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History of the CLB/NCLC

  • 1992 - Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) ran regional consultations within the ESL community in Canada with the aim of enhancing and supporting language training in Canada for its “made-in-Canada” language training policy. The consultations was tasked to provide a common method for describing second language learning proficiency of adult ESL learners in Canada.
  • 1993 - The National Working Group on Language Benchmarks (NWGLB) was established.  The NWGLB was made up of teachers, program administrators, government officials, and immigrant serving groups from across the country who gave feedback and direction to the team of writers working with Grazyna Pawlikowska Smith.
  • 1996 - The first working copy of the Benchmarks was made available. The CLB 1996 contained a dozen benchmarks for three skills: Oral Communication, Reading, and Writing. The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) was created based on feedback from a November 1996 conference that identified the need for an institution outside of government to take responsibility for the Benchmark project.
  • 1998 - The CCLB was created by CIC in partnership with the provincial governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan to support and maintain the standard through a multi-stakeholder, nationally representative and inter-governmental board of directors.  Now almost 10 years later, the CLB are well established within the ESL community underlying both provincial and federal language training systems.  The reality is that the CLB have truly become a common language for the entire immigrant-serving community. 
  • 2002 - At the annual meeting of the CCLB Board of Directors, it was decided that the Centre should provide a French version of the benchmarks to the French as a second language (FSL) community. The University of Ottawa developed the first version of the national standard, named les Standards linguistiques canadiens 2002 (SLC 2002). That same year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada  approved use of the SLC 2002 for use in programs teaching FSL to adult newcomers to Canada.
  • 2004 - 2005 - The SLC 2002 underwent a national review within the FSL practitioner community.
  • 2005 - The SLC 2002 was revised based on feedback from the national review the year before.
  • 2006 - The French standards were released as les Niveaux de compétence canadiens 2006 (NCLC 2006).
  • 2008 - 2010 - CCLB/CNCLC begins the national consultation on the CLB/NCLC.