Great Sites: ESL


Discover online resources for English as a Second Language (ESL) learners, including:






English Language Tests



CAEL - Canadian Academic English Language Assessment


The CAEL tests your ability to use English as it is used in Canadian universities and colleges. The score is used to apply to Canadian universities and colleges and for professional accreditations.




CELPIP - Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program


CELPIP is a computer delivered test. There are three versions of the test: CELPIP-General, CELPIP-General LS, and CELPIP-Academic. The tests are used for immigration and citizenship purposes, as well as entrance to academic programs and for professional accreditations.




IELTS - International English Language Testing System


There are two versions of the test: IELTS Academic and IELTS General. The IELTS Academic test measures your ability to use English in an academic environment. The IELTS General Training test measures your ability to use Everyday English. The score is used for entrance to academic programs and for the purposes of immigration and working in countries where the official language is English.




TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication


The TOEIC is a multiple-choice test that assesses your English listening and reading skills. The score is used for the purposes of employment, training, and entrance to academic programs.




TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language


The TOEFL is a university-level English language test. It assesses your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. Most test takers take the TOEFL iBT (Internet based test) format online, but a paper based test is still an option. The score is used by Canadian colleges and universities, agencies and other institutions.


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English Language Classes


Before you can sign up for ESL, LINC or OLST classes, you will need to have your English language abilities assessed. Your English language abilities will be assessed according to the Canadian Language Benchmark standards. You can schedule a language assessment with the CLARS office.


  • CLB - Canadian Language Benchmarks
    CLB is the national standard used to assess the English language abilities of newcomers and prospective immigrants. It assesses listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This assessment is used for entrance into LINC, OSLT, and ESL programs.

  • CLARS - YMCA Coordinated Language Assessment Referral Services
    (CLARS) helps newcomers in Kitchener-Waterloo get an official Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment. CLARS also refers clients directly to appropriate language programs.

  • Assess Your English Skills Online
    This website has an unofficial self-assessment tool that can be used to assess reading and listening skills.


Learn about different types of programs:


  • Immigration Waterloo Region

    English language, translation / interpretation, and language assessement services in Waterloo Region


    English language programs and services in the Waterloo Region for children, youth, and adults

ESL - English as Second Language



LINC - Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada



OSLT - Occupation-Specific Language Training (Engineering, Accounting, Health Care, Technology)


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English Conversation Circles and Tutoring


English Conversation Circles (ECC) can help ESL learners improve their English through conversation with others. Some community organizations also offer ESL tutoring and homework clubs.


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Online English Language Learning Resources






Comprehensive Sites






For Kids











  • ESL Pod
    Listen to podcasts about everyday topics

  • CULips
    Listen to podcasts about everyday life in Canada








Workplace English



YouTube Channels


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