ESL Program Overview

English language learners will participate in a series of engaging activities that focus on vocabulary and key concepts surrounding Parliament and how government works in Ontario and Canada.  This 90-minute program typically consists of three segments:

  • A visit to the Chamber: either watching MPPs debate when the House is sitting, or an interactive session on the Chamber floor or galleries when the House is not sitting
  • An exploration of the building, focusing on its historic significance and its function
  • A participatory activity demonstrating the levels of government  or how laws are made in Ontario

Topics covered:

  • The three levels of Government in Canada and the responsibilities of each
  • The roles and responsibilities of the parliamentary players in Ontario’s Legislature
  • The roles and responsibilities of Ontario MPPs
  • Political parties, ridings, elections and voting in Ontario
  • How members of the public can access information about Ontario’s Parliament and get involved
  • Basic geography of Ontario, including important natural resources
  • The symbols of Ontario
  • Architectural features and interesting details about the Chamber and the building

Issues we will ask students to consider:

  • What happens at Parliament?
  • What do MPPs do?  Who is my MPP and how can I contact him/her?
  • What is the significance of Confederation in Canada?
  • What is the role of the Queen in Canada?
  • What historic traditions do we continue to observe?

Mock Debate/Group Discussion:

In this segment of the program, students participate in a group discussion on the law making process in Ontario.  The discussion can include a debate of a fictional bill on a topic of interest.

While no preparation is required for a visit to the Legislature, ESL teachers are encouraged to introduce the vocabulary and key concepts to their group prior to a visit.

Request a program