Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC 3O/4O)

Course Overview

Course Title: Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
Course Code: OLC 3O/4O
Grade: 11/12
Course Type: Open
Credit Value: 1.0
Prerequisite: Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. (Students who have already met the literacy requirement for graduation may be eligible to take the course under special circumstances, at the discretion of the principal.)
Department: English
Tuition Fee (CAD): $639

This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing.

Overall Curriculum Expectations

By the end of the course, students will gain proficiency in the following areas:

Building Reading Skills
  • demonstrate the ability to read and respond to a variety of texts;
  • demonstrate understanding of the organizational structure and features of a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts, including information paragraphs, opinion pieces, textbooks, newspaper reports and magazine stories, and short fiction;
  • demonstrate understanding of the content and meaning of informational, narrative, and graphic texts that they have read using a variety of reading strategies;
  • use a variety of strategies to understand unfamiliar and specialized words and expressions in informational, narrative, and graphic texts.

Building Writing Skills
  • demonstrate the ability to use the writing process by generating and organizing ideas and producing first drafts, revised drafts, and final polished pieces to complete a variety of writing tasks;
  • use knowledge of writing forms, and of the connections between form, audience, and purpose, to write summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces (i.e., series of paragraphs expressing an opinion), news reports, and personal reflections, incorporating graphic elements where necessary and appropriate.

Understanding and Assessing Growth in Literacy
  • demonstrate understanding of the importance of communication skills in their everyday lives – at school, at work, and at home;
  • demonstrate understanding of their own roles and responsibilities in the learning process;
  • demonstrate understanding of the reading and writing processes and of the role of reading and writing in learning;
  • demonstrate understanding of their own growth in literacy during the course.

Unit Overview

Unit 1: Introduction to Literacy15 hours
Unit 2: Developing our Reading Skills20 hours
Unit 3: Developing our Writing Skills20 hours
Unit 4: Enhancing our Oral Literacy Skills20 hours
Unit 5: Culminating Project15 hours
Total Hours110 hours
Teaching and Learning Strategies

Enthusiastic teachers and instructors bring unique teaching and assessment methods to the classroom because students learn best when they are engaged in a range of different learning techniques. The activities allow students to apply learned concepts to current world social, economic, and environmental issues which impact daily life. Opportunities to relate knowledge and skills to these wider contexts will motivate students to learn in a meaningful way and to become life-long learners. Instructors also inspire students to become successful problem solvers by investigating, providing alternative reasoning and solutions to problems as well as dedicating time and energy to the tasks at hand.

Effective instructional techniques utilize students’ existing knowledge and by capturing their interest and engaging in meaningful participation. Students will be engaged when they are able to see the correlation between the learned concepts and their ability to apply them to the world around them and in real-life situations. Students will have the chance to learn using a wide range of methods which include self-learning, cooperative learning as well as learning through teacher guidance as well has hands-on experiences. The methods and strategies teachers implement will be tailored to the learning requirements and the individual needs of the students. Teachers will achieve effective instruction in an online environment by using videos, interactive animations and virtual labs and discussion forums and video conferencing/live chat.

Individualized Accommodations for Students

Our methodology for student assessment follows the Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010) manual published by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. Assessment tools are designed to improve student learning which includes descriptive feedback, coaching, observations and self-assessments. In addition, student can be independent and set individual goals, monitor progress against these goals, determine next steps and reflect on their thinking and learning.

For a student with special education needs who requires modified or alternative expectations, assessment and evaluation of his or her achievement will be based on the modified curriculum expectations or alternative expectations outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning may be identified by the teacher, however recommendations from a School Board generated in the form of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) should be used, if available. 


For a student with special education needs who requires “accommodations only”, as described in his or her IEP, assessment and evaluation of achievement will be based on the appropriate subject/ grade/course curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in the curriculum documents.

A student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) describes his or her educational program and any accommodations that may be required. The IEP specifies whether the student requires:
accommodations only; or
modified learning expectations, with the possibility of accommodations;

Assessment accommodations are changes in procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his
or her learning. These may include:
visual supports to clarify verbal instructions, assistive devices, or some form of human support;
alternative methods for the student to demonstrate his or her achievement of expectations (e.g., allowing the student to take tests orally) or the allowance of extra time to complete the assessment;
alternative settings that may be more suitable for the student to demonstrate his or her learning.

If accommodations are required to assess and evaluate student learning, the strategies to be used are outlined in the student’s IEP.
For further details about the different types of accommodations, modified learning expectation and alternative programs please refer to Growing Success Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 (2010)

Materials Required

Standard Computer Requirements for all courses:
-Processor speed of 2 GHz or faster
-Memory of 4 GB RAM or greater
-A high speed internet connection with a connection speed of 10 MB/s or better.
-Monitor and video card with 1024×768 or greater resolution
-Keyboard and Mouse is recommended
-Speakers/Headphones