English as a second language (ESL) courses are intended to help students develop proficiency in the language of instruction so that they can succeed in all subject areas at school. However, this program is offered at a few schools only. An ESL program is not offered at Bishop Tonnos Catholic School.

Students may continue to use a maximum of three credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD) towards the four compulsory credits in English, but must earn the fourth compulsory credit in English at the Grade 12 level. (Students graduating in the 2007-08 school year are exempt from this requirement and may use grade 11 or 12 English credits)   The courses that meet the compulsory credit requirement in Grade 12 are ENG 4U, ENG 4C and ENG 4E.