What is Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) – Basic Information

If you are thinking of going to Canada, you might be familiar with the term CLB or Canadian Language Benchmarks. CLB is a standard that is being used in Canadian immigration applications to give descriptions to the various 12 levels of language with the ability in speaking, writing, listening, and reading.

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Canadian Language Benchmarks are not any form of tests; they are only a way of describing the outcome you would get on the various language tests. A good example of this test is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). Therefore, there is nothing like a CLB test, but your language test results can be used to evaluate the level of your language according to the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

Canadian Language Benchmarks

History of Canadian Language Benchmarks

The Canadian Language Benchmarks were formed out of an initiative by the federal government in 1992. The main aim of CLB is to assist the language learning demands of immigrants to Canada. In 1993, a body known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada founded the National Working Group on Language Benchmark.

In November 1996, they introduced the Working Document for Canadian Language Benchmarks. This working group was meant to become the managing board for the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB). The CCLB became chartered as a non-profit agency in March 1998.

In the year 2000, Grazyna Pawlikowska-Smith published his own Canadian Language Benchmarks. This was based on research done by experts, and it is becoming famous among institutions, teachers, and students. In 2012, another revised version of the Canadian Language Benchmark was published along with a theoretical framework.

A team of language experts and writers worked together on the revision in both French and English languages. The NCLC/CLB theory was evaluated against the common European Framework for Language, the Quebec, and the ACTEFL version of language benchmarks. The validation has proven that NCLC and CLB are reliable and valid for high stakes in various contexts which include workplace, community, and academy.

In 1996, a group of benchmarks for literacy learners or individuals whose English happens to be their second language was created and revised in 2000 by the federal government of Manitoba. In 2013-2014, the revised version of the new literacy benchmarks was carried out in fiscal and was available after the validation in 2014.

Reasons to Know Your CLB Level

If you are making plans to travel to Canada, you must know your CLB level. Applicants who file an application for a Canadian permanent resident status via any of the programs that are being managed under the Express Entry system are required to show a minimum CLB under a ranking system called Comprehensive Ranking System of 5 or higher in their second official language.

Any supporting spouse can obtain more CRS points based on their language level too, and this has to be shown with a Canadian Language Benchmarks level. The CLB may be wanted in other Canadian Immigration Programs: for instance, applicants get points under the QSW points system for a Canadian Language Benchmarks level of 5 and above.

It is good to know the Canadian Language Benchmarks will also assist you if you are thinking of studying in Canada. The CLB has been used as a framework in English Language and also has second language teaching in Canada.

How do CLB Levels Work?

There are 12 different levels we have in the Canadian Language Benchmarks. They go from (CLB 1) to advanced (CLB 12). They are separated into three different stages such as basic, intermediate, and advanced. Furthermore, they have four benchmarks within each of the stages and they are Initial, developing, adequate, and fluent.

Each of the Canadian Language Benchmarks is applicable to each of the four core areas such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Each of these areas has detailed descriptions of each level and this is found on the CLB website. The Canadian Language Benchmarks have more details on every aspect, and if you are thinking of knowing your CLB level then taking the test is inevitable.

What is The Level of My CLB?

Canadian Language Benchmarks is not a test of any sort. If you participate in a language test such as IELTS, there is no way you are going to see your CLBs on the certificate. It should also be noted that the level wanted for one to be eligible or immigrate via one of the programs controlled by Express Entry System all depends on the class you will be filing your application such as Canadian Experience Classes, Federal Skilled Trades, and the Federal Skilled Workers.

Different Language Test

The following are examples of a language test for anyone who wants to go to Canada, and here they are:

  1. IELTS:

IELTS is the acronym for International English Testing System. It is an international test for non-English language speakers in order to test their proficiency in the English language. It is one of the languages, we have in the world. It is the only language test that has been approved by the United Kingdom Visas, and an immigration test for people applying both inside and outside of the United Kingdom.

  1. CELPIP

CELPIP is an abbreviation for the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program is an English language assessment tool that helps to measure reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities. CELPIP is administered by a Paragon Testing Enterprise, which happens to be a subsidiary of the University of Columbia in Canada. This English test has two different versions as CELPIP-General and CELPIP-General LS. Read more about CELPIP here.

  1. TEF

TEF means Test d’ évaluation due to français, is a fluency test in French for non-french speakers., and it is being awarded by the CCIP. The language test has three major sections that are mandatory and two optional sections. The mandatory section comprises listening, vocabulary, reading, and grammar sections, while the optional part consists of speaking and writing sections.

  1. TFC

TFC is Test de Connaissance due to Français a test in proficiency in the French language in order to meet the standard of immigration officers in Canada. One of the major purposes of the test is to obtain Canadian citizenship. It comprises four compulsory sections such as speaking, listening comprehension, writing, and reading comprehension.

Assessment of Canadian Language Benchmarks

The Canadian Language Benchmarks has been in operation since 1996. The CLB-based assessment shows what a second language speaker can offer in terms of communication and language. In general, they cover four skills such as reading, listening, speaking, and reading. It has been used for both summative and formative assessments and also in defining higher or lower stakes.

Examples of Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessments Include:

  • The Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA).
  • The Canadian Language Benchmarks Literacy Assessment (CLBLA).
  • The Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT).
  • Literacy Placement Tool: Volume I.
  • Literacy Placement Tool: Volume II.
  • Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN).
  • Milestones (a high-stakes test in development for Citizenship & Immigration Canada)

This article should go a long way in guiding you through CLBs. Let us know in the comment section if you have any questions and we will be glad to help you out.

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