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About the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB):

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standard used in Canada for describing, measuring and recognizing the English language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada.

The CLB is a descriptive scale of communicative proficiency in English as a Second Language, expressed as benchmarks or reference points.  Benchmarks provide a framework of reference for learning, teaching, programming and assessing adult English as a Second Language in Canada, and a national standard for planning second language curricula for a variety of contexts and a common “yardstick” for assessing the outcomes. 

The CLB was developed under the sponsorship of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and provincial governments of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment (CLBA) Logo

The CLBA is used to determine a newcomer's English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing at various stages of development.  The CLBA is an assessment tool rather than a traditional test.  Its purpose is to help place language learners in instruction programs appropriate for their level of competence in English.

The CLBA:

  • Is a task-based assessment instrument
  • Assesses English proficiency on the scale from Benchmark 1 to Benchmark 8
  • Assesses English Listening/Speaking through one-on-one interviews
  • Assesses Reading by means of responses to short answer/multiple choice questions
  • Assesses Writing by means of authentic, life-applicable tasks

CLBA training provides:

  • 5 trainer-facilitated days of intensive instruction, skill application and coaching
  • instruction in test administration protocol
  • instruction in language elicitation interview techniques
  • instruction in analysis and scoring of CLBA Listening/Speaking, Reading and Writing test instruments
  • application of learned skills through practice interviews with ESL students and through study and scoring of authentic test samples
  • CLBA certification
  • a CLBA kit for certified candidates
  • additional CLBA material as developed (e.g. test revisions/updates)
  • invitation to future CLBA professional development workshops/seminars (For Funded Programs)

Assessor Training Eligibility

All candidates for training must meet the Criteria for Candidates for Assessor Training. Candidates and their sponsoring organization/centre will be held responsible for ensuring that all terms and conditions of CLBA use are adhered to, as described in the Agreements.


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