What is a CLB and why do I need it?

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What is a CLB?

CLB means Canadian Language Benchmarks. It is used for describing, measuring and recognizing the English language skill of adult immigrants.

It has three stages and 12 levels:
The levels describe tasks that people can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Lower level benchmarks describe people who may be new to English (CLB 1 to 4).Higher levels show greater English skills. These are based on tasks that a person can do. Read Canadian Language Benchmarks to know what each level can do.

CLB is used in Canada to teach and test language learning for adults. Get your CLB if you intend to go to English class, train, look for work or study at a college or university.


Why use CLB?

“Many adult ESL programs in Canada use the CLB. Students and teachers use CLB to understand what English is needed for daily life in Canada. The CLB does not list grammar or vocabulary. It lists tasks for every day, real English use” (Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks).

CLB is easier to use than other benchmarks. It describes the actual tasks a person can do using English. This is helpful for teachers and trainers. You can also use it to plan your learning goals.


How can you get your CLB?

There are several ways:

  1. If you have IELTS General, CELPIP-General or TEF score:
    Use the CLB Calculator.
  2. Go to a testing centre.
    Call the nearest centre. Ask for an appointment for a CLB test. They can give you an Adult EAL Referral Form for an EAL program or class. The test is free.

  3. Do a self- assessment at CLB-OSA.
    The online test takes 60 minutes. It gives an approximate benchmark range. The result is not official.
  4. If you have a CLB score but want to see the equivalent in IELTS General:
    Go to: IELTS and CLB

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It takes around 500 hours of full-time study to improve by one Canadian Language Benchmark. Start learning now! Go to our learning options. They’re free!

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