Types of language training programs for newcomers in Canada

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Newcomers will find many language programs to help them learn Canada’s official languages, English and/or French. These programs are offered free of charge by immigrant service provider organizations across the country.

Language Training options for newcomers to Canada, IRCC.

Types of language training:

  1. Formal language training – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) is instruction in English while Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC) is in French. Lessons are anchored on settlement themes and meaningful tasks that help you apply your language skills in everyday life. Newcomers who are not able to attend face-to-face classes have an option to enroll in LINC Home Study which is delivered fully online. Those who need a certification or proof of their language benchmark, for example, those applying for citizenship or to academic programs, choose to enroll in formal language training programs. It provides formal feedback (CLB/NCLC certificate) and uses the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) as a framework.
  2. Employment or job-related language training – This is for those who are focused on gaining language skills for employment purposes or improving it while they work. Newcomers learn workplace communication skills, terminology used at work in their specific field, interview practice, and how to interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds in a professional environment, among others. Those interested in job-related language training may consider the English at Work program by Enhanced Skills for Employment (EESE), Winnipeg School Division Adult EAL, Red River College’s English for Specific Purposes, and others.
  3. Informal language training – These are programs that are delivered in informal settings and do not use structured lessons. There are no formal feedback or assessment requirements. These activities help you gain friends, improve your conversational and listening skills, and provide information that will help you get settled in your community. Activities include conversation circles, community events, drop-in workshops, discussion groups, group study, one-on-one learning or self-study. See this list from MANSO for Informal Language Training programs all over the city.

Programs are designed to be flexible for newcomers. You have a choice of attending full-time, part-time or during the day, in the evenings or on weekends. Instruction may be delivered in a classroom or online or a mix of both.

How to get into a language class:

  1. The first step to take is to get your language skills assessed. Know your Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level so that service providers can direct you to the proper language program that will fit your needs and skills. Language Assessment Centres, like WELARC in Winnipeg, provide this assessment and referral free of charge. Regional Language Assessment Centres can be found at:
  2. Check the list of programs recommended by the Language Assessment Centre. See which one fits your needs, schedule and learning style.
  3. Know the requirements to join or register. Go to the organization’s website to know more details. You can also talk to them directly by visiting, or by phone or email.
  4. Submit the requirements and join the class.

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