Last Updated: June 4, 2017

Canadian Language Benchmarks – Three stages of language ability

 

Purpose of the Canadian Language Benchmarks

As described in a publication entitled “Canadian Language Benchmarks: English as a Second Language for Adults”, published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada:

 

“The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) standard is a descriptive scale of language ability in English as a Second Language (ESL) written as 12 benchmarks or reference points along a continuum from basic to advanced. The CLB standard reflects the progression of the knowledge and skills that underlie basic, intermediate and advanced ability among adult ESL learners. The Canadian Language Benchmarks are:

 

 

Classification of benchmarks into three stages

The following explains the classification of the 12 benchmarks within three Stages (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced):

 

Stage I – Basic Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing

CLB 1: Initial

CLB 2: Developing (See “Can Do” statements for CLB 2)

CLB 3: Adequate

CLB 4: Fluent

 

Interpreting simple spoken communication in routine, non-demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating simple spoken communication in routine, non-demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Interpreting simple written communication in routine, nondemanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating simple written communication in routine, non-demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas.

 

Stage II – Intermediate Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing

CLB 5: Initial (See “Can Do” statements for CLB 5)

CLB 6: Developing

CLB 7: Adequate (See “Can Do” statements for CLB 7)

CLB 8: Fluent

 

Interpreting moderately complex spoken communication in moderately demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating moderately complex spoken communication in moderately demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Interpreting moderately complex written communication in moderately demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating moderately complex written communication in moderately demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas.

 

Stage III – Advanced Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing

CLB 9: Initial

CLB 10: Developing

CLB 11: Adequate

CLB 12: Fluent

 

Interpreting complex spoken communication in demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating complex spoken communication in demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Interpreting complex written communication in demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas. Creating complex written communication in demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas.