Citizenship Test Language Ability
Part of your application for Canadian citizenship is the test for your language ability, in either English or French. With the citizenship test language ability, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is trying to help smooth your passage into Canadian life, because you can’t really get a job or take care of personal affairs if you can’t speak English or French.
Remember, the language ability matters most to immigrants under age 55. You’ll have to take a standardized language test prepared by CIC. There’s a benchmark system that’s used, and it’s called the Canadian Language Benchmark system (CLB). You get ranked in four language skills – speaking, reading, writing and listening. Writing is of course the hardest for most of us!
For the citizenship test language ability, you’ll get ranked anywhere with numbers, from 1 to 12. If you score from 1-4, this is more basic. If you score 5-8, this represents intermediate language proficiency in English or French, and if you score from 9-12, this is advanced language ability. The two organizations that issue the standardized test for English learners are the International English Language Testing System and the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program. The latter can only be taken within Canada, but the first are held in many locations around the world. The only acceptable test for federal immigration purposes that is in French is the Test d’Evaluation de Francais.
How can you improve your language abilities? If you’re busy, the best way is to listen to news in English or French. Keep the radio playing all day so you can hear and listen. Then spend 30 minutes a day doing some detailed practice; this will help improve your listening skills.