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 Who can join your ESL and Computer classes?

Permanent Residents of Canada, Convention Refugees, Refugee Claimants and naturalized Canadian Citizens not born in Canada may apply to take our ESL classes. Applicants must also be 18 years of age or over, reside in Ontario and provide proof of residency.

What is the difference between ESL and LINC?

Both programs are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks and open to adults 18 years of age or older (if younger, with proof of high school completion from the country of origin), who are able to show proof of Ontario address and have their language ability evaluated by a Language Assessment Centre (Y-LARC)

ESL classes are funded by the provincial government through the School Board and are open to:

  • Canadian Citizens (those born outside Canada who do not speak English as a first language;
  • Permanent Residents;Convention Refugees/Protected Persons;
  • Persons in Canada whose applications for Permanent Resident status are being processed in Canada, and who have been informed by a letter from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada of the initial approval of their application subject to an admissibility assessment;
  • Refugee Claimants
  • Temporary Workers or Students who have obtained initial approval for a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence;
  • Foreign Domestic Worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program;
  • Provincial Nominee (or Dependant) approved through Opportunities Ontario;
  • Temporary Foreign Worker (or Dependant) approved through Canadian Experience Class

LINC programs are funded by the federal government of Canada and focuses on language training and settlement.

Eligible for LINC:
  • Permanent Residents 
  • Govenement Assisted Refuges (GARs)

NOT eligible for LINC:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Refugee claimants
  • Temporary residents (such as foreign students, foreign workers or visitors)

How do I register for a class?

To Register in ESL or LINC programs please bring with you to the school site:

• proof of your status in Canada
• proof of your current Ontario address
• referral documents from Y-LARC*
• proof of immunization for children (if they are attending our childcare program).
If you have not been a student in our system in the last 12 months you can complete a language assessment by going to the Ottawa Y-Language Assessment and Referral Centre (Y-LARC). If you do so please advise the assessor that you wish to study at an OCSB ESL site. Bring your assessment documents with you when you come to school. Y-LARC has 2 locations in Ottawa.
Central Location:
308-240 Catherine St.
Tel: 613-238-5462
West Location:
1642 Merivale Rd.
Tel: 613-688-2150
Please Note:
Y-LARC locations are closed
from Friday, December 23
to Monday, January 9, 2017.

  What are the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)?

The CLB describe what adult second language learners can do, using English, at twelve levels of proficiency, or benchmarks. The twelve Benchmarks are separated into three progressive levels of proficiency:

Stage I (CLB Levels 1-4) - basic level of proficiency
Stage II (CLB Levels 5-8) - intermediate level of proficiency
Stage III (CLB Levels 9-12) - advanced level of proficiency

Each Benchmark for the four language skills - reading, writing, listening and speaking - includes examples of the kinds of real life tasks that an ESL learner should be able to perform under specified conditions in four specific competency areas:

  • social interaction - using ESL speech or writing in interpersonal situations
  • giving and receiving instructions
  • suasion (getting things done)
  • information - exchanging, presenting, talking about information
  • The CLB provide a standard framework that can be used to plan teaching and assessment in Canadian adult ESL programs.

 I don't live in Ontario, can I still take a class?

Yes, you may take classes at one of our schools. You will be charged a fee. See ESL Fees page for more information.

I am a visitor to Canada. Can I take a class?

Visitors and diplomats are welcome to take English as a Second Language or Computer classes. Some special conditions apply and a fee will be charged. See the International Students page for more information.