Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT):

If you enrolled in Grade 9 in the 1999-2000 academic year or in subsequent years, you must successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement. This test determines whether you have acquired the reading and writing skills considered essential for literacy. It is based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication, particularly reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9.

If you have had two opportunities to complete the test and have been unsuccessful, you may enroll in the

Grade 12 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). You must pass the test or the course in order to obtain your diploma.

Students taking ESL only take the test when they have reached an appropriate level in their language ability.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course: (OSSLC)

A student who has been eligible twice to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), and who has failed at least once, is eligible to take the grade 12 literacy course (OSSLC).However, a principal may allow a student to take the OSSLC before he/she has had his/her second opportunity to write the OSSLT if the Principal determines this is in the best educational interests of the student. Students who pass the course are considered to have met the literacy graduation requirement.


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course

Course Title: Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course
Course Code: OLC4O
Grade: Any
Course Type: Open
Credit Value: 1
Department: English

Course Description:

This course provides students with skills and strategies that will allow them to continue their education successfully and pursue pathways to employment that may involve apprenticeship and/or cooperative education programs. Students will develop greater independence in reading and writing, as well as in interpreting media texts; use a range of media and community resources; and communicate both orally and in writing on a variety of topics. This course also expands the critical thinking skills students will need in order to contribute to Canadian society as informed citizens.

As you move through this course you will create a literacy portfolio. This is a file containing a record of your reading experiences and samples of your writing, a reading logcontaining a list of what you have read, and learning reflections journal where you will think about your skills and your goals related to them.

The approximate teaching time per UNIT is indicated in the Course Content. However, how much time you will need to complete the tasks and assignments, or which is dedicated to independent reading and writing, will depend on your own individual needs and literacy competency.


Titles and Descriptions

Time and Sequence

Unit 1


In this unit students will explore the course outline, read how they will be assessed on their work and be introduced to the software and how to use it.

1 hour

Unit 2

Sense and Sensibility: Reading and Thinking

Students begin by learning how to read information text, how to skim and scan, how to read expository non-fiction and how to read graphic texts.

20 hours

Unit 3

Sentence Review

Students will review the elements of a sentence and review the summary rules for writing in English.

4 hours

Unit 4

Voice and Choice: Writing and You

In this unit students will learn and practice the key writing skills of writing an information paragraph, writing a summary, writing an opinion piece, writing a narrative, writing a newspaper article, and writing a text in entirely in graphics.

25 hours

Unit 5

Language and Power: Voices through Reading and Writing

In this unit students will learn how to read and how to write in several different forms including: brochures, classified ads, textbooks, letters to the editor, websites, urban legends, and display ads. The unit concludes with a look at the use and power of language in North American society.

20 hours

Unit 6

Growth in Literacy: Into a Global Community

In this unit students will practice listening for a purpose. They will read articles regarding global issues and make personal reflections on global issues.

20 hours

Unit 7

Putting it All Together

This is the unit where students bring all their skills to bear together to produce four summative tasks: demonstrate their new reading skills, producing a summary paragraph, produce an information paragraph, and create a self-reflection.

20 hours


110 hours