Learning English

Free Language Training Programs in Toronto

There are many different programs to help you learn English and to help you improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  In Toronto West there are full-time classes during the day and part-time classes during the day or evening.  There are also some classes offered on weekends.  Instruction is provided by school boards, community organizations and some community colleges.

I am a Newcomer. How can I learn English?

Newcomers who want to enroll in a language program for the first time should contact a Language Assessment Centre.  You will complete an assessment and then meet with the assessor to select a class that is the best fit for you.  Following the assessment, most newcomers enroll in LINC classes.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

LINC classes are for Permanent Residents (PR card holders), Landed Immigrants, or Convention Refugees, aged 18 years or older.  There is no cost to attend.  If you are a Refugee Claimant, a Canadian Citizen, a Live-in Caregiver or a temporary resident (student, worker or visitor), you are not eligible for LINC classes. See the information below about ‘English as a Second Language’ classes.

LINC classes offered at a wide range of levels, for beginners who speak little or no English as well as more advanced learners who need to refine their grammar or pronunciation.  There are also LINC classes with special focus, such as English for everyday life, academic preparation, test preparation (TOEFL/IELTS), and English for employment.

As a LINC student, you are eligible for free child care for your children, aged 6 months to 5 years, during the time that you are in class (provided that there are spaces available).  Most language training centres offer on-site child care.

For more information about LINC, contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre.

Enhanced Language Training (ELT)

If you have intermediate English skills (Canadian Benchmark Level 6 or higher) and are looking for work, Enhanced Language Training (ELT) classes can help you improve your English skills and gain knowledge or experience in your professional field.

ELT programs combine advanced, workplace-focused language instruction with the opportunity to connect with professionals in your field.  ELT participants receive job search support from employment coaches and job developers. Some ELT programs include unpaid work placement.

Adults who are Permanent Residents (PR card holders) or Convention Refugees and eligible to work in Canada may register for ELT programs.  For more information, contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre.

I am a Canadian Citizen.  How can I learn English?

Individuals who have become Canadian Citizens can enroll in English as a Second Language classes or participate in conversation circles (link to directory).  If you have never enrolled in an English class before, or if it has been more than 6 months since you left a class, you must contact a Language Assessment Centre for a referral.

English as a Second Language classes (ESL)

ESL classes are for adults who want to learn English or improve their English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Classes are offered at many levels, from beginner to advanced.  Some ESL classes have a special focus, such as:

  • English skills for the workplace/ for business
  • Academic English for people who want to go to college or university
  • TOEFL/TWE preparation
  • Preparation for the Citizenship test
  • English for students with special learning needs

ESL classes are offered full-time (every day) or part-time, in the morning, afternoon and evening, as well as on weekends.

Eligibility:  ESL classes are open to Permanent Residents (PR card holders), Convention Refugees, Refugee Claimants and Live-in Caregivers, aged 18+, whose first language is not English or French.

Registration:  If you have never been in a language instruction program in Ontario, or if it has been 6 months since you were last in a language class, you must contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre to determine which classes are the best fit for you.

I am a Refugee Claimant. How can I learn English?

Refugee Claimants are eligible to enroll in English as a Second Language classes or participate in conversation circles (link to directory).  If you have never enrolled in an English class before, or if it has been more than 6 months since you left a class, you must contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre for a referral.

English as a Second Language classes (ESL)

ESL classes are for adults who want to learn English or improve their English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Classes are offered at many levels, from beginner to advanced.  Some ESL classes have a special focus, such as:

  • English skills for the workplace/ for business
  • Academic English for people who want to go to college or university
  • TOEFL/TWE preparation
  • Preparation for the Citizenship test
  • English for students with special learning needs

ESL classes are offered full-time (every day) or part-time, in the morning, afternoon and evening, as well as on weekends.

Eligibility:  ESL classes are open to Permanent Residents (PR card holders), Convention Refugees, Refugee Claimants and Live-in Caregivers, aged 18+, whose first language is not English or French.

Registration:  If you have never been in a language instruction program in Ontario, or if it has been 6 months since you were last in a language class, you must contact a Language Assessment Centre to determine which classes are the best fit for you.

I am a Live-In Caregiver.  How can I learn English?

Live-in Caregivers are eligible to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes or participate in conversation circles (link to directory).  If you have never enrolled in an English class before, or if it has been more than 6 months since you left a class, you must contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre for a referral.

English as a Second Language classes (ESL)

ESL classes are for adults who want to learn English or improve their English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.  Classes are offered at many levels, from beginner to advanced.  Some ESL classes have a special focus, such as:

  • English skills for the workplace/ for business
  • Academic English for people who want to go to college or university
  • TOEFL/TWE preparation
  • Preparation for the Citizenship test
  • English for students with special learning needs

ESL classes are offered full-time (every day) or part-time, in the morning, afternoon and evening, as well as on weekends.

Eligibility:  ESL classes are open to Permanent Residents (PR card holders), Convention Refugees, Refugee Claimants and Live-in Caregivers, aged 18+, whose first language is not English or French.

Registration:  If you have never been in a language instruction program in Ontario, or if it has been 6 months since you were last in a language class, you must contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre to determine which classes are the best fit for you.

I am a Professional. How can I improve my English skills for work?

Please review the OSLT and ELT information presented below

Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT)

OSLT programs are designed to help newcomer professionals with intermediate English gain additional communication skills for the workplace in their particular professional field.  You will learn how to interact with co-workers, clients and managers; how to communicate effectively in person, over the phone and by e-mail; how to best represent your strengths and skills in a resume, interview or when networking with other professionals.

In additional to language and communications training, OSLT programs offer you an opportunity to learn about your particular field of work in Canada.

A range of OSLT programs are offered by colleges in Toronto.  Areas of professional focus include Technology (IT/Architecture), Project Management, Engineering

To be eligible, you must be a Permanent Resident with intermediate English skills (Canadian Language Benchmark level 6-8) and professional work experience in the particular field of the course.  For more information:  http://co-oslt.org

Enhanced Language Training (ELT)

If you have intermediate English skills (Canadian Benchmark Level 6 or higher) and are looking for work, Enhanced Language Training (ELT) classes can help you improve your English skills and gain knowledge or experience in your professional field.

ELT programs combine advanced, workplace-focused language instruction with the opportunity to connect with professionals in your field.  ELT participants receive job search support from employment coaches and job developers. Some ELT programs include unpaid work placement.

Adults who are Permanent Residents (PR card holders) or Convention Refugees and eligible to work in Canada may register for ELT programs.  For more information, contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre.

I work during the day.  How can I learn English?

Please consider classes and / or home study as outlined below.

Evening and Weekend Classes

Both LINC and ESL classes are offered in the evening and some are offered on weekends.  To learn about classes that fit with your schedule, contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre.

Some conversation circles meet in the evening and provide an opportunity for you to practice your speaking and listening skills.

You may also want to consider whether learning from home is a good fit with your schedule and learning style.

LINC Home Study

Permanent Residents (PR card holders) and Convention Refugees are eligible to enroll in LINC Home Study, a free English language training program for newcomers to Canada who cannot attend regular classes. Students study online or by correspondence and work one-on-one with a teacher each week.

To be referred to the LINC Home Study program, you must book an appointment at a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre to test your English language skills and confirm your eligibility. Minimum levels for entry are CLB 3 for listening and speaking and CLB 2 for reading and writing.  Go to www.linchomestudy.ca for more information.

Are there classes for adults who do not understand any English?

Yes, please learn about bilingual classes as presented below.

Bilingual Classes

There are a small number of classes where the instructors speak English as well as the language spoken by the students. Contact a YMCA Language Assessment & Referral Centre for details.

 

 

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