It is useful to know some strategies for practicing English on your own as communicating in English will help you to be successful at work and in your community.
1. Practise English on Your Own Self-study Ideas for English Language
2. Practise English on Your Own: Self-study Ideas for English Language Learners Now that you are living in Manitoba, you have many reasons to improve your English. Communicating in English will help you to be successful at work and in your community. English classes are available for free in Manitoba for permanent residents. You can choose from full-time or part-time classes during the day or evening. However, not everyone can go to English classes. If you are working at a job every day and also taking care of a family, it can be very difficult to take time to go to classes. If you are able to take the time to go to English classes you may also want to learn faster and study at home. For these reasons it is useful to know some strategies for practicing English on your own. There are many ways to learn English outside of the classroom. The ideas you will read about here are from adult EAL teachers and learners. You will find out about some of the many internet websites where you can learn for free as quickly or as slowly as you like. You will also find out more about the Canadian Language Benchmarks and think about what your level of English is right now, and what level you want it to be in the future. Information is also provided about some internationally recognized English language standardized tests. Good luck as you practise your English communication skills!
3. Ideas for Practising English Here are some ideas for practising English. Some of the ideas come from newcomers to Canada who have learned to speak English. Others come from English language teachers. 1. Make everyone your teacher. When other people are speaking in English, think about how they say something. Repeat what they said silently in your mind. Then repeat what they said quietly to yourself. First say it slowly and clearly, then say it to yourself at the same speed and rhythm as the person you were listening to. You can do this anytime, anywhere…when you’re with people, while watching a movie, at work, at school…the world is your classroom! Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy, just put on headphones or earbuds while you’re talking to yourself and everyone will think you’re talking on your cell phone.
4. 2. Talk to people. You could talk about: …the weather In Manitoba, it’s OK to talk about the weather every day, and many people do this in almost any situation to open a conversation. We create friendships by suffering together! Snow again, I miss summer! Crazy mosquitoes, we need winter! …the neighbourhood Hi, I’m your neighbor, I just moved in last week …(names, etc…) Have you lived in this area for a long time?...(years, etc.) Seems like a friendly area, I like it… …work Do you work close by? What kind of work do you do? …your children, your children's’ school How old are your kids? What school do they go to? Are you happy with the teachers over there? 3. Ask a workmate to join you for coffee break. Let’s get out for coffee sometime, maybe Friday? People like it when you are interested in them. Ask them about: • their job How long have you worked here? What do you do? • their family Do you have family here? • things they like to do So what’s up for the weekend? You could talk about: • life in your country, • your family, • your life and goals in Canada,
5. • your job, • your free-time interests. 4. Make a study group. Meet with other English learners once a week to study together. Do exercises from your English class together or try some of the on-line learning websites recommended in this document. 5. Make an English club. Meet once a week or once a month with other English language learners. You could have a supper club or a movie club. You could go to a park, a museum, or just sit and listen to music together. You could show pictures and talk about your country. Make sure you speak English most of the time, or if you can, all of the time! Challenge yourself at the first meeting to speak only English for 30 minutes, then 60 minutes the next time, then 2 hours the next time. 6. Volunteer. Go to a community centre or your children’s school. Ask if you can volunteer. You can be helpful and practise English at the same time. 7. Watch television and movies, listen to the radio and listen to English music. Relax and try to understand the general meaning even if you don’t know every word.
6. 8. Record yourself speaking English. Listen to your voice. Do you sound different than a first language speaker? Pretend that you are an actor in a movie and you are speaking English with an Italian accent…now try a Russian accent…a British English accent…now try a Canadian English accent! Whenever you think people don’t understand you, try out that Canadian English accent, it just might work. 9. Use Google. Go on the internet to search for information about stores that you want to go to. Find out location, store hours, search for products and prices. Find the telephone number and call it…ask what time the store is open until, or ask if they sell something and what the price is. 10. Use the Library and borrow books for free. Ask about EAL books and kits and bilingual books. Ask for a tour of the library. There is more information about libraries here: http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/libraryservices/newcomers.asp 11. Understand the main idea of what you read. After you read for a few minutes, tell yourself the important ideas. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything.
7. 12. Read children’s books with your children and talk about the pictures in English. After they have gone to bed read more children’s books in English…nobody has to see how much you are enjoying reading them! There are many high quality award winning children’s books you can borrow from the library for free. While you’re at the library make sure to take out some children’s books to read to your children in your first language too, there are many languages available. 13. Use maps. Learn the names of the streets you use. Use Google maps to practice following directions. Use Winnipeg Transit Navigo to choose a bus route. 14. Write a note to friend or teacher. Tell him or her what you did today, or what you are going to do tomorrow. 15. Keep a journal. Write about your day. Write directions to get from home to downtown. • Write about one of the pictures you have saved on your cell phone. • Write a recipe for how to make your favourite food. • Write about your memories of your country. • Listen to a song on YouTube and write about how it makes you feel. • Look at old and famous art, or new and controversial art and write about your thoughts. • Write to your mother, even if she is not alive anymore. Tell her about your life. 16. Write new words or expressions. Review them, use them! 17. Send an email. Ask someone that you trust who speaks English as his or her first language if you can practice your English by sending them emails. Tell them they don’t even have to answer if they don’t have time, you’re just practicing.
8. 18. Write a shopping list in English. Talk to the cashier at the grocery store. Try easy English recipes. 19. Use these phrases: “Please repeat that. What does mean? How do you spell ? Sorry, I don’t understand.” 20. Practise other phrases you will use in your life. 21. Speak English with your family a little bit each day. 22. Think of other ways you like to practise English.
9. For Higher Level Learners 1. If you want to practise your public speaking, try joining a Toastmasters club. This club focuses on members becoming confident public speakers. Manitoba Start offers weekly Toastmasters sessions where the other participants are also newcomers to Canada. For more information about the Manitoba Start Toastmasters group, see: http://manitobastart.com/development-programs/public- speaking.html There are Toastmasters clubs in 90 countries around the world. For more information about Toastmasters, see: http://www.toastmasters.org/ 2. Volunteer with a school, club or organization. This is a great way to meet new people, practise English, and gain valuable work skills. Volunteer Manitoba can connect you with many different opportunities. http://www.volunteermanitoba.ca/ 3. Call or visit a community centre, school, hospital, or senior centre in your area and ask about volunteer opportunities. 4. Look through the City of Winnipeg’s Leisure Guide. There are many classes about things like cooking, first aid, home renovation, or dance. You can pick up a copy of the Leisure Guide at Winnipeg public libraries or look at the guide online: http://www.winnipeg.ca/cms/recreation/leisure/leisureguide.stm 5. If you live outside of Winnipeg, ask your local community centre about classes. 6. Take a Continuing Education Course at: - Red River College, http://www.rrc.ca/index.php?pid=384, - the University of Winnipeg, http://pace.uwinnipegcourses.ca/, - the University of Manitoba, http://umanitoba.ca/extended/, or another college in your area. You can sometimes take these courses during the evening or on weekend.
10. 7. Audit a regular university course. When you audit a course, you can attend all the classes but you don’t have to write exams and you don’t get a grade for the course. Auditing a course costs about half the price of taking the course. Ask to speak to a student adviser to get advice about courses and registration. 8. Listen to the radio and watch English television and movies. Sometimes the speed will be too fast for you and the speakers will use expressions that you don’t understand, but you need to get used to it. Try to let your mind follow the meaning and the message and don’t worry about understanding every single word. 9. Play English games, and speak English with friends while playing. Find free games on the internet or look for board games in a department store or a thrift store. Buy a deck of cards and look up the rules for playing different games.
11. Study Tips Make a plan… Think about your week. You might be very busy with work, classes, meals, taking care of your children, or special events. It can sometimes be hard to find time to study English. Making a schedule can help. Schedule some study time each day. If you like to study with a partner or a group, set a regular meeting time. Find a time and a place where you will not be interrupted often. Set goals… Use the Canadian Language Benchmarks to set goals for yourself. Look at descriptions of a person one benchmark higher than yourself and make that your goal. Keep a record of your goals and your progress. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal! One cookie Decide what you want to learn and when you want to learn it. For example, you could say to yourself: “Before the parent-teacher interview in February, I want to know 20 words and phrases for talking to my son’s teacher.” “Two months from now, I will use the past tense correctly when I talk about something that happened.” “When summer comes, I will talk with my neighbors.” “In 3 months, I want to be able to read and understand most of the articles in an English newspaper.”
12. How do you learn best? Some people learn best by listening. Try listening to recorded books or information and people talking. Some people learn best by seeing. Try watching videos, looking at posters, flashcards, or textbooks with pictures. Some people learn best by doing. Try drawing pictures and diagrams and making things with your hands, then describing what you have done. There are many good ways to learn. Choose activities that work for you. Tips for understanding and remembering what you read… Before you read, look at the title, pictures, and headings. Can you guess the topic and main ideas? This prepares your mind to learn. Underline or highlight important ideas. Draw pictures and diagrams about important ideas. Write notes about the text. Read a paragraph. Cover the paragraph and tell yourself what it was about. Read groups of two or three words together. Groups of two or three words have more meaning than single words. If you don’t know a word, say the word out loud. Maybe you will know the meaning if you hear it. If you don’t know a word, read the sentence it comes from and try to guess the Remember that you don’t always need to understand every word.
13. Tips for learning new vocabulary… Write down important new words you hear and read. Keep a vocabulary Use flashcards to practise; write a new word or expression on one side of a piece of paper or an index card. Write the definition, or draw a picture on the other side. Review your words regularly. You can even practise on the bus or during a coffee break. Use your new words in conversation and in writing.
14. Public Libraries If you live in Winnipeg, you can borrow books for free from any branch of the Winnipeg Public Library. If you live outside of Winnipeg and want to borrow resources from the Winnipeg Public Library, you can get a Non- Resident Card for an annual fee. Some rural municipalities will give some or all of this fee back to you. The library has a variety of materials you can borrow including books, audio books, magazines, CDs, videos, and DVDs. Some branches have books in different languages. At the Library You can search for a book on the computer terminals or ask the library staff for help. Some phrases you can use are: “I’m looking for books about learning English. Can you help me?” “Where are the books for learning English?” “Can you help me find the English study books?” If the book you need is not available at your local library, you can have it sent from another library. “I’d like to order a book from another library.” “How do I place an inter-library loan?”
15. Libraries in Winnipeg Millennium Library St. John’s 251 Donald Street 500 Salter Street Charleswood St. Vital 5014 Roblin Boulevard 6 Fermor Avenue River Heights Osborne 1520 Corydon Avenue 625 Osborne Street St. Boniface Pembina Trails 100 – 131 Provencher Boulevard 2724 Pembina Highway St. James – Assiniboia West End 1910 Portage Avenue 823 Ellice Avenue West Henderson West Kildonan 1-1050 Henderson Highway 365 Jefferson Avenue Louis Riel Westwood 1168 Dakota Street 66 Allard Avenue Sir William Stephenson Windsor Park 765 Keewatin Street 955 Cottonwood Road Transcona 111 Victoria Avenue West 489 London Street Cornish Fort Garry 20 West Gate 1360 Pembina Highway Libraries in Manitoba For libraries outside of Winnipeg, see the Manitoba Library Directory https://mb.countingopinions.com/memberlist_details.php
16. Resources to Buy or Borrow Most large bookstores carry English grammar books and other resources. University bookstores usually carry language study books. You can also ask a bookstore to order in a book that they do not usually carry. You can also look at some publishers’ websites and buy books, CDs and software online. Teachers, language assessors, and librarians can help you pick a good book for your Basic vocabulary The Oxford Picture Dictionary: Canadian Edition. *available at the library* Toronto, ON: Oxford University Press Canada This is a picture-based dictionary. (The dictionary alone is about $25.00) CDs, audio tapes and student workbooks are also available. English for Everyday Activities: A Picture Process Dictionary *available at the library* Zwier, L., Syracuse, NY: New Readers Press This book describes the things you do every day step-by-step, with many pictures and simple sentences. (The book alone is about 19.00) A CD and student workbook are also available. Conversational English and Living in Canada Each of these books integrates the study of grammar and vocabulary with the many other important aspects of speaking, listening, reading and writing. All have CDs or videos available to go along with the book. Canadian Concepts *available at the library* Berish, L. & Thibaudeau, S., Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall Canada, Inc. This series focuses on English for use in Canadian communities. There are 6 books that range in level from a benchmark 2 (the 1st book in the series) to about a benchmark 7 or 8 (the 6th book in the series).
17. Person to Person: Communicative Speaking and Listening, 3rd edition Richards J., Bycina D., Wisniewska I., New York, NY: Oxford University Press This series is very good if you want a lot of listening and conversational practice. For self-study, it is important to buy the “class CD”, which has the conversations and listening exercises that go with the book. In this series there is a “starter level”, “level 1” and “level 2”. They range from a benchmark 2 to about a benchmark 5 or 6. Canadian Snapshots *available at the library* These excellent books will help you work on your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills while learning about Canadian culture. They are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks. There are only 2 levels right now. The first book is a Benchmark 3 level: Canadian Snapshots: Linking to the Community by Angst, Bertram, Davis, Johansson and Bonkowski. The second book is a Benchmark 6 level: Canadian Snapshots: Raising Issues by Kingwell, Stephenson, Bonkowski and Holmes. For Pronunciation Pronunciation for Success Meyers, C.& Holt S. Burnsville, MN: Aspen Productions The kit includes a book, videos, and CDs. It is very good for students working without a teacher. It is suitable for benchmarks 5 and higher. (The complete kit is about $120.00) To Learn or Review Grammar Grammar Dimensions Platinum Edition: Form, Meaning and Use Riggenback, H. & Samuda, V (2000). Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle This series has 4 books. They range from a benchmark 2 to 8+. The explanations on grammar are very clear and the books give you many chances to apply the grammar in a communicative, realistic way. (Each book is about $38.00)
18. Standardized Tests of English as a Second Language Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) This is an assessment tool for CLB levels 1-8. Results should not be used as the only assessment tool for hiring or post-secondary admissions. Results from the CLBPT can help organizations make good decisions about readiness of the learner and be included as one of several indicators for potential success on the job, in an academic setting, or in vocational training. In the CLBPT, the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are assessed through a number of task-based activities. This is the tool used for placement in Adult EAL classes in Manitoba. Test takers are reminded that the assessment is not a grammar or vocabulary test. It is a test to find out what a person can do in English. There is no need to prepare or be nervous about taking the test. In Manitoba, after the assessment, an assessor will discuss the results with the test taker and together they will decide which program or class is the most appropriate for the student. CLBPT test results are used by classroom teachers as a starting point for the lessons. All government funded Adult EAL programs use the CLB as guide for teaching. Classroom teachers will assess student’s proficiency periodically throughout the term. At the end of the course or at the end of the school year, the student receives a report. It gives CLB exit scores. If a student leaves the course before the end, he/she can ask the teacher for exit scores. Do CLB levels predict success? Although CLB levels can assist in making informed decisions about readiness and potential for success on the job and in post secondary programs, it is important to be aware that CLB levels are only one indicator of success. The CLB was meant to open doors; to allow immigrants access to educational and employment opportunities that may have been denied to them due to an unclear expectation of the level of English language proficiency required. Other factors can compensate for lack of language skills such as supports while in training or on the job, skill level (background knowledge in the subject matter, trade or profession), motivation, and the opportunity to use the first language. Academic English Program for University and College Entrance Academic English Program for University and College Entrance (AEPUCE) is not a test but a high level English for academic purposes course offered at the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and Red River College. It is a
19. bridge course to university and college admissions. The course enables potential college and university students to improve their academic communication skills. After successful completion, students will have met the English requirements for the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg and Red River College. English Proficiency Tests The following summary provides some basic information about some of the most commonly used English proficiency tests. It is not a comprehensive list and it is intended as an introduction to language proficiency tests and not as an endorsement of the tests or their use. Please refer to the websites for the most current information about costs, test sites, descriptions and scoring of the standardized language tests. The University of Winnipeg admission requirements are found at: The University of Manitoba entrance requirements are on this website: CanTEST - Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees There are several versions of this test. The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks endorses the CLB aligned versions of the CanTEST. These versions establish a relationship between achievement on CanTEST and CLB levels 7-11. The test is suitable for academic and professional purposes such as university admission, profession accreditation and vocational training. It includes all four skill areas and takes just less than three hours to complete. It is available at Red River College (institutional version), the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. CELBAN - Canadian English Language Benchmarks Assessment for Nurses This is the first national, occupation specific, CLB referenced assessment tool. CELBAN is endorsed by most of the licensing bodies that license nurses in Canada. There is a readiness self-assessment available online. TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to use and understand North American English as it is used in college and university
20. settings. This test is required by many universities in Canada. TOEFL has recently changed the test to be more communicative, i.e. to measure someone’s effectiveness in using the language. It is now the TOEFL Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT). There are numerous preparation courses and resources available. TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication TOEIC measures the everyday English skills of people working in an international environment. There are two sections to the test, listening and reading. There are TOEIC preparation books available. IELTS – International English Language Testing System This is an Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approved test used by universities to assess the proficiency of applicants whose first language is not English. There is a speaking/listening section, a reading section and 2 writing tasks. Study materials are available. CAEL - Canadian Academic English Language CAEL assessment approximates the experience of joining a first year introductory university course. There is an oral assessment, a taped lecture to listen to, some reading tasks and essay writing task on the topic of the test itself. There are practise materials online. MELAB - Michigan English Language Assessment Battery The MELAB consists of three parts: a composition, a listening test, and a written test containing grammar, cloze, vocabulary, and reading comprehension problems. An optional speaking test is also available. TOWES - Test of Workplace Essential Skills TOWES assesses essential skill competencies in the areas of reading text, document use and numeracy. Test results are correlated to the 5-point scale used in the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to determine the complexity or difficulty of tasks associated with specific occupations. TOWES is different from other tests because it uses authentic documents - such as catalogues, order forms, labels, and schematics - as source material. Questions range in difficulty and mimic actual workplace tasks by having the test taker assume the role of a worker who needs to use information embedded in documents. To support the development of essential skills, the creators of TOWES have developed curriculum and training plans designed to address skill gaps.
21. CPE - Certificate of Proficiency in English Cambridge ESOL exams include a range of assessment tools. The exams are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, published by the Council of Europe. There are several general English tests as well as the CAE (Certificate in Advanced English), an advanced exam, and the CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) which is a very advanced level exam. Cambridge also has a skills-based assessment called CELS (Certificates in English Language Skills), which provides modular assessments of the four English language skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking). There are some Business English certificates and the YLE (Cambridge Young Learners English Tests) which is assessment of English of children between the ages of 7 and 12. CELPIP - Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program The CELPIP-General Test is designated by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as proof of English language proficiency for those applying for permanent resident status in Canada under the following immigration streams: • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), • Canadian Experience Class (CEC), • Start-up Visa Program, and • Various Provincial Nominee Programs. For specific language requirements, please visit the IRCC website at The CELPIP-Academic Test assesses a higher level of English language proficiency. This test is made up of the following sections: • Listening • Speaking • Academic Reading and Writing All components of the CELPIP-Academic Test are computer-delivered. The test is completed in just one test sitting, offering a unique test-taking experience that requires no additional appointments with a human examiner. The CELPIP- Academic Test uses the English variety spoken in Canada. da 10-08
22. Websites for Learning English There are many excellent language learning websites on the internet. When you learn on-line, you can progress as fast as you want to, and learn at any time of the day. You can study for 10 minutes one day and 4 hours the next day. You can listen, speak, read, and write. You don’t have a teacher to guide you, but you can make everyone you meet your teacher if you ask people questions. Now you can make the world wide web your library! The following list of websites are recommended. There are many more that you will find once you start looking, these have been chosen because they are well- organized and have good opportunities for you to practice independently. Try as many of them as you can and return to the ones you like as often as you can. General English language study Language learning activities for all levels Language learning activities for all levels Create learning quizzes and memory cards Find free on-line language teachers using the “italki” site Interesting things for EAL learners to try A one-stop resource for language learning Language learning activities for all levels News stories developed into language learning (U.K.) Language learning activities for all levels
23. Language learning activities for all levels Language learning activities for advanced level Language games and activities English On-Line: Live and Learn and LINC Home Study To use English On-Line and LINC Home Study you must first register. See website for eligibility and other details. Large selection of EAL learning resources, library card needed News stories developed into language learning lessons Language learning quizzes Language learning activities for all levels Workplace language Watch short Canadian videos to practice listening skills
24. Audio and video activities with transcripts and lessons at all levels Audio and video activities with transcripts and lessons at all levels ESL listening lab 9,000 short video clips with lessons Current CBC Radio clips Audio activities with lessons News stories developed into language learning (U.K.) Radio listening Movie trailers and activities Speaking / Pronunciation Audio lessons and pronunciation activities Videos and pronunciation activities Phonetics website Minimal pair practice
25. Guided reading with audio and activities Guided reading with audio and activities Writing / Grammar/ Spelling Health professions
26. Free Apps Pronunciation Power 2 - Dictation Dragon SpeakAp - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aventusoft.speakap&hl=en Iowa University Phonetics lab –
27. Canadian Language Benchmarks The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) is used for teaching and testing in many adult EAL schools in Canada. The CLB describes what people can do in English. For example, if you are at a CLB level 1, you can write your name and address. If you are at a CLB level 4, you can write a paragraph about your future plans. If you are at a CLB level 8, you can write a business letter. The Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test Newcomers who want to take an EAL class will first take the Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLBPT). The test usually takes 2-1/2 or 3 hours. It has three parts: a listening/speaking test, a reading test, and a writing test. Listening/speaking test: You will discuss some familiar topics with a Canadian Language Benchmarks Assessor. You may also listen to a CD and tell the assessor what the speaker said. You will read words, sentences, paragraphs, and longer texts and answer multiple choice questions. There are three parts to the writing test. In the first part, you will copy some information. In the second part, you will write a paragraph. In the third part, you will develop your ideas more in an essay. Can Do Statements The next few pages describe what EAL learners can do at each CLB level. Make goals for yourself. As your English improves, the number of new things that you can do in English will increase. Decide for yourself now what you think your English levels are. If you think your levels are 3, look at the things a level 4 person can do and practice. If you think your levels are 7, look at the things a level 8 person can do and practice, practice, You can download the complete Can Do Statements at You can Practise English on Your Own!
28. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 1 Listening 1 I can greet people: I can understand greetings: • Hello! • Hello! • How are you? • How are you? • I’m fine, thank you. • Please come in! I can understand questions: I can ask some questions: • What is your name? • What time is it? • How do you spell it? • Pardon me? • What is your telephone number? I can give some information: • M-A-R-I-A. I can understand information: • 555-6729. • I am from Colombia. • I’m from India. • It’s ten o’clock.
29. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 1 Writing 1 I can read the alphabet. I can write the alphabet. I can read some words that I see I can write numbers. I can write my name and address. I am learning the sounds of letters. I can write my telephone number. I can read a short sentence with the help of a picture. I can fill out a simple form. I can read: I can write a short list. • Name • Address • Phone number
30. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 2 Listening 2 I can answer greetings: I can understand more instructions: • Can you show me some ID? • Hello, I’m fine. How are • Please write your name on you? the line. • Nice to meet you. • Go upstairs to Room B5. • Could you repeat that I can ask for help: please? • Speak slowly, please. I can understand parts of • Can you help me please? conversations: • I understand numbers and I can give information: letters. • I understand the time. • I can talk about my • I understand some of the family. words. • I can describe things. • I can answer questions about myself.
31. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 2 Writing 2 I can read words that I see often. I can write in a birthday card. I can read a simple greeting card. I can copy prices at the store. I can read a simple form. I can fill out a simple application form. I can read the amount of a bill. I can write a cheque. I can match a list to pictures or real things. I can copy information from a schedule. I can read very simple, step-by-step instructions. I can write complete sentences about myself and my family. I can read a simple text and answer questions. I can describe a picture. I understand simple maps, labels and My spelling and handwriting are easy diagrams. to read.
32. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 3 Listening 3 I can say a few simple sentences I know when a greeting is formal or about familiar, everyday topics: my informal. work, family, daily activities, health, the weather, etc. I can understand short sentences when you speak slowly. I can answer simple questions with single words or short sentences. I can understand questions about myself. I can ask for help or permission. I can understand instructions I can ask short, routine questions. including place and measurements. I use words like ‘yesterday’ and I can follow directions in the street. ‘today’, but I don’t always use the correct verb tenses. I can get the most important words in a story. I know a few words about health and feelings. I understand when a person asks me for something. I can give basic information about familiar subjects, such as family, I have trouble understanding people weather or daily activities. on the phone. I can connect parts of sentences, for example, with ‘and’ and ‘but’.
33. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 3 Writing 3 I can read and understand a short I can write a short note or message. story or simple news item. I can write short, simple sentences I can follow simple instructions with about my family or a familiar place. 1 - 5 steps when there are pictures to help me understand. I can fill in a short, simple form. I can read about the weather. I can write an invitation. I can understand a store flyer and I can write a greeting. make a list of key points. I can copy information from lists or I can read words I know in a new schedules. I can describe my daily routine. I can sound out words in English. I can read some new words.
34. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 4 Listening 4 I can introduce two people to each I can understand a conversation on a other. familiar, everyday topic when you speak slowly. I can participate in conversations that are about what I need and what I know what you are talking about I have done. because I understand some words and phrases. I can ask and answer many simple questions. I can understand many simple questions. I can use short sentences to buy something or talk to the doctor. I can follow simple oral instructions. I can give someone simple I can use connecting words like directions. ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘first’, ‘next’ and ‘because.’ I can use the past tense with many common verbs. I can follow instructions to find something on a map or picture. I have enough vocabulary for everyday conversation. I can understand a short phone message if I know what the topic is. I use some connecting words between my sentences, like ‘and’, I ask people to repeat when I don’t ‘but’, ‘first’, ‘next’, and ‘because’. understand. I can use the phone for a very short People usually understand me, but sometimes I have to repeat.
35. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 4 Writing 4 I can read a simple story of 2 - 3 I can write a paragraph about a paragraphs. personal experience. I can read simple news items. I can write a paragraph about my future plans. I can follow simple instructions. I can write a short note, message or Sometimes, by looking at a whole letter. sentence, I can find out what a new word means. However, most of the I can fill out a simple application time, I use my dictionary for new form of up to 20 items. When I write, I can use whole I can get information from charts sentences. and schedules. I can copy information from I use a bilingual dictionary. dictionaries, catalogues or manuals. I can understand if I read silently. I can take slow, simple dictation with I still read slowly. several repetitions. I can spell and punctuate my sentences. It is easy to read my printing or handwriting. I can use whole sentences with few errors.
36. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 5 Listening 5 I can join in conversations on familiar I can understand conversations if people topics. speak slowly. I am beginning to use longer sentences, I can follow simple, repetitive and but sometimes I hesitate or pause. predictable speech. I know a lot of common, everyday I can catch many words and phrases in vocabulary and some idioms. informal conversations at a normal speed in audio recordings and on the radio. I I use connecting words between my can follow the general idea if the subject sentences, like ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘first’, ‘next’, is personally relevant. and ‘because’. I can understand a range of common I can use the phone for a simple vocabulary and a few idioms. conversation, but I still find it difficult. I often have to ask people to repeat, I feel comfortable using English with especially when they speak quickly. people I know in social settings. I can identify the situation, emotional I can use formal and casual language. state and relationship of speakers. I ask for clarification when I don’t I can understand a simple, predictable understand. phone message. I catch some inferred meanings in advice, offers, compliments and suggestions.
37. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 5 Writing 5 I can understand the main ideas, some I can write a paragraph about an idea or details and some inferred meaning of a an opinion and give details. I can write a text 2 - 3 paragraphs long. The topics are short letter, note, or email using familiar and personally relevant. appropriate language. I can read information that I I can fill out an application form with 20 - receive regularly, such as a gas bill, or 30 items. some items in a newspaper. I can take a phone message with 5 - 7 Usually, I have to read something more details. than once to understand it. I can write a paragraph with a main idea Sometimes, by looking at a whole and supporting details. sentence, I can understand what a new word means. However, most of the time, I can write sentences with good control I use my dictionary for new words. of simple structures, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. I can follow instructions with 7 - 10 steps. Sometimes I need the help I can write a paragraph describing an of pictures. event or an incident. I understand facts and some inferred I choose language and content that are meaning in everyday texts, such as appropriate and relevant to the occasion. memos and e-mails. I can locate specific details in extensive directories, charts and schedules. I can use tables of contents, indexes and I can see the connection between paragraphs. I can predict what will come My vocabulary is mostly concrete, but I know some abstract, conceptual and technical words.
38. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 6 Listening 6 I can participate in small group discussions I can follow a conversation about a familiar where I express my opinion and ask for topic at a pace slightly slower than normal. I can listen to a short instructional talk and I can provide accurate and detailed remember 7 - 10 points. I can pick out the main ideas, key details I can interrupt politely when it’s necessary. and inferred meaning from listening texts of up to 10 minutes. I can keep a conversation going and can hold my own when speaking to a group. I can understand some idioms. I use a range of vocabulary, including I can understand the mood and attitude of idioms, phrasal verbs, and common the people I am listening to. I can understand short sets of instructions I can explain a process or sequence of or directions and follow the sequence of events. the steps, even if they are not in step-by- step form. I can use a variety of complex sentences. I still often ask people to repeat what they I sound fluent when I speak, and I speak at have said. almost normal speed. I can understand a short, predictable phone Although I make mistakes, people don’t message. usually have trouble understanding my grammar and pronunciation. I know how to express and respond to regrets and excuses in a variety of situations. I can make, cancel, or rearrange an appointment. I can give my reasons or I use eye contact, tone of voice and volume familiar to Canadians. I am comfortable talking on the phone in familiar situations, but I sometimes find it hard to talk to strangers. I can change my style of speaking for different situations and people.
39. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 6 Writing 6 I can read a text written in plain English I can write a detailed description or that is 3 - 5 paragraphs long and a little comparison of people, places, objects difficult. I can understand the main idea, and routines. I can describe a simple key details and some inferred meanings. process. I can scan an extended chart or schedule I can write a short letter, note or e mail for specific information. I can compare using appropriate language and layout. information from different texts. I can fill out a longer application form I am beginning to understand the with 20 - 30 items. writer’s purpose, intent and attitude. I can take a phone message with 5 - 7 I can read handwritten notes, memos, details. When I write, I have a clear letters and schedules. message. I can learn new information from a text I include details to support the message. on a familiar topic. The text is well- organized and sometimes has pictures. I think about who I am writing to. The dictionary I use is for ESL learners, I can take notes from a short but it is only in English, not my first presentation without missing important language. details. I read mostly about facts and things I can I can write simple sentences with only a see, but I sometimes read about abstract few errors in spelling, punctuation and or technical issues. vocabulary. When I see a new word, I can sometimes I can write a structured paragraph in guess its meaning from the context. which I give an accurate description, comparison or sequence of events. I am able to predict what will happen next in the story and retell or summarize the story.
40. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 7 Listening 7 I can participate in a small group I can understand the main points and discussion and express my opinions, important details of a conversation as feelings and reservations about a topic. well as inferred meanings. I can express and respond to gratitude, I can identify the situation, relationship, appreciation, complaint, disappointment, mood and attitude of the people I listen dissatisfaction, satisfaction and hope. to. I can give clear instructions and I can understand a formal or informal directions related to moderately conversation on familiar topics at a complex, familiar, technical and non- descriptive level, especially if I am technical tasks. involved in the conversation. My vocabulary is expanding, and I know I am comfortable speaking about almost more idioms. any topic that comes up in normal conversation. I can predict consequences and outcomes. I am comfortable speaking formally or informally, on topics involving problem- I can understand more complex, indirect solving or decision-making. I can make a questions about personal experience, detailed comparison. familiar topics and general knowledge. I can research, develop and deliver a 10- I can understand routine, work related minute presentation. conversation. I can use a variety of sentence structures I can understand a phone message if I am and idioms. familiar with the topic. I sound fluent when I speak. However, I sometimes require slower When I know that people do not understand me, I can correct myself or speech, repetition and rewording, rephrase what I said. especially on unfamiliar topics. I am comfortable talking on the phone I might still have trouble understanding about familiar and routine matters. I can native speakers when they speak quickly to take a message for someone else and one another. pass it on with specific details. I use a number of strategies to keep the conversation going. I can change the
41. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 7 Writing 7 I can read authentic text that is I can respond in writing to appreciation, 1 - 2 pages long and moderately complaint, disappointment, satisfaction complex. and hope. I can locate and integrate, or compare I can write personal and routine business and contrast information from a variety letters. of visually complex sources. I summarize longer texts without losing I read for information, to learn essential information. English and develop reading skills. I write coherent paragraphs on familiar, I am also beginning to read for pleasure. concrete topics with clear main ideas and some supporting details. I can follow everyday instructional texts containing 10 - 15 steps. I have a developing sense of audience. I use an English dictionary for ESL I can write 2 - 3 paragraphs to narrate a learners. Mostly, I use it for confirmation sequence of events or give a detailed and to be precise. The language I read is description. both concrete and abstract, dealing with facts, opinions and feelings. I have fairly good control over complex structures, spelling and sentence When I see a new word, I can sometimes mechanics although my sentences may infer its meaning by the context or by sound ‘foreign’ to English readers. the use of prefixes and suffixes in the word. I can write down 7 - 10 points from a clear, pre-recorded phone message. I can paraphrase and summarize the main points of a story. I can complete moderately complex forms (40 items). I can write a report comparing two products or describing a process.
42. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 8 Listening 8 I am comfortable speaking about almost any topic that comes up in normal When someone is speaking, I can conversation in social situations or at understand the main points, details, work. purpose, and attitude. I can manage a conversation, check I can recognize different levels of comprehension, encourage others and formality. handle minor conflicts. I can understand some technical I am able to address large groups or conversations, especially about my line of participate in group discussions. work. I can speak on familiar topics at both I can understand abstract and complex concrete and abstract levels (15 - 20 ideas on a familiar topic. I recognize other people’s moods, I can present information, give instructions, propose and recommend. attitudes and feelings. I can provide descriptions, opinions and I can understand many local idioms and explanations. expressions and can follow detailed stories of general interest. I can synthesize abstract complex ideas and hypothesize. I can follow detailed and extended instructions if they are clear and I can ask questions, analyze and compare coherent. information in order to make decisions. I can usually understand phone I have an expanded inventory of messages, even on unfamiliar, non- concrete, idiomatic and conceptual routine subjects. People rarely have trouble understanding me. I am comfortable talking on the phone.
43. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 8 Writing 8 I can follow main ideas, key words and I can write routine business letters and important details in a text of personal and formal social messages. 2 - 3 pages on a familiar topic. I can link sentences and 3 - 4 paragraphs I can read popular newspapers, to form coherent texts to express ideas magazine articles, popular easy fiction, on familiar, abstract topics with some as well as academic and business support for main ideas and an materials. appropriate sense of audience. I can find relevant points in a text, but I can write down a set of simple sometimes I need clarification of idioms instructions based on clear oral or cultural references. communication or simple procedural text of greater length. I can locate and integrate several specific pieces of information in a table or a I can fill out complex forms. directory, or across paragraphs. I can extract key information and I am able to follow an extended set of relevant detail from a page-long text or multi-step instructions for an established 10 - 15 minute oral presentation, and process. write an outline or a one-paragraph summary. I reduce information to the I read in English to get information, to main points with no major omissions. improve my English and develop my reading skills. I demonstrate good control over common sentence patterns, grammar, I use a unilingual dictionary for and spelling. I have occasional difficulty vocabulary building. with complex structures and style. I can read about abstract, conceptual or I can write an effective resume and cover technical topics. letter. I can infer the writer’s intention in I can write an incident report or memo messages containing general opinions and assessments.
44. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 9 Listening 9 I can provide and exchange important When someone speaks clearly and in a information in social and academic familiar accent, I can understand a broad situations or at work. I can prepare a 15 - range of general interest topics and 30 minute formal presentation. technical topics in my field. I sometimes miss some details and may not always I can help to manage a discussion or understand humour, infrequently-used debate in a work meeting or academic idioms, and cultural references. I can separate facts from opinions and I can participate in business meetings, identify a speaker’s purpose and point of discussions, and debates on complex, view; sometimes I abstract, conceptual and detailed topics can understand a speaker’s personal to analyze, solve problems and make attitudes and emotions. I can provide clear, multi-step I can identify the roles, relationships and instructions for familiar technical or non- status of speakers in formal business and technical processes academic settings. I can ask questions to get detailed and I can understand key information from 15 complex information and respond to - 30 minute complex discussions, questions with needed information. presentations, and training sessions at work or in academic and social situations. I am comfortable speaking face to face, in groups, and on the phone , with I can understand information and managers, professors and other paraphrase or summarize the key facts authority figures. and details at work or school. I speak at a normal or fast rate with only I can understand lengthy suggestions, occasional errors in grammar, vocabulary recommendations and proposals for or pronunciation. solutions to problems. I can combine a few pieces of detailed oral information to follow multi-step instructions for a familiar process or procedure.
45. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 9 Writing 9 I can read a wide variety of authentic I can write formal and informal notes or multipurpose texts: newspaper articles, emails to schedule, cancel or reschedule short stories, novels, academic materials, business or academic appointments. manuals and business documents. I can write a coherent essay or report of I can read clearly written texts of 3 - 5 typed pages to present information 3 - 5 pages on abstract, conceptual and on a researched topic. technical topics. I can summarize and convey the main I can identify and explain a writer’s intent ideas of an article and support them with and point of view. details. I can fill out complex and detailed forms I can read formal advisory, instructional with over 40 pieces of required texts on familiar processes and information. procedures: policy and procedure manuals, equipment installation I can write summary reports of data, lab manuals, user product guides and health inspections or meetings. and safety advisories. I can write outlines or summaries of I can locate and integrate information material taken from several sources. across paragraphs or sections of texts to correctly interpret and follow I use paragraphs but my writing still lacks instructions flexibility in tone and style; for a familiar process or procedure. Occasionally I still make errors in I can understand flow charts, graphs, grammar and spelling. pictographs and diagrams and explain them to others in an alternate way. I use accepted formats for formal and informal documents such as letters, I can use several complex sources of essays, reports, emails. information (reports, charts, graphs, emails) to complete academic or I can proofread and make revisions to my business tasks own work; sometimes i need input from others. I can find a specific piece of information through a complex search using on-line search engines and libraries.
46. Canadian Language Benchmarks Speaking 10 Listening 10 I can obtain, exchange and present When people speak at a normal rate, I information, ideas and opinions for can understand most general interest important social and academic tasks or at and technical topics in my field. I work. occasionally miss a topics change and may not always understand cultural I can prepare a 20 - 40 minute formal references and humour, especially when people speak quickly. I can manage routine meetings and I can identify and explain the personal discussions or debates in a small familiar attitudes, emotions and intentions of speaker to one another and to the topic I can actively participate in business being discussed. meetings and in social and academic discussions on complex, detailed and I can understand 30-60 minute complex abstract topics. discussions, meetings, presentations and training sessions and extract detailed I can persuade, counsel, assess basic information, ideas and opinions. needs, or evaluate detailed information in one-on-one routine situations. I can follow and evaluate the organization, development and reasoning I can provide complex multi-step of a detailed argument. instructions for familiar procedures and processes in demanding and sometimes I can understand and critically evaluate a stressful situations. lot of “unspoken” information. I can follow extensive and detailed oral I can respond appropriately to perceived instructions and carry out multi-step hostility, blame, putdowns, sarcasm, lies complex instructions for a familiar or condescension. procedure or process. I speak fluently and accurately; any errors in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation are not a barrier to
47. Canadian Language Benchmarks Reading 10 Writing 10 I can read a wide variety of complex I can write effectively for most academic multipurpose texts in printed or and business tasks and for most electronic format: charts, tables, forms, audiences: detailed minutes of meetings, letters, and research papers. conferences and symposia; faxes, memos; email and reports. I sometimes have difficulty with infrequently-used idioms and cultural I can write a complex, research paper or references. I can understand 5 - 10 pages formal report of 10 typed pages. I can of dense complex texts on abstract, write to inform, express opinions and conceptual topics, some of which may be ideas, communicate solutions and new to me. decisions, present an argument, and persuade. I can interpret and convert data from documents such as questionnaires, I can fill out complex forms with over 50 surveys, schedules, programs and items of required information. I can understand and summarize I can reproduce complex information and complex instructional texts on familiar ideas from several sources to prepare processes and procedures, even when reports, summaries or abstracts for other they are not sequential: legal and people to use. administrative procedures; scientific and I organize my writing well with only experimental procedures. occasional minor errors in grammar, I can locate and interpret information vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. from several complex texts, forms, graphs: standard legal contracts, formal I can edit and proofread the work of reports, surveys, complex tables and others. other documents. I can transfer the data to other business or academic forms or I can search through several displays of complex information and integrate explicit and implied information. I can follow and critically evaluate the development of complex arguments.
48. For more information please contact: Manitoba Labour and Immigration Immigration and Economic Opportunities Division 9th Floor – 213 Notre Dame Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, R3B 1N3 Telephone: 204-945-6016 Toll free: 1-800-665-8332 Website: immigratemanitoba.com