Language Proficiency Assessments

Information about Institutional CanTEST
Scheduling an Institutional CanTEST
Preparing for the Institutional CanTEST
Information About Other Language Proficiency Assessments
⇒ Information about CELBAN
⇒ Information about placement test for International Students
  • International Students who decide to take English Language classes at the Red River College Language Training Centre must take the OWLS test to determine their communicative ability in English. When assessing communicative ability, we assess students’ ability to express ideas in English. The OWLS test, a test of Oral and Written Language Skills, consists of two parts: the Writing Test and the Speaking test. The results of the test are reported as Canadian Language Benchmarks. You can read more about CLBs here.

 

For questions about assessments, please send an email to assessmentLTC@rrc.ca

 


What do the language levels mean?

 

Length of time to become language-ready for RRC

  • The information below will give you an idea of how long it might take for you to become language-ready for your academic program at RRC. (Remember, it’s not the test scores that matter; the important thing is the language skills that those scores represent.)

 

  • CLB 2 – 3 / Below IELTS 5.0 / Below CanTEST 3.0 / Below iBT TOEFL 60
    • You might need four consecutive 4-month terms. At this stage, you are beginning to create and understand simple and basic language in routine and non-demanding contexts (including basic needs, common and everyday activities, and familiar topics).

 

  • CLB 3 – 4 / Below IELTS 5.0 / Below CanTEST 3.0 / Below iBT TOEFL 60
    • You might need three or four consecutive 4-month terms. At this stage, you are gaining control over some of the basic language structures in routine and non-demanding contexts (including basic needs, common and everyday activities, and familiar topics), and beginning to develop some control over moderately complex language.

 

  • CLB 5 – 6 / IELTS 5.0 – 5.5 / CanTEST 3.0 / iBT TOEFL 60
    • You might need two or three consecutive 4-month terms. At this stage, you are developing some control over moderately complex language in moderately demanding contexts of language use. You are developing the ability to function independently in many familiar situations of daily social, educational and work-related life experience.

 

  • CLB 6 – 7 / IELTS 5.5 – 6.0 / CanTEST 3.5 / iBT TOEFL 70
    • You might need one or two consecutive 4-month terms, (Note: Your instructor will consider many factors when determining your language readiness for RRC programs. Some factors include your education background, your professional experience, and your motivation to improve your language skills.) At this stage, you are gaining control over moderately complex language in moderately demanding contexts of language use. You are developing the ability to function independently in most familiar situations of daily social, educational and work-related life experience, and in some less predictable contexts.

 

  • CLB 7 – 8 / IELTS 6.0 – 6.5 / CanTEST 4.0 / iBT TOEFL 75
    • You might need one 4-month term. (Note: Your instructor will consider many factors when determining your language readiness for RRC programs. Some factors include your education background, your professional experience, and your motivation to improve your language skills.) At this stage, you are completing control over moderately complex language in moderately demanding contexts of language use. You can function independently in most familiar situations of daily social, educational and work-related life experience, and in some less predictable contexts.

 

  • CLB 8 + / IELTS 6.5+ / CanTEST 4.5 / iBT TOEFL 80
    • You are most likely language-ready for entry into academic programs. At this stage, you are usually able to communicate effectively, appropriately, accurately and fluently in a wide range of contexts and situations, from predictable to unfamiliar, in communicatively demanding contexts.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

How do I move to a higher level in my English program?

  • This is based on demonstrated progress in class. This means how well you can use English to communicate effectively in all four language skill areas (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

 

How long will it take you to become language-ready for RRC?

  • It depends on many factors:
    • Initial placement test results (CLB Levels)
    • Personal motivation (demonstrated by initiative taken in a variety of situations)
    • Rate of progress
    • Academic and professional background

 

I didn’t do well in my placement test. Can I do it again?

  • No. If for some reason you weren’t able to do your best on the test (jet lag, sickness, extreme nervousness, etc.), and your instructor feels your English is at a higher level, you may be placed in a different class.

 

I’m in the wrong level of English class. What should I do?

  • If you feel this way during the first few days of class, please be patient and wait for at least a week. Then have a discussion with your instructor. If your instructor agrees, every effort will be made to place you in a different class.
  • If you feel this way after a month or so, speak to your instructor. If there is no possibility to be placed in a different class, your instructor might be able to give you more challenging learning opportunities.

 

Why do RRC programs have different language requirements?

  • Each program has its own unique environment and “culture”, set of expectations, level of participation required, set of industry standards, set of academic demands, etc.

 

Why did my friend begin his RRC program before I did?

  • Each student is a unique “package”, with different levels of risk-taking, motivation, rate of progress, ability to comprehend and be understood by others, academic abilities, etc.
  • Sometimes it is difficult for individuals to self-assess accurately. It is hard for people to accurately gauge whether they are accurately understanding everything they hear and read, and whether they are actually communicating their intended meaning orally and in writing.

 

What does it mean to be language-ready for RRC?

  • It means having the minimum language abilities in the four skill areas (listening, speaking, reading and writing) so that you can concentrate fully on the content of the program, participate adequately in class, and achieve the skills and success in the program that you need to get a job and keep it.