One of the key tasks facing most immigrants to Toronto is the acquisition of English as a Second Language (ESL). But while there is broad agreement at all levels of government that this task must be met with appropriate educational support from government, the implementation processes for that support have been fraught with complexity and ambiguity (Burnaby and James, 2000 and Donkor, 2004).
Immigrants to Toronto arrive in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Learning English is one of the keys to successful settlement. With the increase in immigration to our city comes the increased demand for ESL programs. But has Toronto kept pace? Are our ESL programs meeting the needs of these new immigrants, or the needs of the larger society? Evidence indicates we are not making the grade.