Most immigrant service organizations and school boards offering ESL classes can help you find a Language Assessment Centre. In some provinces these are called LINC Assessment Centres. LINC stands for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada. If you live in Manitoba or British Columbia you will find the equivalent of the LINC program: Manitoba has M.I.I.P and British Columbia has ELSA (English Language Services for Adults).
Assessment is available free of charge if you are:
- an adult newcomer 18 years or older
- a Permanent Resident of Canada (Landed Immigrant) or Convention refugee
- able to prove your status with original documents
What are the steps you need to take in order to be assessed at a LINC Assessment Centre?
- Screening: You contact a LINC service provider to say you want to take a class. If you know the phone number of an Assessment Centre, you can phone the Centre to make an appointment.
- Time you need: The assessment may take up to three hours.
- Documents: At some point, you will be asked to show your documents. Remember, they have to be originals, not copies.
- Assessment: There are 3 parts to the assessment: reading, writing, listening and speaking. You will be rated on each skill by performing tasks or activities. You will meet an assessor who will work with you. If you do not understand something, remember to ask. The assessors are good at their job. They are trained and will be professional.
- Results: You will be assigned a benchmark level for each of the 4 skills. They may be the same or they may all be different. If you speak English better than you write English, you will have a higher benchmark for speaking. Your benchmarks will change over time. As you get better at using English, your benchmarks will go up.
- Next Steps: Once you have a benchmark level, you can find a class that meets your needs.