Learn and improve English and French language skills at no cost: Now Online!

The YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Language Assessment and Referral Centre offers free English and French language assessments to immigrants to Canada, along with subsequent referrals to government-funded language training courses and programs. The history of the YMCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre program dates back to 1992.  Since its inception, the program has delivered over 400, 000 English and French language proficiency assessments, referring thousands of learners to a wide spectrum of language training classes.

Our language assessments have successfully transitioned to online program delivery even though our five Assessment Centres remain closed to in person service delivery as a precautionary response to COVID-19. Our language assessment and referral team is currently offering both English and French language proficiency assessments online.  They are using adapted versions of their portfolio of language assessment tools guided by the same national standards for describing, evaluating and recognizing the language proficiency of newcomers to Canada.

The YMCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre team supports immigrants to Canada through referral to a broad range of part-time, full-time and online services. Provincially and federally funded language training classes include courses ranging from literacy focused to advanced skills’ classes, as well as higher-level language training and profession specific programming, focused on supporting newcomers to access their occupations in Canada.

Government-Funded Programs:

English Language Training (Literacy to Advanced)

  • LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada)
  • LINC Home Study
  • ESL (English as a Second Language)

French Language Training (Beginner to Advanced)

  • CLIC (Cours de Langue pour les Immigrants au Canada)
  • CLIC en ligne
  • FSL (French as a Second Language)

Higher-Level Language Training (HLLT) programs

  • ELT (Enhanced Language Training)
  • OSLT (Occupation Specific Language Training)
  • SLT (Specialized Language Training)

YMCA Language Assessment benchmark profiles are also required for many government-funded Bridge Training programs offered by colleges, universities, and community organizations.

Referral to language training programs: For individuals/clients who were previously assessed, who would like to join online classes, please contact the Language Assessment and Referral Centre for re-referral to online programs. The validity for the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) assessment has temporarily been extended from 12 months to 24 months. As a result, clients who were assessed less than 24 months ago or who left class less than 24 months ago are eligible to be referred to presently running online classes and programs based on their current benchmarks.

Eligibility for language assessments:

Age 18 years or older or younger than 18 years of age with a high school diploma; Clients are eligible if they meet one of the following immigration criteria:

  • Canadian citizen born outside of Canada
  • Permanent resident
  • Convention refugee/protected person
  • Refugee claimant
  • Foreign domestic worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver Program
  • Person in Canada whose application for permanent resident status is being processed in Canada and has been informed by a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the initial approval of their application
  • Temporary worker or student who has obtained initial approval for a concurrent application for permanent residence

Anyone interested in improving English or French language proficiency is invited to connect with the YMCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre by emailing [email protected] or calling the appointment booking line at 416-925-5462, Monday to Friday, to book an appointment for an English and/or French assessment.