English or French language skills are very important to help you and your family settle in Canada. Strong English or French skills will help with:
The language level you need to prove in your application depends on the immigration stream you are applying through. The certificate you use to prove your language level must be less than 2 years old on the date you send in your application. Levels of language needed for the different streams change, so make sure you check the IRCC website. As of January 2019, the language levels required were:
All adults between 18 and 54 who apply for citizenship must send IRCC proof that they meet the language requirement for citizenship. For this they must have proof that they meet the Canadian Language Benchmark level 4 for speaking and listening – click here to see the CLB level 4 Benchmark descriptions.
If you already submitted proof of language ability for your application for permanent residence as a Federal Skilled Worker or for the Canadian Experience Class, you will need to send this again.
If you have completed your secondary or post-secondary education in English or French, you will need a transcript, diploma, certificate or degree to prove this. Note: a single course done in English or French is not enough.
If you attended a LINC program you will need to send in proof of achieving CLB 4 in speaking and listening.
Note: Initial placement tests by a LINC assessment centre and/or attendance at local (Whistler/Pemberton) ESL groups are not accepted as proof of achieving CLB 4 in speaking and listening.
If you do not have any of these documents, you will need to take an approved English (or French) language test showing that you meet the CLB level 4 Benchmark description.
Click here to find out if you have Acceptable documents for the citizenship language requirement
IELTS and CELPIP Resource Sheet June 11 2021: for up-to-date information about each test, where and how to take the tests, and how to access preparation materials and resources
CELPIP and IELTS will not tell you if you pass or fail. You will receive a number as your result. To see what CELPIP and IELTS scores are equivalent to the CLB levels, check here
Note: IRCC may change the language requirements at any time. Please check the IRCC website for up-to-date information.
Find full details of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) requirements at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/citizenship/language.asp
In Whistler and Pemberton, there are a number of options for immigrants wishing to improve their English language skills.
The Whistler Welcome Centre runs small groups and offers one-to-one tutoring for qualified newcomers and immigrants up to good intermediate level.
The Whistler Community Learning Program runs an ESL group for high intermediate and above. It also provides (where available) tutor-support for higher level ESL and general literacy skills. This program also supports residents of Pemberton.
These programs do not provide any language assessment that can be used for citizenship applications.
To qualify for these free ESL services, you must be:
One-to-one tutoring in Whistler and Pemberton
The Whistler Community Learning Program and Settlement Services Whistler Pemberton work together to offer a volunteer ESL tutoring program. Community members are trained and supported to work one-to-one or in small groups with learners for up to 2 hours a week, for a minimum of 6 months. This is ideal for those learners who are unable to commit to a regular group, or for whom the timing is difficult.
For more information about ESL groups and one-to-one tutoring in Whistler and Pemberton, contact our Settlement Worker.
LINC is formal English language training funded by the federal government for qualified immigrants and newcomers. You must be a permanent resident to qualify, but you may also be able to take these classes if you are a temporary resident on a pathway to become a permanent resident, or have become a citizen and need to improve your English for training purposes. Rules to qualify change, so check with our Settlement Worker if you are interested in taking these classes.
ISSofBC is the local LINC provider and they are based in Squamish. Before you can take a LINC program, you will need to take an assessment. You can book an assessment in Squamish at any time. ISSofBC regularly does assessments in Whistler (usually at the Whistler Public Library). Contact the Whistler Welcome Centre for details of times and days.
The LINC courses provide a language (CLB) certificate once you complete a level. This certificate can be used when applying for citizenship.
Contact ISSofBC for
Check out issbc.org
Find more details specific to Sea to Sky/Sunshine Coast here
The LINC ESL program has classes in Squamish two days a week for beginner to high intermediate (Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) 1 to 8).
The classes run:
Classes run all year EXCEPT for a two month break in July and August, 2 week break in December, and 1 week break in March.
ISSofBC also offer an on-line (distance) LINC course for intermediate to high intermediate (CLB levels 4 to 8) for which you must complete 9 hours a week. The Online English course has two classes:
The online course runs all year EXCEPT for a two month break in July and August, 2 week break in December, and 1 week break in March.
The online course has a total of 23 places available across both levels. If all places are filled, and your assessment qualifies you, then you will be placed on a waitlist till a place becomes available. Referrals can also be made to LINC Home Study, an alternative online-only course that is a minimum of 5 hours per week (permanent residents only).
Mango Languages is free to use if you have a Whistler Library Card. It is an online program you can use in your own time to help improve your pronunciation and vocabulary. The program uses real conversations and situations for you to practice with.
Mango Languages teaches you English using your own language. There are 17 languages to choose from including Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Korean, Spanish, German and Vietnamese. Unfortunately, Tagalog is not an available language on the program at the moment.
You can access free test preparation materials called ‘Road to IELTS’ from the Whistler Library