Language Assessment and Referral Services

English or French Language Assessments

The YMCA Language Assessment and Referral Service provides immigrants in Canada with English or French language assessment for the following government-funded programs:

What we offer:

  • All of our language assessments are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) and the Niveaux de Competence Linguistique Canadiens (BTC) the nationally recognized standard that measures four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
  • We can also provide you with information on the locations and class schedules of the language training options in the City of Toronto.
  • We can enrol you in or provide you with a referral to government-funded English and French language training programs.

Who Is Eligible?

If you are 18 years or older or have a high school diploma you are eligible with any of the following categories:

  • Canadian Citizen born outside of Canada
  • Permanent Resident
  • Convention Refugee/Protected Person
  • Persons in Canada whose applications for Permanent Resident status are being processed in Canada and who have been informed by a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada of the initial approval of their application subject to an admissibility assessment:
    • Refugee Claimant
    • Temporary Worker or Student who has obtained initial approval for a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence
    • Foreign domestic worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program

What documents are required?

At the time of assessment, you must bring an original immigration document. Please check the table below for more details.

Immigration Status Required Documentation (original or certified copy must be presented)
Canadian Citizen born outside of Canada Canadian Passport Certificate of Canadian Citizenship (Citizenship card)
Permanent Resident Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5509) Permanent Resident Card
Convention Refugee/Protected Person

Convention Refugees: Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5509)
Letter of Notice of Decision from the IRB confirming that the client has been determined to be a Convention Refugee.

Protection Persons:
Letters issued by CIC indicating that a client’s application for protection has been allowed (successful Pre-Removal Risk Assessment PRRA).

Protected Persons Status Document (IMM5520)

Urgent Protection cases sometimes enter Canada on a temporary resident permit called a Permit to Come Into or Remain in Canada (IMM 1263). The permit will have the words “Protected temporary residents class” written on it.

Persons in Canada whose applications for Permanent Resident status are being processed in Canada and who have been informed by a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada of the initial approval of their application subject to an admissibility assessment:

Approved in Principle letter (pending verifications)

Work or Study Permits that include a notation indicating initial approval of a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence. The Work or Study Permit must have words like “Initial Approval of PR” written on it.

Refugee Claimant Refugee Protection Claimant Document
Temporary Worker or Student who has obtained initial approval for a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence. Work or Study Permits that include a notation indicating initial approval of a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence. The Work or Study Permit must have words like “Initial Approval of PR” written on it.
Foreign domestic worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program. Live-In Caregiver Work Permit (Case Type 20 for Nannies and Live-in Caregivers) issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Note: All documents need to be accompanied by photo identification such as a passport, driver's license, health card, etc.

What Is the Procedure?

  • An appointment for language assessment must be scheduled in advance.
  • During the assessment, a certified language assessor will determine your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and the most appropriate class level to help you find the most suitable language training.
  • The YMCA of Greater Toronto does not offer any language training, just the assessment that is needed for it. Instead, language classes are offered by many different partner organizations in the community. The Language Assessment and Referral Service will provide the information you need to find the class that is right for you.

Important Things to Keep In Mind

  • All Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)/ Cours de Langue pour les Immigrants au Canada (CLIC)/ English as a Second Language (ESL)/French as a Second Language (FSL) classes are offered at no cost.
  • You can study full-time or part-time.
  • Please remember that you cannot be enrolled in both LINC and CLIC; instead, you need to choose either English or French funded training stream (streams cannot be changed).
  • You can study in-class or through LINC Home Study.
  • Child minding is not available at the assessment centre. Some language schools provide on-site child minding for children up to age 6.
  • An assessment is valid for one year (12 months).
  • The assessment can take from 1.5 to 4 hours. Please plan your time accordingly.

How to make an Appointment

Please call 416-925-5462 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to book an appointment at one of the following centres.

Appointments are available during the day, in the evening and on weekends. It is very important to come to your assessment appointment on time.

Frequently Asked Questions

To visit our full FAQ section click here.