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Click on any CLB level in the table below to view the descriptors for speaking.

    Stage I: Basic Language Ability

speaking Stage 1

    CLB 1

I can…

  • Use basic greetings.
    • “Hello. How are you?”
  • Use a few common words or phrases.
    • “Sorry, no English.” “Please repeat.”
  • Ask for assistance.
    • “Help me, please.”
  • Give simple information.
    • “My name is…”
I use single words and a few memorized short phrases. But I have no control of grammar, and communication is very difficult for me. I rely heavily on gestures, and I need a lot of support from the listener. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation make it very hard for people to understand me.

    CLB 2

I can…

  • Use simple greetings.
    • “My name is Rana. Nice to meet you.”
  • Give simple instructions.
    • “Close the door."
  • Make a simple request.
    • “Milk and sugar, please.”
  • Answer simple questions about personal information.
    • “I am from China.”
I am starting to join words to make very simple sentences. But I have very little control of grammar, and communication is difficult for me. I rely on gestures, and I need a lot of support from the listener. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation make it hard for people to understand me.

    CLB 3

I can…

  • Ask and answer short simple questions.
    • “Fine, thanks. How are you? How was your weekend?”
  • Give short directions.
    • “Turn left. Drive to the school.”
  • Give simple warnings.
    • “Be careful. The floor is wet.”
  • Give a very basic description.
    • “The sweater is green.”
I use simple sentences, and I have some control over basic grammar. But communication is still difficult for me. I sometimes rely on gestures, and I need some support from the listener. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation still make it hard for people to understand me.

    CLB 4

I can…

  • Leave a simple telephone message.
    • “Hello. This is Sam. Please call me back. My number is…”
  • Give simple, everyday instructions.
    • “Take the bus to Main Street. Then walk north.”
  • Make a simple request.
    • “I cannot work on Monday. Can I work on Tuesday?"
  • Say that I like or do not like something.
    • “I do not like cold weather. Winter is cold. I like summer.”
I connect sentences to express simple ideas, and I have adequate control of basic grammar. But I speak slowly with pauses, and I need some support from the listener. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation sometimes make it hard for people to understand me.

    Stage II: Intermediate Language Ability

speaking Stage 2

    CLB 5

I can…

  • Invite a classmate to lunch
  • Tell a co-worker how to use the photocopier
  • Give some advice to a friend
  • Share ideas to plan a class party in a small familiar group
I communicate with effort in some short routine situations, and I have good control of basic grammar. But I pause and hesitate, and my mistakes in grammar and pronunciation sometimes make it hard for people to understand me.

    CLB 6

I can…

  • Make a dentist appointment over the phone
  • Tell a classmate how to find online reference materials
  • Make a suggestion to improve safety in my workplace
  • Share my opinion at a small informal meeting
I communicate with some confidence in routine situations, and am starting to develop some control of more complex grammar. But I make some hesitations, and my mistakes in grammar and pronunciation may sometimes make it hard for people to understand me.

    CLB 7

I can…

  • Introduce a guest speaker at a small informal meeting
  • Tell a family member how to assemble a piece of furniture
  • Tell my child’s teacher about a concern that I have
  • Tell a doctor about my symptoms
I communicate with some confidence in many routine situations, and I am developing control of more complex grammar. But my mistakes in grammar and pronunciation may occasionally make it hard for people to understand my meaning.

    CLB 8

I can…

  • Participate in brief professional phone calls
  • Give safety instructions for working in a lab
  • Respond to a customer complaint
  • Participate in a class debate about a controversial issue
I communicate with confidence in most routine situations, and I have adequate control of some complex grammar. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation seldom make it hard for people to understand my meaning.

    Stage III: Advanced Language Ability

speaking Stage 3

    CLB 9

I can…

  • Interact with a group of volunteers to organize a community event
  • Provide support to a client or co-worker over the phone
  • Present a proposal to make the workplace environmentally friendly
  • Make a business presentation to recommend a new product
I communicate with some confidence in non-routine situations, and I have good control of some complex grammar. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation rarely make it hard for people to understand my meaning.

    CLB 10

I can…

  • Co-facilitate a formal workplace meeting
  • Give complex multi-step instructions over the phone
  • Present an argument in a community consultation meeting
  • Give a presentation about the results of a research project
I communicate with increasing confidence in non-routine situations, and I have good control of a variety of complex grammar. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation very rarely make it hard for people to understand my meaning.

    CLB 11

I can…

  • Respond appropriately to negative feedback from a supervisor
  • Give complex instructions on a procedure to a workplace team
  • Negotiate a business contract with a supplier
  • Give a presentation at a symposium or conference
I communicate with confidence in non-routine situations, and I have very good control of a variety of complex grammar. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation do not make it hard for people to understand my meaning.

    CLB 12

I can…

  • Chair a formal board meeting
  • Give extended multi-step instructions in my own area of expertise
  • Mediate a conflict with multiple stakeholders
  • Present a thesis defence to a review panel
I communicate with confidence in non-routine situations, and I have excellent control of a variety of complex grammar. My mistakes in grammar and pronunciation do not make it hard for people to understand my meaning.