Language Assessments are tests that determine a person’s reading, writing, listening, and speaking skill levels and proficiency of the English Language.  A language assessment follows Canadian Language Benchmarks, (CLB), ranging from literacy, level 1 to 12. All organizations that provide English language classes follow the CLB levels and set up classes by individual level or a range of levels.

The YMCA Immigrant Services in both Kitchener and Cambridge is the local host organization to provide a Language Assessment Centre for adult newcomers to Canada who are settling in Waterloo Region.  If you are a Convention Refugee, Permanent Resident, Landed Immigrant, and even a Citizen, you may use the FREE assessment services offered at the YMCA.  You must be an adult, 18 years and older, wanting to improve your English, and have not had an assessment in the last year:

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre – 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge).  They will book an appointment and tell you what documents to bring.
Step 2: Have your English language skills assessed for FREE. They will tell you what your CLB benchmark numbers are.
Step 3: Register at the location suggested by the YMCA.  If a St. Louis location is suggested, register at the location listed on the print-out.

If you are a Visitor to Canada, and would like to take any English language (ESL) class at St. Louis, St. Louis will do the assessment at a cost of $60.  Contact any ESL office to book an appointment for a language assessment and discuss details of enrolment. The YMCA Language Assessment Centre does not do language assessments for visitors.

Ongoing assessments in class

Once in a class, instructors provide ongoing language assessments to determine progress from one level to another.  English language instructors at St. Louis use Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) , a nationwide tool that measures language skills and task-based learning.  PBLA is relative new teaching and assessment model designed to enhance nationwide consistency and standards of quality in English as a Second Language (ESL) training for adult newcomers to Canada.  St. Louis uses PBLA for both LINC and ESL classes, including for visitors to Canada.