Canadian government offers free English classes to landed immigrants and refugees. If you are a new immigrant or refugee, make sure to take this class to help you improve your English language skills to help you find work, prepare you before going to college or help you settle into life in Canada.

Canada’s official languages

Canada has two official languages. The languages are English and French. If you are new to Canada and your first language is not English nor French, you need to learn English or French. Many language training centers offer English or French classes to help you learn and improve your language skills. Language training in English is called ESL (English as a Second Language) while language training in French is called FSL (French as a second language). The language training is offered at various language centers. The free language training programs that are provided by the Canadian government at no cost are Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program, and Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC). If you live in an area where English is the most commonly spoken language, you may need to take a language training in English only. Taking French language training won’t be required though it will give you many advantages later.

LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)

If you are a permanent resident or a protected person, you can take English classes for free. The classes are funded by the Government of Canada and offered at many locations through out the country. You can contact your local organization in your area that offers free LINC program for newcomers. Find the free newcomer services here.

Benefits of taking these language classes:

  • You will learn English from qualified, friendly and knowledgeable teachers
  • The classes will help you improve your skills in reading, speaking, listening and writing English. It will prepare you for further education or employment.
  • You can take English classes that work for you. All schedules are usually available in the morning, afternoon and evening.
  • You can take the classes online or in a classroom.
  • Free daycare if you bring your kids to class
  • You can get a free bus ticket to your class
  • The program offers classes at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels.
  • Meet new friends and experience the cultural diversity.
  • You will receive a certificate when you complete Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) level. You can get a certificate that you can use as proof of meeting the citizenship language requirement.

Eligibility

To qualify, you must:

  1. Have your current Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment
  2. Be 18 years or older
  3. Be either a permanent resident or a newcomer who has legal status to remain in Canada.

Steps to do before you take this free English class

  1. You can assess your language proficiency with an online self-assessment tool before taking a formal language assessment. Visit CLB online self-assessment language test to assess your English skills.
  2. Visit an organization at your location that offers Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
  3. Take the Canadian Language Benchmarks test at an assessment center at your location.
  4. Register for language classes.
  5. Start taking language classes.

Note: Completing LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) does not satisfy the English language requirement at post-secondary schools. If you plan to study at a post-secondary school and your first language is not English, you must demonstrate your English proficiency by taking English test either International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and meet minimum scores.

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