Great Sites: ESL




ESL Websites and Tools







Language Assessment


  • Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks
    The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is used in Canada to teach and test language learning for adults. These benchmarks describe tasks that people can do in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Most adult ESL programs in Kitchener and Waterloo use the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

  • Assess Your Canadian English Skills Online
    This website has an online self-assessment tool for people who are interested in assessing their English as a Second Language (ESL). The tests on this site are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and will assess your language proficiency in the areas of reading and listening. This assessment is for personal purposes only and will not be accepted as an official assessment by schools or organizations.

  • YMCA Coordinated Language Assessment Referral Services
    Provides the following services:

        • Help Newcomers get an official Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment

        • Help Newcomers choose the most appropriate language learning option

        • Share information about language tests, literacy programs, and more

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 Language Classes


Learn more about English language learning programs on the following two websites.


  • Immigration Partnership
    Learn more about English language learning options for children and adults in Waterloo Region.

    Learn more about English language learning options in Ontario.


There are several schools in Kitchener and Waterloo that can help you learn English.



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English Conversation Circles


English Conversation Circles (ECC) can help ESL learners improve their speaking and listening skills. ECC’s also give ESL learners a chance to meet new people in the community. Learn more about English Conversation Circles in Kitchener and Waterloo on the following websites:


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English Language Tests


Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)


The CAEL is an English language proficiency test that tests a person’s ability to use English as it is used in Canadian universities and colleges. It is a topic-based performance test that consists of an integrated set of language activities. Test takers read articles, listen to a lecture, answer questions and write a short essay – all on one subject. The test takes approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete. This test is used by colleges and universities.



Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)


There are three versions of this test: CELPIP-General, CELPIP-General LS, and CELPIP-Academic. The CELPIP-General is a complete English language testing program that assesses four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency in typical everyday situations. This test takes 3 hours to complete.


The CELPIP-General LS Test assesses listening and speaking proficiency in typical everyday situations. This test takes 1 hour to complete. The CELPIP-Academic tests a higher level of English language proficiency. It covers the following areas: Listening, Speaking, and Academic Reading and Writing. This test takes 3.5 hours to complete.


All three tests are delivered through the computer. These tests are used by Citizenship and Immigration and some Canadian schools.



International English Language Testing System (IELTS)


The IELTS test assesses the English language proficiency of people who want to study or work where English is used as the main language of communication.


The test has four parts – listening, reading, writing and speaking. It assesses the test taker’s ability to use English in real-life situations. The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.


There are two version of the test, the IELTS Academic or IELTS General. IELTS Academic measures the English language proficiency needed for an academic, higher education environment. IELTS General Training measures English language proficiency in a practical, everyday context.


The test is used by Canadian universities and colleges, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, government bodies, and some professional associations.



Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)


The TOEIC test is an English language proficiency test for people whose native language is not English.


This multiple-choice test consists of two sections that measures listening and reading skills. The Listening Section tests how well you understand spoken English and the Reading Section tests how well you understand written English. The test consists of 200 questions and takes two hours to complete.


The test is used by some Canadian schools, employers, and professional associations. Many international workplaces recognize TOEIC and a high score on the test can help you find the job you want or assist in promotions.



Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)


The TOEFL test is used to measure a person’s ability to use and understand English at the university level. Overall, it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks.


The TOEFL test is offered in two formats: TOEFL iBT test, administered via the Internet, or the TOEFL PBT test, administered in a paper-based format. The TOEFL PBT is being phased out.


The test is used by Canadian colleges and universities, agencies and other institutions.


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ESL Websites and Tools



















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