Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

All classes are currently offered remotely during the Province-wide lockdown.

Register online for classes starting September 13

If you need to reach your teacher, please call 519-745-1201 ext 224  OR ext 538


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC Homepage)

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada or “LINC” is a FREE English language training program funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres is one of the largest English language class provider in Waterloo Region & surrounding area open to newcomers 18 years of age and older.  Students who take LINC classes are taught Canadian Language Benchmarks Levels Literacy to Level 8 (available levels vary by location).

BENEFITS of taking English classes with LINC!

  • Free and small class sizes
  • More personal attention to each student
  • Free quality childminding available
  • Free bus tickets to eligible clients

Students develop strong English language communication skills to live and work in Canada. All LINC English Languages classes teach the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing using Portfolio Based Language Assessment.

To qualify to attend LINC classes at St. Louis, you must be:

  • a Newcomer to Canada
  • an Adult age 18 years and older
  • Convention Refugee or
  • Permanent Resident or
  • Landed Immigrant
  • at a Canadian Language Benchmark: Literacy level to Level 7

Once enrolled in a LINC class in the morning, afternoon or both, students are expected to attend classes regularly with an 80% attendance rate.

English Language Classes through the LINC program offer the following classes:

Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young St., Kitchener

  • Literacy
  • CLB 1 to CLB 8

St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Rd., Kitchener

  • Literacy
  • CLB 1 to CLB 6

How do I know if my English is good?

English Language Assessments are done at the YMCA.  Please call 519-579-9622 to make an appointment.  They will find an English Language class at the language level you are at.

Canadian Language Benchmarks – What do they mean?

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is used in Canada to teach and test language learning for adults.  It is important to understand the CLB if you are planning to go to English class, train, look for work or study at a College or University.  The benchmarks describe tasks that people can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Literacy – Level 1: Welcome to English School! We will help you start to learn English.

Level 2-3: You will develop and have an adequate knowledge of simple spoken and written communication to function in the community like shopping, going to the doctor and speaking to your children’s teacher.

Level 4: You know enough English, now, that you could begin to apply for Canadian Citizenship.  Take Citizenship preparation classes. Or you can consider taking a specialized English Language class in Home Day Care.

Level 5 & 6: Your English should be good enough to get and keep a job and gain some Canadian work experience.  Don’t stop learning English. Continue in your LINC classes in the morning or afternoon and keep moving forward to the next CLB level. Once you have completed level 6 you would be ready to take a specialized English language class or  you may apply to take the St. Louis Culinary Arts Training, or Hairstylist and Barber Training.  If you would like to go to College or University, we advise that you keep going to CLB Level 7.

Level 7+: Once you have completed this level, you may continue to improve your reading, writing skills or prepare for the TOEFL/ IELTS tests.  At this level you can begin to take other classes at St. Louis, including working toward earning Secondary School Credits, or developing employment skills with Personal Support Worker Training.

English Language Classes through the LINC program offer the following classes:

Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young St., Kitchener

  • Literacy
  • CLB 1 to CLB 8

St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Rd., Kitchener

  • Literacy
  • CLB 1 to CLB 6

What Will I Learn?

Listening: You will be able to understand spoken English in a variety of situations including going to the doctor, shopping or visiting your children’s school.

Speaking: You will develop your English language vocabulary and be able to speak to others in increasingly complex ways and in a variety of situations including interviews, speaking with your doctor to name a few.

Reading: You will be able to understand written texts like application forms, emails and bank statements.

Writing: You will be able to write in English to help you complete job applications, fill out forms at the bank, write a letter to your children’s teacher and much more.

What is Portfolio-Based Language Assessment?

Portfolio Based Language Assessment in a standard in-class assessment instructors use in all LINC classes in Canada as a way to measure your language abilities. Each student receives a Language Companion binder that the student completes to show what they can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. Your portfolio is assessed by your instructor and you are given a progress report at the end of each term.

TOP 5 things LINC students like about the program

  1. Learning English Skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing)
  2. Really good teachers
  3. Free childcare for newcomers at the school, while they attend class
  4. Learning about Canada and Canadian culture
  5. Classmates are good to learn with. Meet people from other cultures.

LINC is offered at two locations through St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres.  Please find below the class dates, times and locations that these programs are offered.  Even though classes are remote learning from home during Covid restrictions, you will be assigned to a location.

Class Start and End Dates/Times/Locations

Now – June 17, 2021

Kitchener Main Campus, 80 Young Street, Kitchener (Literacy to CLB 8)

St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Rd., Kitchener (Literacy to CLB 6)

Class Times:

[Monday to Thursday]

MORNING: 8:45 am – 11:45 am
AFTERNOON: 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm


MORNING: 10:00 am – 11:45 am
AFTERNOON: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

What is Free?

  • There are NO registration costs
  • All learning materials are free to use while in class
  • Every LINC student will be given a Language Companion Binder to keep track of their learning
  • LINC students do not have to pay for teachers
  • Someone will take care of your children (ages 6mths to 5 years), while you are in a LINC class.  This service is for LINC students ONLY.  There is not enough space for all children.  LINC students may have to wait until childcare space is available.

Other Benefits

  • Bus tickets available (some restrictions apply) – ask LINC teacher for details

LINC classes, along with their teachers may access computers as another way to learn English.

Care for Newcomer Children is a child-minding service available FREE to LINC students ONLY at both St. Louis – Kitchener Main Campus and St. Francis Campus.  While LINC students attend class, your infant, toddler or pre-school age child will:

  • learn through play
  • interact with other children
  • develop skills and language appropriate for their ages

Warm and caring staff strive to provide fun and educational activities to support children’s settlement in Canada. The best possible atmosphere for children’s development and learning is created by establishing relationships between staff and families built on mutual respect. While LINC adult parents are learning or improving their English language skills, their pre-school children are as well… Everyone is learning English and growing in so many ways!

Childcare for Newcomer Children is available during class times only.  We are closed over lunch (11:45-12:30) and do not provide child care at that time.

If you want to register for LINC childcare:

  1. Go to the St. Louis LINC Office at Kitchener Main Campus  80 Young St., Kitchener or St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Rd., Kitchener

OR  Call 519-745-1201 ext. 224  or ext. 538

Step 1: Contact the YMCA Language Assessment Centre – 519-579-9622 (Kitchener) / 519-621-1621 (Cambridge) / Email:

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.

ONLINE Registration Open.

St. Louis – Kitchener Main Campus , 80 Young St. Kitchener. Please click on this link to register –> Online Registration 

St. Francis Campus, 154 Gatewood Rd., Kitchener. Please click on this link to register –> Online Registration 

Highland Campus, 135 Highland Rd., W., Kitchener. Please click on this link to register –> Online Registration 

We will contact students as soon as possible when they complete the Form.

At minimum, English Language instructors at St. Louis have their Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Ontario qualifications and many have worked in the field and at St. Louis for 10 years plus.  Our 18 LINC teachers use everyday tasks and real-world examples to help Newcomers develop their English, while settling and discovering Canadian culture.

For more information:

Emails and phone messages will be answered as soon as possible after August 31, 2021

Call: 519-745-1201 extension 224, 400 or 538




To book an appointment, please email or call:


YMCA Language Assessment Centre Kitchener Office

YMCA Language Assessment Centre Cambridge Office