CLB, LINC, and CELPIP courses

CLTD has developed a series of courses designed specifically for learners in the CLB system.

Before we look at the courses, we need to look at what all these abbreviations mean – CLB, LINC, and CELPIP.

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is a standardized system used in Canada`s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. CLB is divided into three levels or stages (General, Higher Level, and Further Training) with four benchmarks each.  So, it is a way of measuring how well someone speaks English.

CLB is our attempt at standardizing how we speak, read and write English.  Canada is not well known for its wide variety of accents – but there are still quite a few across the country. For example, nobody who understands Canadian English well will ever mistake someone from Newfoundland as someone from British Columbia.

In the 1990s, a research centre was set up in Ottawa to draft the benchmarks and since 2000 scholars there have been updating and posting assessment methods and standards as well as teaching and learning resources for both immigrants and the people who teach them.

The idea is that the CLB helps immigrants prepare to successfully complete the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) test.

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) is an English language proficiency test designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent resident status in Canada and Canadian citizenship. As the IRCC state on their website:

The test provides a valid and reliable measurement of a test taker’s English abilities in a variety of everyday situations, such as communicating with co-workers and superiors in the workplace, interacting with friends, understanding newscasts, and interpreting and responding to written materials.

There are two versions of the CELPIP Test: the CELPIP-General Test and the CELPIP-General LS Test. The CELPIP-General Test assesses functional Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking skills, and is accepted by IRCC as proof of English language proficiency for permanent residency in Canada. The CELPIP-General LS Test assesses functional Listening and Speaking proficiency, and is accepted by IRCC as proof of English language proficiency for Canadian citizenship.

Courses that are aligned to the CLB and CELPIP expectations and offered by a service provider officially designated by the IRCC are collectively known as Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada.  LINC courses are funded by the IRCC.  In Charlottetown, LINC courses are offered through Holland College (which we found out last week currently has a six month wait list).

CLTD is not a LINC site.  We are not designated by the government as an official provider. However, we have years of experience with LINC and have designed a set of new language courses we will begin offering in October that are aligned to the standards of LINC, CLB, and CELPIP.

We started this process by thinking about some of the problems we have seen in language education over our own 25 years in the field.  Then we began looking at what learners have to say about LINC and its success.  In 2010, the federal government did an extensive survey of user experiences in LINC programs across Canada.  They came up with a list of areas where the program could be improved.

Learners want more flexibility, greater consistency and more specialization.

So, we developed a series of 6 week courses designed to provide additional help for people in the CLB system.   The courses are appropriate to learners in the General stage (CLBs 1-4) in the CLB system.

Course Descriptions

Preparing for the CELPIP Tests

This course introduces learners to the language proficiency standards and assessment methods used in the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) tests.

Pronunciation and spelling

This course provides instruction on English pronunciation and spelling through a rigorous exploration of the mechanics of writing and speaking. Learners are introduced to regional variations in pronunciation, especially in Canada.


This courses explores the grammatical rules of standard English in both written and spoken forms. Learners are introduced the regional grammatical differences among the main dialects of the English language.

English language idioms

Idioms are phrases or expressions with figurative meaning different from their literal meaning and are often the most difficult part of language for learners to understand. This course introduces learners to some of the estimated twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions in the English language.

Whatever your language needs, CLTD can help you succeed in your move to beautiful PEI. Contact us at

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