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National Consultation on the CLB 2000 and NCLC 2006

CCLB has wrapped up its National Consultation with key stakeholders across Canada on the Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: English as a Second Language for Adults (CLB) and Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens 2006: Français langue seconde pour adultes (NCLC). This consultation has allowed CCLB to gain insight into how the CLB/NCLC should evolve to meet needs of both existing and emerging groups. The consultation has also allowed CCLB and stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of the use of these standards and related tools and resources and to identify potential new uses for them. This project was funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

During the first year of the project, CCLB assembled the National Consultation team and held pre-consultation discussions which informed the final design of the consultation process. The Centre then held and coordinated 27 facilitated forums and group discussions targeting practitioners and other stakeholders involved with ESL and FSL programs using the CLB and NCLC in 12 cities across Canada. In 2009-2010, CCLB built on this work and carried out the following activities:  

  • Posted an on-line survey for ESL practitioners familiar with the CLB 2000, built on the information gathered from forum participants, to provide an opportunity for practitioners to provide additional feedback and new perspectives. The survey was completed by 397 practitioners across Canada.
  • Designed and posted an on-line survey for learners to share their experience with the CLB. This survey was completed by 638 learners across Canada.
  • Conducted preliminary analysis based on the earlier stages of the National Consultation.
  • Integrated the preliminary analysis and key results from earlier stages into the discussion book for the National Forum.
  • Conducted a document review targeting information related to specific issues that emerged.
  • Held the National Forum in which 24 people representing the broad range of stakeholders met with the CCLB Board of Directors to engage in further analysis and validation of the findings. They explored some of the tensions and questions that had surfaced during the initial consultation phase and offered their insights into the best way forward given competing demands and priorities.
  • Held two two-day meetings in Ottawa with key experts from the ESL and FSL communities. These experts provided additional insights on the findings of the consultation and made recommendations to CCLB.

Building on the outcomes of the National Forum, the Board of Directors of CCLB clarified the mission and core services of the organization and outlined its strategic directions and key implementation strategies for the coming three-year period.

The National Consultation has shown strong and growing support for the CLB and NCLC among ESL and FSL stakeholders as well as other groups and institutions working in settlement. There is considerable synergy in terms of the gaps, challenges and unmet needs that need to be addressed for both the CLB and NCLC in relation to their integrity, language training application and sharing of resources.

In 2010, teams of experts are taking the first steps towards meeting these new challenges by revising the French and English core documents. The consultation has also informed CCLB’s strategic directions for the coming years. It will enable CCLB to maintain the structure and organizational capacity required to ensure the quality and integrity of its standards, which will allow it to better collaborate with the community of professionals and organizations interested in the CLB and NCLC.