English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Timeline: Based on Assessment/ Individual Needs
The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) provide descriptions of 12 communicative proficiency levels in four skill areas: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The 12 CLB are divided into three stages:
Basic Proficiency: Stage I – CLB Levels 1 to 4 – is the range of abilities needed to communicate in common and predictable settings. They allow you to meet basic needs and carry out everyday activities. A curriculum aligned to the benchmarks and targeting the language proficiencies of Stage 1 learners focuses on topics of immediate personal relevance.
Intermediate Proficiency: Stage II – CLB Levels 5 to 8 – represents the range of abilities which enable a learner to participate more fully in social, educational, and work related settings. The contexts in which English is used are less familiar and predictable and the proficiencies demonstrated by learners enable them to function more independently. Competencies acquired in this stage may enable a learner to move beyond the classroom into new opportunities. Many learners, at the end of Stage II, are ready for post-secondary academic programs.
Advanced Proficiency: Stage III – CLB Levels 9 to 12 – is the range of abilities which enables a learner to communicate effectively, appropriately, accurately, and fluently in most settings. Learners at this stage demonstrate a sense of audience and communicate using language features such as appropriate style, register, and formality. Similarities between Stage III Writing Benchmarks and HRDC Levels 4 and 5 Essential Skills profiles indicate that at this stage in the CLB continuum, learners can work in the most communication demanding contexts.