Points for language ability – Self-employed

(Maximum 24 points)

Your proficiency in English or French is one of the five selection factors for investors. You will be awarded up to 24 points for your basic, moderate or high proficiency in English and French. You will be given points based on your ability to:

  • listen
  • speak
  • read and
  • write.

Language testing

If you have some proficiency in both English and French, decide which language you are more comfortable using. This is your first official language. The other is your second official language.

You must prove the level of language proficiency you claim on your application if you wish to have your official language proficiency considered in the assessment of your application for permanent residence.  

NOTE: If you applied on or after March 3, 2011, points for language proficiency will only be awarded where you have had your proficiency assessed by an agency designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

If you applied prior to this date, you may provide either a language test from an agency designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or a written submission in support of your language proficiency.

NOTE: CIC officers will not hold an interview to assess your language proficiency. CIC will only accept test results from designated language testing agencies.

Find more information on language testing.

Description of each level of proficiency

Use the following chart to assess your proficiency. Follow the links for a description of each level of proficiency.

Proficiency Level Ability
Speaking Listening Reading Writing
HIGH: You can communicate effectively in most social and work situations. Speaking: High Listening: High Reading: High Writing: High
MODERATE: You can communicate comfortably in familiar social and work situations. Speaking: Moderate Listening: Moderate Reading: Moderate Writing: Moderate
BASIC: You can communicate in predictable contexts and on familiar topics, but with some difficulty. Speaking: Basic Listening: Basic Reading: Basic Writing: Basic
NO: You do not meet the above criteria for basic proficiency. Does not meet Basic Level. Does not meet Basic Level. Does not meet Basic Level. Does not meet Basic Level.

Proficiency Level – HIGH

You can communicate effectively in most social and work situations.

Speaking

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can communicate effectively in most daily practical and social situations, and in familiar routine work situations.
  • Can participate in conversations with confidence.
  • Can speak on familiar topics at both concrete and abstract levels (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Can provide descriptions, opinions and explanations; can synthesize abstract complex ideas, can hypothesize.
  • In social interaction, learner demonstrates increased ability to respond appropriately to the formality level of the situation.
  • Can use a variety of sentence structures, including embedded and report structures, and an expanded inventory of concrete, idiomatic and conceptual language.
  • Grammar and pronunciation errors rarely impede communication.
  • Discourse is reasonably fluent.
  • Uses phone on less familiar and some non-routine matters.

Performance Conditions

  • Interaction is with one or more people, face to face or on the phone. It is often at a normal rate.
  • Speech is partly predictable and does not always support the utterance.
  • Considerable level of stress affects performance when verbal interaction may result in personal consequences (e.g., on the job).
  • Audience is small familiar and unfamiliar informal groups.
  • Setting and context are familiar, clear and predictable.
  • Topic is familiar, concrete and abstract.
  • Pictures and other visuals are used.
  • Length of presentation is 15 to 20 minutes.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Interaction is face to face or on the phone.
  • Interaction is formal or semi-formal.
  • Learner can partially prepare the exchange.

Interaction in a group

  • Interaction takes place in a familiar group of up to 10 people.
  • The topic or issue is familiar, non-personal, concrete and abstract.
  • Interaction is informal or semi-formal.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

Interpersonal competencies

  • Introduce a person (e.g., guest, speaker) formally to a large unfamiliar audience.
  • Express/respond to a formal welcome/toast.
  • Express sympathy formally.
  • Respond to a minor conflict or complaint.
  • Comfort and reassure a person in distress.

Conversation management

  • Manage conversation. Check comprehension.
  • Use a variety of strategies to keep conversation going.
  • Encourage others to participate.

Phone competencies

  • Carry on a brief phone conversation in a professional manner.

Examples of tasks and tests

Interpersonal competencies

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Formally welcome or introduce a person (e.g., guest, speaker) to a large unfamiliar group.
  • Make a toast.
  • Express sympathy formally.
  • Respond to a minor conflict (e.g., acknowledge or clarify a problem, apologize, suggest a solution).

Conversation management

Can you follow? Is it clear? And what happened next? Did you want to comment, Li? How about you, Mary? What do you think, Tran?

Phone competencies

  • Workplace: Answer a routine business call; direct the call appropriately.

Performance Indicators

Interpersonal competencies

  • Introduces a person (e.g., guest, speaker) formally to a small familiar group.
  • Expresses/responds to a formal welcome or toast.
  • Expresses/responds to sympathy.
  • Responds to a minor conflict; comforts and reassures.
  • Uses appropriate non-verbal behaviour.
  • Adjusts conversation to appropriate formality level.

Conversation management

  • Manages conversation.
  • Checks if listener can follow.
  • Keeps conversation going with a range of strategies, including follow-up questions.
  • Includes others.

Phone competencies

  • Greets/identifies organization.
  • Provides clear information to simple routine questions.
  • Clarifies/confirms information.
  • Refers/transfers calls.
  • Closes conversation.
  • Speaks intelligibly.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Give/pass on instructions about an established familiar process or procedure (technical and non-technical).

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Workplace: Give instructions on how to administer first aid.
  • Give instructions/directions to tourists on points of interests, trails, museums, restaurants, etc.
  • Give instructions on operating a cash register.

Performance Indicators

  • Gives spoken directions.
  • (Conveys the sequence of steps; uses clear reference, correct stress and intonation: listener can follow the instructions.)
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Indicate problems and solutions in a familiar area.
  • Propose/recommend that certain changes be made in a familiar area.

Examples of tasks and texts

I think that the real question here is … In my opinion, the problem is …

  • Provide your opinions and suggestions as a respondent in a phone survey on health-care services or bank services, etc.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies the problem.
  • Indicates possible solutions.
  • Recommends best solution.
  • Provides required details.
  • Speaks intelligibly; listener can follow all details.
IV. Information

What the person can do

Presentations

  • Give a presentation to describe and explain a complex structure, system or process based on research. Use a diagram to support the explanations.
  • Tell a story, which includes an anecdote.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Ask for or provide detailed information related to personal needs, varied daily activities and routine work requirements.
  • Discuss options.

Interaction in a group

  • Participate in a debate/discussion/meeting on an abstract familiar topic or issue.
  • Express and analyse opinions and feelings.
  • Express doubts and concerns; oppose or support a stand or a proposed solution.

Examples of tasks and texts

Presentations

  • Study: Make a 15-minute oral presentation on the researched topic. Analyse opinions, synthesize information.
  • Present a summary of the weekly newscast.
  • Describe and explain the internal structures of organisms or objects, using cross-sectional sketches in a 20-minute formal presentation.
  • Compare two similar processes, (e.g., two processes of water treatment/purification).
  • Tell a story, including an anecdote.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Community, Study: Obtain multiple opinions about a medical condition, treatment options, prognosis.

Interaction in a group

  • Study: Discuss values and attitudes in different cultures (intercultural education).
  • Workplace: Participate in a group during a training meeting/workshop. Give a three-minute summary talk as a spokesperson for the group.

Performance Indicators

Presentations

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Expresses main ideas and supports them with details.
  • Provides an introduction, development and conclusion.
  • Narrates, describes coherently (agents, actions, circumstance, process and sequence are clear).
  • Provides accurate and detailed descriptions, explanations or account of events in the story sequence.
  • Uses style of presentation and formality in addressing the listener.
  • Demonstrates good use of complex structures, with only minor difficulties.
  • Demonstrates adequate vocabulary for the topic, including sufficient technical language to describe a process.
  • Speaks with adequate fluency and intelligibility.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Explains or asks about the nature of inquiry or concern and information needed.
  • Initiates questions to gather, analyse and compare information needed for some decision making.
  • Responds to questions with required information.
  • Summarizes and repeats the information.
  • Closes.
  • Speech is intelligible; listener can follow all details.

Interaction in a group

  • Participates in a seminar-style or business meeting (e.g., debate/discussion/meeting).
  • Expresses opinions, feelings, doubts and concerns.
  • Qualifies opinions, adds information, elaborates.
  • Opposes or supports a stand, idea, proposed solution.
  • Uses appropriate non-verbal behaviour.
Listening

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can comprehend main points, details, speaker’s purpose, attitudes, levels of formality and styles in oral discourse in moderately demanding contexts.
  • Can follow most formal and informal conversations, and some technical work-related discourse in own field at a normal rate of speech.
  • Can follow discourse about abstract and complex ideas on a familiar topic.
  • Can comprehend an expanded range of concrete, abstract and conceptual language.
  • Can determine mood, attitudes and feelings.
  • Can understand sufficient vocabulary, idioms and colloquial expressions to follow detailed stories of general popular interest.
  • Can follow clear and coherent extended instructional texts and directions.
  • Can follow clear and coherent phone messages on unfamiliar and non-routine matters.
  • Often has difficulty following rapid, colloquial/idiomatic or regionally accented speech between native speakers.

Performance Conditions

  • Tasks are in a standard format, with items to circle, match, fill in a blank, and complete a chart.
  • Learner is adequately briefed for focused listening.
  • Communication is face to face, observed live, or video- and audio-mediated (e.g., tape, TV, radio).
  • Speech is clear at a normal rate.
  • Instructions are clear and coherent.
  • Listening texts are monologues/presentations and dialogues (five to 10 minutes), within familiar general topics and technical discourse in own field.
  • Topics are familiar.
  • Presentation/lecture is informal or semi-formal with the use of pictures, visuals (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Learner is briefed for focused listening.
  • Speech is clear, at a normal rate.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

  • Identify stated and unspecified details about mood, attitude, situation and formality in discourse containing expression of and response to formal welcomes, farewells, toasts, congratulations on achievements and awards, sympathy and condolences.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Listen to videotaped casual dialogues, audiotaped and phone conversations containing expression of and response to formal welcomes, farewells, toasts, congratulations on achievements and awards, sympathy and condolences.
  • Identify specific factual details and inferred meanings.
  • Respond to questions, circle or check items, write in appropriate blanks, as required in the task.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies specific factual details and inferred meanings in video- and audio-mediated listening texts/discourse.
  • Identifies situation, relationships between participants and speaker’s purpose.
  • Identifies some attitudinal nuance, emotional tone and register of the text.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Follow an extended set of multistep instructions on technical and non-technical tasks for familiar processes or procedures.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Follow first aid or other emergency instructions by phone.
  • Follow instructions on the phone to install Internet software or other software on computer.

Performance Indicators

  • Follows instructions and completes a task.
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Identify stated and unspecified meanings in extended warnings, threats, suggestions and recommendations.
  • Evaluate the validity of a suggestion or proposed solution.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Listen to a teacher/supervisor evaluating someone’s performance; list specific details, suggestions and advice that are mentioned.
  • Listen to public announcements, commercials and infomercials that contain extended warnings, suggested solutions to problems or recommendations. Respond to questions according to task format (e.g., true/false, circle the correct answer, etc.).

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies main intent, main idea, factual details, words and expressions and inferred meanings in suasion oral texts as required.
  • Identifies functional value of utterances as warnings, threats, suggestions or recommendations.
  • Evaluates the validity of a suggestion or a proposed solution for a specific context.
IV. Information

What the person can do

  • Identify main idea (which is not explicitly stated), organization and specific details in extended oral presentations.
  • Identify facts, opinions and attitudes in conversations about abstract and complex ideas on a familiar topic.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study: Listen to a presentation on basic personality types, learning styles or lifestyles. Identify main idea, details and transition points in the presentation.
  • Listen to a conversation about public services (e.g., transit, library) or about ice climbing in the Rockies.
  • Identify facts, opinions and attitudes in the discourse by answering comprehension questions.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies the component parts of the presentation (e.g., introduction, etc.).
  • Identifies phrases and sentences that mark topic introduction, topic development, topic shift and conclusion.
  • Identifies main idea, which is not explicitly stated, and extracts detailed information from the text.
  • Identifies facts, opinions and attitudes in conversations about abstract ideas.
Reading

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can follow main ideas, key words and important details in an authentic two- to three-page text on a familiar topic, but within an only partially predictable context.
  • May read popular newspaper and magazine articles and popular easy fiction as well as academic and business materials.
  • Can extract relevant points, but often requires clarification of idioms and of various cultural references.
  • Can locate and integrate several specific pieces of information in visually complex texts (e.g., tables, directories) or across paragraphs or sections of text.
  • Text can be on abstract, conceptual or technical topics, containing facts, attitudes and opinions. Inference may be required to identify the writer’s bias and the purpose/function of text.
  • Learner reads in English for information, to learn the language, to develop reading skills.
  • Uses a unilingual dictionary when reading for precision vocabulary building.

Performance Conditions

  • Text is one page, five to 10 paragraphs long and is related to personal experience or familiar context.
  • Text is legible, easy to read; is in print or neat handwriting.
  • Instructions are clear and explicit, but not always presented step by step.
  • Pictures may accompany text.
  • Context is relevant, but not always familiar and predictable.
  • Text has clear organization.
  • Text content is relevant (e.g., commercials/advertising features, business/form letters, brochures).
  • Informational text is eight to 15 paragraphs long with clear organization in print or electronic form.
  • Pictures often accompany text.
  • Language is both concrete and abstract, conceptual and technical.
  • Text types: news articles, stories, short articles, reports, editorials, opinion essays.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction Texts

What the person can do

  • Obtain factual details and inferred meanings in moderately complex notes, e-mail messages and letters containing general opinions and assessments of situations, response to a complaint and expressions of sympathy.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Read authentic notes, e-mail messages and letters (personal and public) containing general opinions, assessments of current affairs, response to a complaint/conflict, or expression of sympathy. Identify correctly specific factual details/inferred meanings.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies specific factual details and inferred meanings in text.
  • Identifies purpose of text, context of the situation, reader-writer relationship.
  • Identifies mood/attitude of writer and register of the text.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Follow an extended set of multi-step instructions for established process.
  • Follow coherent extended instructional directions.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Workplace: Explain how to assemble a simple object, according to written instructions and diagrams.
  • Follow instructions for CPR and what to do in case of a serious injury in a car accident.

Performance Indicators

  • Follows an extended set of multi-step instructions for an established process or procedure.
  • Completes tasks.
III. Business/service texts

What the person can do

  • Identify factual and inferred meanings in written proposed solutions, recommendations and proposals; and in statements of rules, regulations, laws and norms of behaviour.
  • Locate and integrate three or four pieces of information contained in moderately complex formatted texts.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Workplace: Interpret selections from texts about safety precautions at a workplace (e.g., WHMIS: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System), by locating and integrating three to four pieces of information from the text.
  • Community, Workplace: Read and explain a written declaration of the rights and responsibilities of a client, customer, patient, student.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies main intent, main idea, factual details and some inferred meanings in the texts.
  • Identifies writer’s purpose/intent/attitude.
  • Identifies communicative value of text, and its parts.
  • Finds and integrates three or four pieces of specific information in extensive and visually complex directories.
IV. Informational texts

What the person can do

  • Demonstrate comprehension of factual details and inferred meanings in an extended description, report or narration when events are reported out of sequence. Draw conclusions.
  • Express in alternative forms verbal ideas and graphics contained in charts, graphs.

Information literacy/reference and study skills competencies

  • Access/locate several pieces of information in online electronic reference sources.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Study: Identify main ideas of a five- to 10-paragraph text about a current event; summarize the text into 150 to 200 words.
  • Based on the information, hypothesize how something may work or may have worked.
  • Based on the information, complete an unfinished classification/categorization diagram.
  • Interpret orally or in written text a process flow chart related to basic science or social science.
  • Community, Study, Workplace: Access/locate several pieces of information in online electronic reference sources.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies factual details and inferred meanings in text (70%-80%).
  • Identifies main idea.
  • Identifies organization of text, topic sentences and logical relationship links between paragraphs.
  • Follows the sequence of narration or process even when events are out of sequence.
  • Distinguishes facts from opinions.
  • Extracts detailed information.
  • Infers meaning of words from contextual clues.
  • Hypothesizes how something works.
  • Evaluates ideas in text, draws conclusions and expresses personal opinion.
  • Interprets key information in a diagram or graph as verbal text; transfers key ideas diagrammatic display.
  • Accesses/locates several pieces of information in online electronic reference sources.
  • Uses effective search strategy and tools.
Writing

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner demonstrates fluent ability in performing moderately complex writing tasks.
  • Can link sentences and paragraphs (three or four) to form coherent texts to express ideas on familiar abstract topics, with some support for main ideas, and with an appropriate sense of audience.
  • Can write routine business letters (e.g., letters of inquiry, cover letters for applications) and personal and formal social messages.
  • Can write down a set of simple instructions, based on clear oral communication or simple written procedural text of greater length.
  • Can fill out complex formatted documents.
  • Can extract key information and relevant detail from a page-long text and write an outline or a one-paragraph summary.
  • Demonstrates good control over common sentence patterns, coordination and subordination, and spelling and mechanics. Has occasional difficulty with complex structures (e.g., those reflecting cause and reason, purpose, comment), naturalness of phrases and expressions, organization and style.

Performance Conditions

  • Circumstances range from informal to more formal occasions.
  • Addressees are familiar.
  • Topics are of immediate everyday relevance.
  • Text is one or two short paragraphs in length.
  • Text to reproduce is one or two pages in legible handwriting or print, or may be a short oral text (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Texts are varied and may be of a specialized or technical nature.
  • Learner may fill out a teacher-prepared summary grid to aid note taking or summarizing.
  • Forms have over 40 items/pieces of information.
  • Messages are two or three paragraphs in length.
  • Brief texts required in pre-set formats are one to several sentences, up to one paragraph long.
  • Learner text is three or four paragraphs long, on non-personal, abstract but familiar topics and issues.
  • Where necessary for the task, learners must include information presented to them from other sources (e.g., photographs, drawings, reference text/research information, diagrams).

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social interaction

What the person can do

  • Convey a personal message in a formal short letter or note, or through e-mail, expressing or responding to sympathy; clarifying a minor conflict; or giving reassurance.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Write a personal note of sympathy to someone who has experienced a loss.
  • Community, Study, Workplace: Write an appropriate note or letter to address or to attempt to explain and resolve a minor conflict.

Performance Indicators

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Expresses main ideas and gives details.
  • Conveys a sense of audience: language, format and content are appropriate.
  • Demonstrates good use of complex structures.
  • Demonstrates adequate vocabulary for the topic.
II. Reproducing information

What the person can do

  • Write instructions about an established process or procedures given in a live demonstration, over the phone or from pre-recorded audio or video material.
  • Write an outline or a summary of a longer text.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Listen to oral instructions for, or a demonstration of, a complex recipe. Write accurate, neatly organized notes for other cooks.

Performance Indicators

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Conveys essential information to the reader.
  • Reduces information to main points, with accurate supporting details, with no major omission of important points or details.
  • Fills out all form sections with required information.
  • Conveys a sense of audience in language format and content.
  • Demonstrates good use and control of complex grammatical structures, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
  • Presents text in legible handwriting or print, with clear layout.
III. Business/service messages

What the person can do

  • Convey business messages as written notes, memorandums, letters of request, or work record log entries, to indicate a problem, to request a change, or to request information.
  • Fill out forms and other materials in pre-set formats with required brief texts.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Workplace: Write an effective personal résumé and a formal covering letter/letter of application for employment to a personnel/human resources manager. Ask for an interview.
  • Fill out application for employment forms of any length.
  • Community, Workplace: Write a report/memo in paragraph form (progress, action plan, incident, inspection, e.g., what has been discovered or why something is not working the way it should).

Performance Indicators

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Conveys essential information to the reader.
  • Reduces information to main points, with accurate supporting details, with no major omission of important points or details.
  • Fills out all form sections with required information.
  • Conveys a sense of audience in language format and content.
  • Demonstrates good use and control of complex grammatical structures, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
  • Presents text in legible handwriting or print, with clear layout.
IV. Presenting information and ideas

What the person can do

  • Write three or four paragraphs to narrate a historical event; to tell a story; to express or analyse opinions on a familiar abstract topic; or to provide a detailed description and explanation of a phenomenon or a process.
  • Write a paragraph to relate/explain information in a table, graph, flow chart or diagram.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Study, Workplace: In a three- or four-paragraph essay/composition, describe how a business (e.g., sawmill, furniture manufacturing plant, farm, bank, store, restaurant, courier service, commercial laundry, hospital kitchen, daycare, etc.) operates.
  • Study: Write a three- or four-paragraph essay/composition on a general, previously researched academic or work-related topic, to relate events, describe, explain, or express opinions or argue a point.
  • Write a paragraph to relate/explain information in a pie, line or bar graph, or in a process flow chart. Use a flow chart to describe a procedure or a process, in the correct sequence.

Performance Indicators

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Expresses main ideas and gives details.
  • Conveys a sense of audience.
  • Demonstrates good use of complex structures, with only minor difficulties.
  • Demonstrates adequate vocabulary.
  • Provides accurate and detailed descriptions/explanations in the report/story sequence.
  • Provides an introduction, development and conclusion, and paragraph structure.
  • Presents text as a coherent connected whole with good use of appropriate logical connectors (at the same time).
  • Demonstrates accurate spelling and punctuation; makes minor errors only.
  • Presents text in legible handwriting.

Proficiency Level – MODERATE

You can communicate comfortably in familiar social and work situations.

Speaking

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can communicate with some confidence in casual social conversations in some less routine situations on familiar topics of personal relevance.
  • Can communicate facts and ideas in some detail: can describe, report and provide simple narration.
  • Can use a variety of structures with some omission/reduction of elements (e.g., articles, past tense, morphemes). Grammar and pronunciation errors are frequent and may sometimes impede communication.
  • Can demonstrate a range of everyday vocabulary, some common phrases and idioms.
  • Can demonstrate discourse that is reasonably fluent, with frequent normal hesitations.
  • Can use the phone to communicate on familiar matters, but phone exchanges with strangers are stressful.

Performance Conditions

  • Interaction is face to face, or on the phone, with familiar and unfamiliar individuals and small informal groups.
  • Rate of speech is slow to normal.
  • Context is familiar, or clear and predictable.
  • Context is moderately demanding (e.g., real world environment, limited support from speaker).
  • Circumstances range from informal to more formal.
  • Setting or content is familiar, clear and predictable.
  • Topic is concrete and familiar.
  • Presentation is informal or formal.
  • Use of pictures or other visuals.
  • Presentation is five to seven minutes long.

Interactions one-on-one

  • Interactions are face to face or on the phone.
  • Interaction is formal or semi-formal.
  • Learner can partially prepare the exchange.

Interactions in a group

  • Interaction occurs in a familiar group of three to five people.
  • Topic or issue is familiar, non-personal, concrete.
  • Interaction is informal or semi-formal.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

Interpersonal competencies

  • Open, maintain and close a short, routine, formal conversation.
  • Introduce a person (e.g., guest, speaker) formally to a small familiar group.
  • Make or cancel an appointment or arrangement.
  • Express/respond to apology, regrets and excuses.

Conversation management

  • Indicate partial comprehension.
  • Take turns by interrupting.
  • Encourage conversation by adding supportive comments.
  • Avoid answering a question.

Phone competencies

  • Take phone messages with three to five details.

Examples of tasks and tests

Interpersonal competencies

Well, I should be going. I’ll let you get back to … See you tomorrow.

  • Community/Study/Workplace. Make/initiate simple small talk or small talk comment.
  • Introduce a person formally to a small familiar group.
  • Call to make or cancel an appointment. Give apologies and give reasons.
  • Apologize for small and larger mistakes in various situations.

Conversation management

Could you be more specific; explain in more detail; give an example of X. Pardon me, but … Sorry to interrupt, but … That’s good, great, nice. Good for you. I’m not really sure. I’m afraid I don’t know.

Phone competencies

Hello, Bob speaking … How are you? I’m afraid he’s not in. Can I take a message … Okay; I’ll give him the message … No problem … You’re welcome.

Performance Indicators

Interpersonal competencies

  • Indicates partial comprehension; asks clarifying questions.
  • Takes turns by interrupting appropriately.
  • Encourages conversation, repeating a key word or phrase.
  • Avoids answering a question.
  • Uses appropriate non-verbal behaviour.

Conversation management

  • Opens, maintains, closes a short formal conversation (four to five words).
  • Closes a conversation in three customary steps (pre-closing, closing, leave-taking).
  • Introduces a guest/speaker formally to a small familiar group.
  • Makes/cancels an appointment.
  • Expresses and responds to apology, regrets and excuses.
  • Uses appropriate non-verbal behaviour.

Phone competencies

  • Answers the phone appropriately.
  • Greets.
  • Clarifies and confirms accuracy of information.
  • Closes conversation.
  • Gets all the details in the message.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Give a set of instructions dealing with simple daily actions and routines where the steps are not presented as a point-form sequence of single clauses.

Examples of tasks and texts

Before depositing the slip in the deposit box, check if it is signed. The machine must be disconnected before you open it.

  • Explain how to make something or do something properly; give a short set of instructions (e.g., change a light bulb).

Performance Indicators

  • Gives spoken directions (uses correct sequence of steps, clear reference, correct stress and intonation: listener can follow the instructions).
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Make a simple formal suggestion; provide a reason.
  • Make a simple prediction of consequences.
  • Make a verbal request for an item.

Examples of tasks and texts

It’s cold — perhaps we should close the window. You shouldn’t … If we do X, Y will happen. I ordered X a while ago; I was wondering when it will be ready/if it’s ready yet.

Performance Indicators

  • Makes a simple formal suggestion; provides a reason.
  • Makes a simple prediction of consequences.
  • Renews a verbal request for the item or service needed.
IV. Information

What the person can do

Presentations

  • Relate a detailed sequence of events from the past; tell a detailed story, including reasons and consequences.
  • Describe and compare people, places, etc.
  • Describe a simple process.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Ask for and provide information in an interview related to daily activities.

Interaction in a group

  • Participate in a small group discussion/meeting on non-personal familiar topics and issues: express opinions, feelings, obligation, ability, certainty.

Examples of tasks and texts

Presentations

  • Study: Tell a detailed story that includes reasons and consequences.
  • Describe and compare two contemporary or historical figures or locations.
  • Give a detailed description of a simple process (e.g., the collection, sorting and distribution of mail at Canada Post).

Interaction one-on-one

  • Community, Study: Phone a library to inquire and obtain information about appropriate research materials and their availability; reserve materials.
  • Community: Express concerns, provide explanations, and seek advice in a parent-teacher interview.
  • Phone an airline and arrange a flight.

Interaction in a group

  • Study: Discuss current events in Canada.
  • Discuss researched topics on social, cross-cultural, or work-related issues.
  • Discuss aspects of Canadian culture and advice and suggestions based on “Dear …” advice columns.

Performance Indicators

Presentations

  • Presents information in a coherent, connected discourse.
  • Uses an introduction, development and conclusion.
  • Uses explicit markers/logical connectors (first, next, finally).
  • Uses simple grammatical structures, with clear present, past and future tenses.
  • Uses vocabulary adequately for topic.
  • Provides accurate and detailed descriptions.
  • Speaks with appropriate eye contact, body language, voice volume, rate, fluency and intelligibility.

Interaction one-on-one

  • Explains the nature of an inquiry and information needed.
  • Provides necessary details.
  • Asks relevant questions.
  • Summarizes and repeats back. Thanks for the help and information.
  • Speaks intelligibly; listener can follow.

Interaction in a group

  • Participates in a small group discussion/meeting.
  • Expresses opinions and feelings.
  • Expresses obligation, ability, certainty (e.g., have to, must, able/unable).
Listening

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can follow the main idea and identify key words and important details in oral discourse in moderately demanding contexts of language use (e.g., face-to-face formal and informal conversations, audiotapes and radio broadcasts) on relevant topics and at a slow to normal rate of speed.
  • Can understand a range of common vocabulary and a limited number of idioms.
  • Can follow conceptualized discourse related to common experiences and general knowledge.
  • Can understand conceptualized short sets of instructions and directions.
  • May still frequently request repetition.
  • Can follow simple, short, predictable phone calls.

Performance Conditions

  • Learner is adequately briefed for focused listening.
  • Communication is live, or video- and audio-mediated (e.g., tape).
  • Speech is clear and at a slow to normal rate.
  • Instructions are clear and explicit, used with some visual clues, but not always presented in a step-by-step form.
  • Listening texts are moderately short (five to eight exchange turns, each turn three to five sentences long, or two to five minutes), on familiar topics.
  • Some tasks require oral or physical response; some tasks are in a “guided” writing format (e.g., circle or match items, fill in the blanks, complete a chart, answer questions, etc.).
  • Learner may need one to two repetitions.
  • Presentation or interaction is live, informal or semi-formal.
  • Topic is concrete and familiar.
  • Setting and context are familiar.
  • Pictures and visuals are used.
  • Length of discourse is up to 10 minutes.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

  • Identify specific factual details and inferred meanings in dialogues containing openings and closings, making and canceling of appointments, apologies, regrets, excuses, problems in reception and communication.
  • Identify mood/attitude of participants.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, Study, Work: Listen to videotaped casual dialogues, audiotaped/phone conversations.
  • Identify specific factual details and inferred meanings. Respond to questions as required in the task.
  • Take phone/voice-mail messages.
  • Listen to short routine conversations. Identify the preclosing, closing, and leave-taking expression in each dialogue.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies specific factual details and inferred meanings in video- and audio-mediated listening texts/discourse as required.
  • Identifies mood/attitude of participants.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Understand a set of instructions when not presented completely in point form: sequence/order must be inferred from the text.

Examples of tasks and texts

Before depositing the slip in the deposit box, check if it is signed. The appliance must be disconnected prior to opening the cover.

  • Write down customer work order in point form (e.g., photo process, picture framing).

Performance Indicators

  • Understands clear spoken instructions as required.
  • Follows sequence markers and other linguistic clues in the text to comprehend the order of steps.
  • Completes task.
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Demonstrate comprehension of details and speaker’s purpose in suggestions, advice, encouragements and requests.

Examples of tasks and texts

Public announcements, commercials, infomercials.

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Listen to a two- to three-minute talk quiz house renovations suggestions.
  • Recall seven out of 10 important tips.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies factual details, words and expressions, and inferred meanings in suasion oral texts as required.
  • Identifies functional value of utterances as suggestions, advice, encouragements and requests.
IV. Information

What the person can do

  • Identify main ideas, supporting details, statements and examples in a descriptive or narrative presentation, or in a group interaction (e.g., meeting, discussion).
  • Suggest an appropriate conclusion to a story based on inference.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Listen to a two- to three-minute conversation, report, TV/radio news item. Recall 70% of the information: identify seven to 10 important points.
  • Listen to a two- to three-minute explanation of why certain food supplement products are more appropriate than others in a specific situation. Identify main statements and supporting examples, according to task format.
  • Listen to a story that includes explanations and examples. Number a set of pictures in sequence.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies factual details and inferred meanings in a listening text as required.
  • Gets main ideas, supporting details, statements and examples as required.
  • Suggests an appropriate conclusion based on inference: predicts what will happen next in a narration.
Reading

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can follow main ideas, key words and important details in a one-page (three to five paragraphs) plain language authentic prose and non-prose (formatted) text in moderately demanding contexts of language use.
  • Can locate three to five pieces of specific, detailed information in prose passages, charts and schedules for analysis, comparison and contrast.
  • Can read printed or legible handwritten notes, memos, letters, schedules and itineraries.
  • Can get new information about familiar topics from reading mostly factual texts with clear organization, and within familiar background knowledge and experience.
  • Language of the text is mostly concrete and factual, with some abstract, conceptual and technical vocabulary items, and may require low-level inference to comprehend it (e.g., learner may guess some new words by recognition of prefixes and suffixes).
  • Uses a concise unilingual ESL/EFL learner dictionary regularly.

Performance Conditions

  • Text is up to one page long and related to a personal or common experience, or a familiar context.
  • Text is legible, easy to read; is in print or neat handwriting.
  • Instructions are clear and explicit, for everyday situations, used with some visual clues, but not always presented in a step by step form.
  • Context is relevant and familiar.
  • Pictures occasionally accompany text.
  • Text has clear organizational structure.
  • Types of texts: forms, tables, schedules, directories, calendars, notices and announcements.
  • Text is three to five paragraphs long, with clear organization; is in printed or electronic form.
  • Passages are in plain language, with occasional idioms.
  • Language is mostly concrete and literal, but may also be abstract and technical.
  • Context and topic are often familiar; are sometimes related to personal experience; and are partly predictable to learner.
  • Text types: newspaper articles, educational content materials, stories, encyclopedia entries.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction Texts

What the person can do

  • Identify factual details in moderately complex notes, e-mail messages, letters and announcements containing cancellations of arrangements, apologies.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Obtain information from authentic notes, e-mail messages and letters; identify correctly specific factual details and inferred meanings (e.g., circle or check items, fill in blanks).
  • Community, Study: Obtain information from social announcements, reports and other social texts in the newspaper.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies specific factual details and inferred meanings in the texts.
  • Identifies purpose of text.
  • Identifies reader-writer relationship, attitude of writer and context.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Follow a set of common everyday instructions (up to 10 steps) when not presented completely in point form: sequence/order must be inferred.

Examples of tasks and texts

Before depositing the slip in the deposit box, check if it is signed. The appliance must be disconnected prior to opening the cover.

  • Community, Workplace: Explain instructions of use and warnings printed on the labels of common commercial/industrial chemical products (e.g., dishwasher detergent).

Performance Indicators

  • Follows instructions as required.
  • Carries out task.
III. Business/service texts

What the person can do

  • Identify factual details and some inferred meanings in moderately complex texts containing advice, requests, specifications.
  • Find two or three pieces of information in moderately complex formatted texts.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community: Explain the details in notices, announcements and newspaper coverage of public health issues (e.g., a disease).
  • Study: Scan a page in a continuing education community courses calendar; locate two to three pieces of information that match the requirements in another text.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies main intent, main idea, factual details and some inferred meanings in the texts.
  • Identifies writer’s purpose/intent/attitude.
  • Identifies communicative value of text, and its parts.
  • Finds two or three specific pieces of information by scanning five to 10 paragraphs, extensive directories or forms.
IV. Informational texts

What the person can do

  • Show comprehension of a one-page moderately complex descriptive/narrative text on a familiar topic.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of a cycle diagram, flow chart and a time line/schedule.
  • Information literacy/reference and study skills competencies
  • Access/locate/compare two or three pieces of information in a CD-ROM electronic reference source.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community, Study, Workplace: Read a report, interview, news item or a story that includes explanations and examples. Identify seven out of 10 important points. Retell the text in own words.
  • Study: Explain how something works (in nature or man-made) based on a text; relate the sequence of steps or stages in a cycle or process described in the text.
  • Use the information from a time line/schedule chart to solve a simple scheduling problem.
  • Access, locate and compare/contrast two or three pieces of information in a CD-ROM electronic reference source (e.g., dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases).

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies factual details and inferred meanings in text as required (70%-80%).
  • Identifies/states main idea and key details.
  • Retells or summarizes the story.
  • Relates sequence of steps in a cycle.
  • Guesses meaning of words and expressions from textual clues.
  • Predicts what will happen next in the text.
  • Interprets a cycle diagram and a time line/schedule chart.
  • Accesses, locates and compares two or three pieces of information in a CD-ROM electronic reference source.
Writing

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner demonstrates developing ability in performing moderately complex writing tasks.
  • Can effectively convey familiar information in familiar standard formats.
  • Can write one- or two-paragraph letters and compositions.
  • Can fill out detailed job application forms with short comments on previous experience, abilities and strengths, and form reports.
  • Can reproduce information received orally or visually, and can take simple notes from short oral presentations or from reference materials.
  • Can convey information from a table, graph or chart in a coherent paragraph.
  • Can write down everyday phone messages.
  • Demonstrates good control over simple structures, but has difficulty with some complex structures and produces some awkward-sounding phrases (word combinations).

Performance Conditions

  • Circumstances range from informal to more formal occasions.
  • Addressees are familiar.
  • Topics are of immediate everyday relevance.
  • Text is one or two short paragraphs.
  • Text to reproduce is up to one or one and one-half pages in legible handwriting or print, or may be a short oral text (10 to 15 minutes).
  • Texts are varied and may be of a specialized or technical nature.
  • Learner may fill out a teacher-prepared summary grid to aid note taking or summarizing.
  • Forms are moderately complex in format, 30 to 40 items long.
  • Messages are five to six sentences or one paragraph long.
  • Text is one to two paragraphs long on a familiar and personally relevant topic.
  • Where necessary for the task, learners must include information presented to them from other sources (e.g., photographs, drawings, reference text/research information, diagrams).

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social interaction

What the person can do

  • Convey a personal message in a formal short letter or note, or through e-mail, expressing or responding to congratulations, thanks, apology or offer of assistance.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Community, School, Workplace: Write an appropriate personal note to cancel an appointment because something unexpected has happened. Express inability, disappointment. Send your apologies.
  • Community: Write a personal note to thank someone for a special gesture.
  • Write a personal note to offer assistance to a friend or acquaintance.

Performance Indicators

  • Conveys the message: reader can follow the text.
  • Uses language and content that are appropriate and relevant to the occasion.
  • Conveys main ideas and supports them with detail in a basic paragraph structure.
  • Makes few errors in simple grammatical structures, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, format/layout.
II. Reproducing information

What the person can do

  • Take notes from an oral presentation or a page of written information.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Study: Take notes from a 10- to 15-minute oral/TV presentation on a general topic. Write down key information concisely and accurately.
  • Workplace: Take notes from an oral presentation on desirable qualifications employers look for in potential employees.
  • Community: Take notes from a talk on newcomer orientation/settlement issues.

Performance Indicators

  • Takes notes and reduces written or oral information to important points with accurate details.
  • Records names, addresses, numbers, dates, times, directions and other details with correct spelling, and in legible handwriting.
  • Copies important or new words and details off the board or screen (where relevant).
III. Business/service messages

What the person can do

  • Convey business messages as written notes.
  • Fill out moderately complex forms.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Community: Write a short letter of request to have your money returned for a guaranteed product that did not work to your satisfaction.
  • Fill out a short medical history form.
  • Workplace: Fill out a one- or two-page straightforward job application.

Performance Indicators

  • Conveys a clear message to the recipient.
  • Conveys a sense of audience in language and format.
  • Demonstrates good use and control of simple structures, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
  • Fills out forms with required information.
  • Spells and follows punctuation conventions.
IV. Presenting information and ideas

What the person can do

  • Write one or two paragraphs to relate a familiar sequence of events, tell a story; provide a detailed description and comparison of people, places, objects and animals, plants, materials, or routines; or describe a simple process.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Study, Workplace: Give a detailed description of a simple process (e.g., the collection, sorting and distribution of mail at Canada Post).
  • Study: Write a detailed story or report an incident based on a series of pictures, a film clip or a personal experience.
  • Describe and compare two simple science experiments.
  • Community, Study, Workplace: Word-process, revise, edit, format and print texts using a computer, if available.

Performance Indicators

  • Addresses the purpose of the task.
  • Expresses main ideas and supports them with details.
  • Demonstrates good control of simple grammatical structures, and some difficulty with complex structures.
  • Demonstrates adequate vocabulary for the topic.
  • Provides accurate descriptions, comparisons, account of events in the report/story, sequence of stages in a process.
  • Provides an introduction, development and conclusion, and an adequate paragraph structure in the text.
  • Uses appropriate logical connectors.
  • Demonstrates accurate spelling and punctuation; makes minor errors only.
  • Presents text in legible handwriting or print.

Proficiency Level – BASIC

You can communicate in predictable contexts and on familiar topics, but with some difficulty.

Speaking

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can take part in short routine conversations about needs and familiar topics of personal relevance with supportive listeners.
  • Can communicate basic needs and personal experience.
  • Can ask and respond to simple familiar questions.
  • Can describe a situation, tell a simple story, describe the process of obtaining essential goods (e.g., purchasing, renting) or services (e.g., medical). Uses a variety of short sentences.
  • Demonstrates control of basic grammar (basic structures and tenses).
  • Uses correct past tense with many common verbs.
  • Demonstrates adequate vocabulary for routine everyday communication.
  • Clear evidence of connected discourse (and, but, first, next, then, because).
  • Pronunciation difficulties may impede communication.
  • Needs only a little assistance.
  • Can use the phone only for very short, simple, predictable exchanges, communication without visual support is very difficult for him or her.

Performance Conditions

  • Interaction is face to face, with one person at a time or in a familiar supportive group.
  • Interaction on the phone is rare and brief.
  • Speech rate is slow to normal.
  • Verbal communication is strongly supported by gestures and other visual clues.
  • Instructions and directions have only three to four steps and are sometimes supported with hand gestures.
  • Learner’s speech is guided by specific questions from the interlocutor if needed.
  • Interaction is empathetic and supportive.
  • Topics are about common everyday matters.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

  • Open, close and respond to short casual small talk.
  • Introduce two persons.
  • Take leave appropriately.
  • Answer the phone.
  • Leave a short simple message.

Examples of tasks and tests

Nice to see you. How are you doing? Nice day. Have a good day. See you soon. This is Ela, my sister. Sorry, you’ve got the wrong number. Vi is not home. Can you call later?

  • Leave a simple voice mail message: This is … Please call me back. My number is … Thank you.

Performance Indicators

  • Opens, develops and closes short small-talk conversation, as appropriate to the situation (casually or more formally).
  • Introduces a person to one or two individuals.
  • Handles basic phone situations and standard replies.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Give sets of simple everyday instructions and directions.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Tell someone where to find something or someone; give directions how to get there.
  • Give instructions on how to set an alarm clock, use a tape recorder and play a video.

Performance Indicators

  • Gives simple directions.
  • Listener can follow the directions.
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Request, accept or reject goods or services, assistance or offer in a service or sales situation.
  • Respond to warnings.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Obtain a service or purchase; return or exchange goods in a transaction.
  • Respond to warnings on simple by-law violations (e.g., You can’t park here. Please remove your car. Smoking is not allowed.).

Performance Indicators

  • Responds to openings, routine questions and closings in a service or sales transaction discourse.
  • Provides required information/description of item. Asks relevant questions about price, availability, location, appearance, function.
  • Responds to warnings.
IV. Information

What the person can do

  • Relate a story about an everyday activity.
  • Express preference, satisfaction/dissatisfaction.

Examples of tasks and texts

Yes, this is right. It is okay. That’s fine. No, I’m sorry, this is not right. I don’t like this; I prefer that.

  • Tell a story about obtaining goods or services (e.g., about registering a child in a daycare or going to the doctor).

Performance Indicators

  • Relates the story about an everyday activity in a coherent narrative (connected discourse).
  • Listener can follow the story.
  • Expresses need, preference, satisfaction/dissatisfaction.
Listening

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can follow, although with considerable effort, simple formal and informal conversations and other listening texts/discourse on topics of immediate personal relevance at a slower to normal rate of speech.
  • Can recognize many topics by familiar words and phrases.
  • Can follow simple, short, direct questions related to personal experience and general knowledge.
  • Can understand many common everyday instructions and directions related to the immediate context.
  • Can follow simple, short, predictable phone messages.
  • Often requests repetition.
  • Needs a little assistance (such as speech modification or explanation).

Performance Conditions

  • Listening texts are short monologues, presentations and dialogues (several exchange turns) on familiar everyday topics.
  • Speech is clear and at a slow to normal rate.
  • Learner has been adequately briefed for focused listening.
  • Communication is face to face or video- and audio-mediated (e.g., tape).
  • Instructions are clear and explicit, used with some visual clues. They are mostly simple and compound clauses containing longer phrases of location, movement and manner.
  • Some tasks require oral or physical response.
  • Some tasks are in a “guided” writing format (e.g., circle or match items, fill-in blanks).
  • Learner may require an occasional repetition.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction

What the person can do

  • Identify specific factual details and inferred meanings in dialogues of casual small talk, introductions, leave-taking, and in short phone calls.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Identify correctly specific factual details and inferred meanings in a videotaped small talk; introductions or leave-taking; or in a taped phone conversation by responding correctly to comprehension questions.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies specific factual details and inferred meanings in video- and audio-mediated listening texts/discourse as required.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Follow sets of sequentially presented four- to five-clause everyday instructions and directions relating to movement and position in space, manner, frequency and duration.

Examples of tasks and texts

In the middle cabinet, top shelf. On the diagonal between the upper left and lower right corner. A quarter of the way from the centre in each direction.

  • Locate items on diagrams, maps and in real space following verbal directions.
  • Correct the order of steps in a recipe following verbal directions.

Performance Indicators

  • Follows instructions and directions relating to movement and position in space, manner, frequency and duration.
III. Suasion (getting things done)

What the person can do

  • Demonstrate comprehension of mostly factual details and some inferred meanings in persuasive oral texts.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Public announcements, commercials, infomercials.
  • Identify meanings, according to task requirements (e.g., true/false, answer the question, circle the correct answer, etc.).

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies main intent, main idea, factual details, words and expressions, and inferred meanings in persuasive oral texts as required.
IV. Information

What the person can do

  • Demonstrate comprehension of mostly factual details and some inferred meanings in a story about obtaining goods or services; a report or a forecast; a news item.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Listen to a story about shopping, getting an appliance repaired, arranging travel, etc.; a weather report/forecast, traffic report; a radio/TV news item.
  • Complete a related task (e.g., true/false).

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies factual details and inferred meanings in a listening text as required.
  • Gets the gist, detail, key words and expressions as required.
Reading

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner is able to read a simple two- to three-paragraph passage within a mostly familiar, predictable context of daily life and experience: simple narrative, biographical or descriptive prose, set of simple instructions, plain language news items, classified ads, sales promotion coupons and flyers.
  • Can locate, compare and contrast one or more specific pieces of information in larger texts.
  • Is able to use low-level inference and to tolerate some ambiguity (e.g., when guessing the meaning of the unknown words in the text).
  • Uses a bilingual dictionary almost constantly.
  • Reads in English for information, to learn the language and to develop reading skills.
  • Can read silently for meaning, with little visible or audible vocalization efforts, but reads slowly.

Performance Conditions

  • Text length: two or three paragraphs.
  • Language is mostly concrete, factual and literal, with some abstract vocabulary items.
  • Most words are familiar to the learner.
  • Instructions are common everyday instructions without pictures.
  • Prose passages (narrative, biographical or descriptive) can be related to personal experience. News items are in plain language, with few idioms.
  • Context is often familiar and partly predictable; pictures occasionally accompany text.
  • Handwritten text is legible, in print-like handwriting.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social Interaction Texts

What the person can do

  • Get information from personal notes, e-mail messages and letters.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Read an authentic note, e-mail message or letter; answer seven to 10 questions about the text.

Performance Indicators

  • Gets the gist of the note or letter.
  • Gets key information/main idea from texts.
  • Identifies important details/specific information as required.
II. Instructions

What the person can do

  • Follow one- to six-step common everyday instructions and instructional texts.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Properly sequenced instructions on how to make a long distance call or how to use the automatic teller machine.
  • Follow instructions on employment forms.
  • Sequence a simple five- to eight-line recipe.

Performance Indicators

  • Follows the one- to six-step instructions.
  • Numbers steps in sequence.
III. Business/service texts

What the person can do

  • Find information in formatted texts: forms, tables, schedules, directories.
  • Get information from short business brochures, notices, form letters and flyers.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Use a bus route map to match several bus stops with arrival/departure times.
  • Use the White Pages to locate the closest medical clinic/emergency service.
  • Find an ad to match your list of apartment requirements.

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies layout of forms; finds specific information.
  • Gets overall meaning; identifies type and purpose of text.
  • Gets key information and specific details from verbal text and graphics or a simple graph.
  • Finds information in complex directories, dictionaries, maps. Identifies main idea, key and supporting details.
  • Identifies links between paragraphs.
  • Compares facts to make choices.
  • Predicts, guesses meaning.
  • Distinguishes facts from opinions.
IV. Informational texts

What the person can do

  • Get the gist, key information and important details of simple, explicit two- to three-paragraph texts (e.g., news articles, educational content materials, stories).
  • Use standard reference texts: dictionaries, maps and diagrams, graphs.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Read a short newspaper article: answer seven to 10 questions.
  • Label a diagram using information in a text.
  • Give a text an appropriate and informative title.
  • Identify the percentage of Canadians who are first-generation immigrants by looking at a simple pictorial graph (e.g., a pie graph).

Performance Indicators

  • Identifies layout of forms; finds specific information.
  • Gets overall meaning; identifies type and purpose of text.
  • Gets key information and specific details from verbal text and graphics or a simple graph.
  • Finds information in complex directories, dictionaries, maps. Identifies main idea, key and supporting details.
  • Identifies links between paragraphs.
  • Compares facts to make choices.
  • Predicts, guesses meaning.
  • Distinguishes facts from opinions.
Writing

Global Performance Descriptor

  • Learner can effectively convey in writing simple ideas and information about personal experience within predictable contexts of everyday needs.
  • Can write simple descriptions and narration of events, stories, future plans about self and family, or other highly familiar topics.
  • Can write short messages; postcards, notes, directions, and letters.
  • Can fill out simple application forms.
  • Can copy information from dictionaries, encyclopedias, and manuals.
  • Can take a slow, simple dictation with frequent repetitions.
  • Shows ability to use successfully one-clause sentences or coordinated clauses with basic tenses.

Performance Conditions

  • Circumstances range from informal to more formal occasions.
  • Addressee is familiar.
  • Topics are of immediate everyday relevance.
  • Letter is one paragraph long.
  • Note is three to five sentences long.
  • Texts to copy are one to two paragraphs, with easy layout, in legible handwriting or print.
  • Texts may come from various sources and may be of a more specialized or technical nature.
  • Forms are simple in format, 20 items long.
  • Text is one paragraph long, on a familiar and personally relevant topic.

Competency Outcomes and Standards

I. Social interaction

What the person can do

  • Convey personal messages in an informal or formal personal short letter or a note to express invitations, thanks, regrets, cancellations and apologies.

Examples of tasks and tests

  • Write a short letter to your friend to tell her or him about your new apartment, car, job or trip.
  • Write a formal invitation for a special family function (e.g., housewarming party, graduation, wedding, special birthday, etc.).
  • Write a personal note to thank your host for a dinner or a party.

Performance Indicators

  • Conveys the message: reader can follow.
  • Uses language and content that are appropriate to the occasion, intent and social context.
  • Uses simple grammar structures, punctuation and spelling with few errors.
  • Conveys main ideas and supports them with detail in a basic paragraph structure.
II. Recording information

What the person can do

  • Copy short texts to record information for personal use, or to complete tasks, or to learn information.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Copy definitions from two to three different sources (e.g., dictionaries or encyclopedias), and compare them.
  • Copy information about a product or service from catalogues, directories, instructions and manuals for comparison purposes.

Performance Indicators

  • Competently copies information, including capitalization, lower case, punctuation, and phonetic and other notations.
  • Has legible handwriting or printing. Makes no major omissions in copying information. There are only a few occasional copying mistakes or slight uncertainty in decoding.
III. Business/service messages

What the person can do

  • Fill out simple forms.
  • Convey simple business messages as written notes.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Fill out an application form: car rental, direct deposit request.
  • Write a short note to your child’s teacher notifying her or him about an absence.
  • Write down a message from one person to pass on to another.

Performance Indicators

  • Fills out form with required information.
  • Spells and follows punctuation conventions.
  • Has legible handwriting or printing. Makes no major omissions in providing information.
  • Conveys a simple message.
  • Uses simple structures with few errors in grammar.
IV. Presenting information

What the person can do

  • Write a short text about a personal or familiar situation, event, personal experience, future plans. Explain reasons.

Examples of tasks and texts

  • Describe an event or tell a story (e.g., write about coming to Canada).
  • Write about your work experience in the past.
  • Write about what you would like to do and why (e.g., future plans and the reasons for them).

Performance Indicators

  • Describes a situation: reader can follow.
  • Conveys main ideas, supporting detail.
  • Uses basic paragraph structure.
  • Uses simple structures; few errors.
  • Uses adequate vocabulary for the topic.
  • Spells correctly; follows punctuation conventions.
  • Has legible handwriting or printing.

Calculate your language points

Use the descriptions from the table above to rate your language proficiency.

First Official Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
High proficiency 4 4 4 4
Moderate proficiency 2 2 2 2
Basic proficiency 1 1 1 1
No proficiency 0 0 0 0

Please Note: You can score a maximum of only two points in total for basic-level proficiency.

Second Official Language Speaking Listening Reading Writing
High proficiency 2 2 2 2
Moderate proficiency 2 2 2 2
Basic proficiency 1 1 1 1
No proficiency 0 0 0 0

Please Note: You can score a maximum of only two points in total for basic-level proficiency.

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