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Language Training

There are many language courses and programs available for newcomers to learn, upgrade, or assess their language skills in both English and French. These options include English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) classes.

Most English and French language training for children, is provided as part of the public school system.

Heritage language training is also available. For those seeking language instruction in a language other than English or French, ethno-cultural organizations are a good source of information.

LINC

Newcomers who want to improve their English skills are eligible for free language training through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Before registering for a LINC course, you must have your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills assessed through the Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessment program.

Following the assessment, you will be given information about the LINC programs and other language training opportunities in Kingston. There is an online LINC program for newcomers who have jobs or young children, and are unable to attend school outside the home.

LINC programs and language assessments are offered at two locations in Kingston. LINC students are eligible for free child care and bus tickets.

The equivalent French program to LINC is called Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC). People who take part in a CLIC program take courses to improve their French language skills.  There are currently no CLIC programs available in Kingston. 

Language Assessment

Newcomers planning to study at a college or university or to work in Ontario may be required to have their English reading, writing and speaking skills tested and assessed. Each college and university has its own set of guidelines to assess the qualifications of students from other countries.

The most common tests are:

  • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is taken by people who want to certify their English skills for employment purposes.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is taken by people who want to enrol in a college or university.

For More Information

Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks
Information on the national standards used for measuring the English and French language proficiency of immigrants.

Learn English or French
Information on improving language skills before and after you arrive in Canada, where to study, and language training for school and work. A downloadable guide is available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Filipino (Tagalog), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. There is also a “Find a Language Class” online search tool.

Second Language Courses
A description of available FSL programs second language courses including French, English, Spanish, and Italian. Information on language classes is available in English, though much of this site is available in French only. The organization also has a Facebook page and can be followed on Twitter (both in French only).

Improving your Language Skills
Includes information on improving language skills before and after arrival in Canada, where to study, and language training for school and work. Available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Filipino (Tagalog), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu.

What different kinds of ESL programs are available?
Explanation and description of the various types of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs available. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

Where can I learn languages other than English or French?
Information about heritage language classes and where they are taught in Ontario communities. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

English as a Second Language — Catholic School Board
Information about understanding, speaking, reading and writing English through ESL programs through the Catholic board of education.

What are the language requirements for post-secondary education?
Information for newcomers planning to study at a college or university who may need to take a language test. Available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

Queen’s University’s Writing Centre
ESL programs and writing classes and support. Some French writing tutorials and support.

St. Lawrence College ESL program
An English language program geared towards assisting international and domestic students with their English language skills in preparation for study at a college or academic setting.

Limestone Community Education
A department of the public school board, Limestone Community Education offers ESL programs, international language instruction, workforce training, academic upgrading and programs to help immigrants find work in the health-care field. Videos of services are available.

TESL Kingston
Information about English as a Second Language (ESL) schools, programs and resources in the Kingston area for adults and children. Includes courses on language test preparation, part-time and full-time classes and information specific to immigrants.

Queen’s University School of English
Offers a wide variety of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs for non-native English speakers. Our full-time programs include 12-week English for Academic Purposes, a 13-week Business Internship Program, and short-term Canadian English Experience (Winter) and Canadian English Experience (Summer) programs. Socio-cultural activities and trips outside Kingston provide further opportunity for learning about Canadian culture and practicing English. In addition, the School offers tailored programs for groups and institutions. Some information is available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic.

Islamic Society of Kingston
The Islamic Society sponsors weekend Arabic classes for elementary school students at a Kingston-area school. Some language classes are also held at the Society’s Sydenham Street mosque (Islamic Centre of Kingston).

Limestone Community Education — Language Training (for children)
Information about free heritage language classes for elementary students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Languages include Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Urdu, Russian, Korean, Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, Bengali and Hindi.

Language Portal of Canada (Government of Canada)
The Language Portal has information about Canadian resources that deal with difference aspects of language, including free online language tools, articles and writing tips, word games and exercises, links to language-related works and sites, Canadian writing tools and content produced by governments, universities and other organizations.

Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN)
Internationally educated nurses who are applying to be licensed in the nursing profession in Canada can assess their English language proficiency using the Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses tool. Includes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
Free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for landed immigrants funded by the federal government are available through two Kingston agencies, Kingston Literacy and KEYS Employment Services. Includes information about the LINC program and locations, who is eligible, child care, contacts and class schedules. A LINC promotional video is also available.

KIP “Call Kingston Home” Movie — Employment Resource Specialist
This video profiles a Moroccan immigrant who currently works for KEYS Job Centre d’emploi as an employment resource specialist. She discusses what it’s like to live, work, and raise a family in Kingston—including what services are available to help newcomers call Kingston home. This Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) video is in Arabic with English subtitles

KIP “Call Kingston Home” Movie — Real Estate Agent
This video profiles a local real estate agent discussing what makes Kingston special and why she chose it as the home for her and her family. She talks about taking an intensive English-language program at Queen’s University and studying real estate at St. Lawrence college, local community groups, and what it means to her to call Kingston home. This Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) video is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Improving your English and French
General background information about why improving you and your family’s English and French language skills both before and after arrival in Canada is so important for everyday living and work. Includes basic information on language classes, registering for taxpayer-funded language classes, proficiency tests and certificates.

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