Common Questions

English Classes

I would like to change to a different EAL school. Do I need a new assessment?

You may not need a new assessment to change to another school or EAL program. If you are taking classes now or you have a recent LINC certificate or a Progress Report from school, you need to contact WELARC to schedule a referral appointment.

If you are not sure, call us at 204-943-5387 or email at info@welarc.net to discuss your situation and advise you if you need a new assessment or a new referral.

How can I find out about other EAL schools and classes in Winnipeg?

You can check our website for an updated list of EAL programs in Winnipeg.

Also, your teacher may be able to tell you about the other schools. You can phone WELARC at 943-5387 and schedule and appointment to talk to an assessor. The assessor will help you choose the school or course that will best fit your plans and goals.

How long will it take for me to move up one CLB level?

There are many factors that affect how quickly someone can learn language. Things such as the length of time in class, time spent practicing and studying English outside class time, difference between first language and English, motivation, age, etc. are all factors to consider.

Every student learns at a different speed.

Communication

My English is better than my friend's English, but he/she is at a higher level. How did this happen?

It's difficult to know another person's language level. Most people are placed in class according to Listening and Speaking levels. Sometimes people have language skills that aren't easy for other learners to see. Confidence is difficult to measure, but plays a big part in one's ability to communicate.

Your friend may be able to read or write more English. Maybe your friend is more comfortable using English than you are. Maybe your friend uses more complex sentences or has more vocabulary than you do.

I studied English in my home country. Why am I having trouble communicating in Canada?

Canadian English may be different from your home country. For example, Canadians have a different accent and may use different vocabulary, expressions and idioms. However, the way Canadians communicate, the way they express their thoughts and ideas in different situations is also very unique and characteristic of Canadian culture. English classes in Canada focus on improving communication skills for life, work or education in Canada.

Education

Do I need to take the Benchmark Test if I am planning to study at university or college?

No, you do not. Universities and colleges do not accept the results of CLBPT (Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test) as proof of language proficiency. You should contact the university or college where you want to study for information about the tests they accept.

If you feel you need to improve your English to prepare for university and college, and you want to take English classes to prepare for Academic studies, then you may need to take the CLBPT.

Do I need to take a new test if I want to take a job training course?

Most colleges have their own process for testing a candidate's readiness to enter their program. They may ask you to prove your English language proficiency and they will tell you about the tests of English language they accept. They should not ask you for your Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test result.

However, at the end of a term of EAL, your teacher, who has seen your work in class, will give you a report on your progress. In some circumstances, you may be able to use that report for entrance to a job training program if they need to know about your English language readiness for study.

I need a higher benchmark level to be accepted into a training program. Can my teacher change the number for me?

The Benchmark levels that your teacher gives you are not just numbers - they are a way to describe your skills. Each benchmark number describes things that someone at that level can do. Your teacher has been carefully following your learning and progress, and matched your language skills to the appropriate benchmark. The important thing, when entering a training program of any kind, is that you have the skills needed to be successful.

The teacher will give you an honest assessment of what you can do based on what she/he sees in class every day. If you would like to read more about the Canadian Language Benchmarks, you can find their description on the website at www.language.ca

Someday I want to take a training course or high school courses. How will I know when my English level is high enough to do that?

Different training programs need different skills and levels of English for entrance. The best thing to do is to talk to the school about the course that you want to take. Ask about what is required to start the course.

Some training courses or schools have decided what Benchmark level is necessary to start the course. These schools have carefully looked at what is needed to be successful in the classes. They consider:

  • How students use English in the course and on the job once the course is finished

  • The reading that students must do (text books and exams)

  • The listening and speaking that students and teachers will do in class

  • The writing that is needed in class and on tests and exams

If you would like some help making choices to prepare for your education, you could talk to an education counsellor. The Immigrant Centre, Adult Education Services can help (www.icmanitoba.com). Phone 943-9158 and ask for an appointment with the education counsellor.

If my language level is high enough to enter a course, does that mean that I will be successful?

Success in a course depends on more than just language. Many things affect our success. Factors such as previous education, training or experience in the field, the level of motivation and study skills influence what happens as well. Time available for study, family pressures and stress are also important factors.