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
- 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.