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To succeed in Canadian university education programs all students must demonstrate a required level of academic literacy which includes a variety of English language skills such as writing formal essays. With the growing number of immigrants in Canada enrolled in higher education, there is an increased demand for language supports for English as Second Language (ESL) students. The current research suggests that language issues pose one of the greatest challenges to academic success for ESL students. This paper describes the current state of knowledge of major literacy challenges experienced by ESL students within the higher education system in Canada and questions whether their literacy needs are being met. Educational strategies for enhancing the written literacy skills are discussed.
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