WELARC became Winnipeg's centralized language assessment office in 2007 as part of an overall immigration strategy initiated by the Government of Manitoba. Since April 2013, WELARC has been funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada).
WELARC assessors know that language is the foundation for making informed decisions about education, career, and life. They also know that language is not just about words and grammar; good language skills are crucial for effective communication. With good communication skills, a person can have more opportunities in their personal and professional life.
About the Assessments
WELARC assessors can assess your language skills in English or French. They use the Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLBPT) to assess English skills and the Batterie de tests de classement aux Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens (BTC-NCLC) to assess French skills.
To schedule an appointment for a language test, you need to call or visit the WELARC office. An assessment appointment can take up to three hours.
The Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test is a standardized assessment given by trained and certified professionals across Canada.
There are 3 parts to the assessment: a reading test, a writing test and a listening and speaking test. All parts of the test begin with simple tasks and build to more complex tasks. Test-takers are encouraged to complete as much of the tests as possible.
Listening and Speaking - conducted one-on-one in an assessor’s office
Reading - conducted in the Reading and Writing Room
Writing - conducted in the Reading and Writing Room
The tests measure how well someone can communicate information and ideas in English or French. A Canadian Language Benchmark is assigned for each skill area: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The results of the assessment are used only to place a learner into an appropriate language class. Your assessor will explain the results and discuss the English or French classes available.
About the Benchmarks
Canadian Language Benchmarks are a description of language skills and competencies from very basic to very advanced along a 12-point scale. They are also a guide for teaching and assessing a learner's progress. The CLBPT and BTC-NCLC are tests used to assess language skills for placement into language classes.
Below is a brief summary of language skills at each Canadian Language Benchmark. See www.language.ca for full explanations.
Benchmark 1 learners can:
greet people and give some information
write the alphabet, numbers, name and address
read a short sentence with the help of a picture
Benchmark 2 learners can:
ask for help
understand more instructions
write complete sentences about themselves and their families
read very simple instructions
Benchmark 3 learners can:
say a few simple sentences about familiar, everyday topics
read words they know in a new context
sound out words in English
write a short note or message
Benchmark 4 learners can:
introduce two people to each other
use past tense with common verbs
read a simple story of 2-3 paragraphs
use a bilingual dictionary
spell and punctuate whole sentences with few errors
Benchmark 5 learners can:
join in conversations on familiar topics
have longer sentences (but sometimes hesitate or pause)
have a mostly concrete vocabulary
understand main ideas, some details and some inferred meanings
write sentences with good control of simple structures and choose language and content appropriate to the occasion
Benchmark 6 learners can:
participate in small group discussions
express an opinion
ask for clarification
explain a process or sequence of events
write a detailed description or comparison of people, places, routines
take a phone message with 5-7 details
take notes from a short presentation
Benchmark 7 learners can:
talk comfortably about almost any topic
speak formally or informally on topics involving decision-making
sound fluent when they speak
read for information both concrete and abstract
begin to read for pleasure
write a report comparing two products or describing a process
write routine business letters
summarize longer text
Benchmark 8 learners can:
speak on familiar topics at both concrete and abstract levels for 15-20 minutes
provide descriptions, opinions, explanations
use an expanded inventory of concrete, idiomatic and conceptual language
read popular newspapers, magazine articles, popular easy fiction, as well as academic and business materials
demonstrate good control over common sentence patterns
write an effective resume and cover letter
Benchmark 9 learners can:
participate in business meetings, discussions, debates, etc.
understand a broad range of general interest topics and technical topics in my field
write a coherent essay or report of 3-5 typed pages
Benchmark 10 learners can:
understand 30-60 minute complex discussions, meetings, presentations
actively participate in meetings, debates, discussions
provide counsel, assess basic needs, evaluate detailed information
write effectively for most academic and business tasks and for most audiences
At WELARC, we also provide referral appointments. These appointments last about 20 minutes. During a referral appointment, you can speak to an assessor about your language learning needs. Here are examples of situations when you will need a referral appointment:
If you have a recent assessment and you would like to start attending English classes or change schools
If you received a LINC Certificate and a Progress Report from your school and would like to change schools
If you moved to a different area or if your schedule has changed and you need to change schools.
Your assessor will refer you to language training immediately after you finish your assessment. Alternatively, if you need a new referral, you can contact us to make an appointment.
The Assessment Team
Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) assessors must have provincial teaching qualifications in English, French or EAL and at least 300 hours of experience teaching English as an Additional Language to adults. All assessors have participated in professional development in the theory and practice of second language teaching and completed EAL assessment training. Assessors are certified with the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks.
What an assessor does:
Provides language assessment for adult EAL immigrants
Provides clients with feedback based on the results of the assessment
Makes referrals to the appropriate adult EAL programs, community resources, and educational services
Refers clients to settlement and employment assistance to help them meet their goals
Debra Schweyer, Executive Director