July 21, 2011

Canadian Language Benchmarks | FSW Language Points System

Canadian Language Benchark
Most applicants were expecting changes to be introduced through Ministerial Instruction 3 (MI-3) but there wasn't any. Well, except for the reduction in numbers of applications to be received and just recently the new applications forms and guidlines. But the proposed changes in FSW Points System was not implemented. Not yet.

Last week, there's this client who thinks he know better and insisted that there were changes in the Language criteria, specifically in calculating your points using your IELTS score. According to him, to get 4 points for Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking, one must have at least scored 8.

His reference is the Canadian Language Benchmark 8.

After explaining to him what Benchmark 8 means, he then realized his mistake.

Then yesterday night, another client came to the office and was also insisting that there were changes in the IELTS score points system. She was so confident and was telling me she would no longer file her application because she can't get the IELTS Benchmark 8.

I am also receiving several emails asking about this Language Benchmark 8. It appears that some applicants are being confused with what they read from the official Citizneship ang Immigration Canada website.

I hope this post will help clarify the confusion.

First, what are the Canadian Language Benchmarks?

The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standard used in Canada for describing, measuring and recognizing the English language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada.

The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) promotes and supports the recognition and use of the CLB as a practical, fair and reliable national standard of second language proficiency in educational, training, community and workplace settings.

The CLB provide a descriptive scale of communicative proficiency in English as a Second Language, expressed as benchmarks or reference points. They cover four skill areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening, and use real life language tasks to measure language skills.

The CLB provide a framework of reference for learning, teaching, programming and assessing adult English as a Second Language in Canada, a national standard for planning second language curricula for a variety of contexts, and a common "yardstick" for assessing the outcomes. [Source]

The CLB's 12 benchmarks are divided into 3 parts:

Stage I: Basic Proficiency (Levels 1-4)
Stage II: Intermediate Proficiency (Levels 5-8)
Sage III: Advanced Proficiency (Levels 9-12)

Canadian Language Benchmark 8 is not equal to IELTS Score of 8. There are no changes in the IELTS Score Points System.

To get 4 points for Listening, your score must be at least 7.5. To get 4 points each for Writing, Reading and Speaking, you need to get at least 6.5. And it should be General Training module.

The problem with CIC official website is that the page where they explain the language factor is that they provided a link to explain the Canadian Language Benchmark and its description but there's no link to the page where they explain how to compute your points using your IELTS Score.

I'm providing the link here for your reference: http://www.cic.gc.ca/English/information/applications/guides/EG72.asp#results.