Cai, English & Mandarin
Email: cair@hcdsb.org 
Phone: 905-802-1876

Jalil Hussin, English &Arabic
Email: hussinj@hcdsb.org 
Phone: (365) 999-7987

Lina Sakkab, English, Arabic & French
Email: sakkabl@hcdsb.org
Phone: 905-638-3470

At-Home Language Learning Activities

The following list provides optional ideas and activities that English as a Second Language students can use to practice their English skills.

English language learning activities that can be done at home:
  • Listen to English music and learn the lyrics.
  • Watch and listen to TV shows and movies in English.
  • Call a friend and talk on the phone for 10 minutes practicing English.
  • Read simple reading materials like online articles or any books or magazines you may have in the home
  • Use a cell phone and practice writing simple messages to someone who can reply in English.
  • Keep a journal and write in it everyday and draw a picture to further help express your thoughts.
  • Watch a TV commercial and write about it; what is being advertised, would you buy it and why, and what would you do with the item?
  • Watch a clip of the news or listen to the news on the radio, write about a current event.
  • Listen to a song and write about it.
  • Read flyers and create a shopping list, and from that list create menus for the week.
  • Create recipes for the week with a list of ingredients and full directions in English.
  • Cook or bake something and write a review of the food you created.
  • Find a map and compare Canada with your homeland.
  • Google Six Nations and learn about the Indigenous peoples that live in Ontario.
  • In the spirit of Easter, create a picture board with words showing how you can bring hope to family, friends and neighbours in your community.

Educational Resources

CMAS Newcomer Parent Resources

Information to support parenting, children’s development, and the health and safety of newcomer families. Available in multiple languages.


Interactive leveled e-books for all readers. Free access until the end of the school year. Many elementary students already have access through their school account.

Reading Eggs

Reading materials for all levels of readers. Many elementary students already have access through their school account.


On-line tool that simplifies difficult English words and phrases.


A children’s dictionary with pictures, activities, and games.


Math games and tools for students in kindergarten to grade 12.


Newspaper articles and reports on current events for all levels of readers. Free access until the end of the school year.

Live Well and Making Good Choices Book Series

The ESL Resource Group of Ontario’s free book series on Mental Health and Financial Literacy.



TVO Kids

Interactive learning with video, games, and activities.


Reading strategies, tools, and resources.

Scholastic Learn at Home

Reading resources for pre-kindergarten to grade 9.

De Franco, RobEnglish as a Second Language (ESL)