Established in 2000, the ESL program exists to serve the non-native English speaking community. ESL traditionally means "English as a Second Language." In our setting, as in many places around the world, English is often a third or fourth language. Thus, you will often hear us refer to our students as ELLs (English Language Learners). Over the years we have served students from nations such as Russia, Korea, Ukraine, Brazil, Germany, and Poland.

HCA takes a comprehensive approach to ESL. ESL classes are held four times a week, and students receive in-depth instruction in grade-level reading, speaking, listening, writing, grammar, and academic vocabulary. The classes are small providing a safe place to learn and practice English along with excellent opportunities for individualized attention. Students needing additional support are invited to participate in the after school “3H Club” (Hinkson Homework Helpers). Private tutoring is also available.

Our ESL students learn English in many different ways. In class we utilise a variety of strategies to acquire English. We also help with homework and assignments from other teachers. Academic vocabulary and writing skills are a strong focus for Secondary Students.

Students from kindergarten through grade 12 are eligible for participation. All non-native English speakers must be tested for English language proficiency prior to admission. English proficiency is rated on a six-level scale. The minimum required level of proficiency varies by grade level. As much as possible, the ESL program is tailored to the individual language needs of students. It is transitional in nature in that the goal is to bring students up to grade level and have them fully mainstreamed into the rest of the school.