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

The development of the self-assessment tool aligned to the CLB was guided by a set of principles which identified groups of users of the tool, as well as definite purposes and appropriate uses for the tool. The following statements related to the self-assessment tool identify:

  • Intended users of the self-assessment tool
  • Purposes for which the self-assessment tool was developed
  • Appropriate uses for the self-assessment tool 



Intended users of the self-assessment tool
  • Prospective immigrants
  • Adult learners of English in training, educational and workplace centres in Canada and abroad
  • Instructors and trainers of adult learners of English in Canada and abroad
  • Counsellors of prospective immigrants and of newcomers to Canada 

Purposes of the Self-Assessment Tool

The self-assessment tool was developed for definite purposes which include:
  • Promoting the CLB to a broad range of potential users including prospective immigrants, as well as adult learners in training, educational and workplace centres in Canada and abroad
  • Informing users of general language proficiencies in terms of the CLB.
  • Providing resources to inform users about the CLB as a resource for planning, and making personal and professional decisions.

Appropriate Uses for the Self-Assessment Tool

The appropriate uses for the self-assessment tool should be considered by all users of the instrument. The following are appropriate uses for the self-assessment tool:


1. Providing adult learners of English with:
  1. A general indication of English language proficiency in terms of the CLB to assist them in setting personal, academic, and employment goals
  2. Information about the CLB and how they are used in Canada
  3. Information about how to find language training in Canada
  4. Information about what language proficiency levels are required in Canada for immigration, post secondary studies and professional programs

2. Assisting counsellors and helping professionals in identifying a client’s general level of English language proficiency to:
  1. Serve as a component in needs assessment
  2. Facilitate referral to appropriate language assessments

3. Assisting instructors and trainers of adult learners of English in identifying general levels of language proficiency to:
  1. Facilitate referrals of learners to appropriate language assessments
  2. Support learners in setting realistic goals for further language training, and for meeting academic and professional goals.

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