Language classes funded by the Government of Canada

LINC: Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada

The LINC program is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You do not have to pay to for LINC classes. LINC provides basic language skills. In Ontario, the LINC program is generally offered in English. LINC offers both full- and part-time classes, and some centres have free child-minding while you attend classes.

  • Registration LINC
    If you are eligible for the LINC program, you have to take a test to determine your English language level. It is free to take the test. You need to make an appointment before you go. After you take the test, you will be placed into the best LINC class to meet your needs. The LINC program uses the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) to describe your English language level in reading, writing, listening and speaking.Eligibility for the LINC program in Ontario
    • Permanent Resident of Canada
    • Convention Refugee
    • Person in Canada whose application for Permanent Resident status (You have approval-in-principle)
    • At least 18 years old; and
    • Take a language assessment test at a Language Assessment Centre
  • Documents for assessment test date:
    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence and Photo ID (Passport)
    • PR Card
    • Notice of Decision Letter

Useful Link

·         LINC Information
·         LINC Assessment
·         TDSB LINC
·         YRDSB LINC


English as second language(ESL) program 

There are many different kinds of ESL programs. They are designed for people with different goals and levels of English. Before you sign up for a language program, make sure it is the right one for you.

Types of ESL Program

  • Enhanced Language Training (ELT) – Programs that provide job-specific, advanced-level English training to adults. ELT is particularly useful for internationally-trained professionals.
  • English linked skills programs – Classes that help learners develop English language skills while learning other business or technical skills, such as typing or computer skills.
  • English Literacy Development (ELD) programs – Classes for people who speak a language other than English and do not read or write very well in any language. Literacy classes help to improve reading, writing and basic math skills in English.
  • English for special purposes programs – Classes that focus on language skills related to specific areas of interest (for example, workplace, or academic reading and writing).
  • English for special purposes programs – Classes that focus on language skills related to specific areas of interest (for example, workplace, or academic reading and writing).
  • Job preparation programs – Programs that provide ESL training for those getting ready for a job.
  • Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) – A program offered at no cost to eligible adult learners by the Government of Canada.
  • Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) – Free courses for eligible internationally-trained professionals and tradespeople at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level 6-8 to improve communications skills for work. Offered at 14 colleges.
  • Test preparation classes – Classes that help you prepare for certain English ability tests, such as TOEFL or IELTS.


  • Canadian Citizen (born outside of Canada)
  • Permanent Resident
  • Convention Refugee
  • Refugee Claimant
  • Provincial Nominee
  • Canadian Experience Class participant
  • Live-In Caregiver Program participant
  • Visitors: $7 per hour

Elementary and Secondary School

Ontario JK-Gr.12 School System

In Ontario, the Education Act governs that all children ages 6-18 must attend school. Many children can begin full day kindergarten program at age 4.

Elementary schools provide full day kindergarten programs for children aged 4 and 5. They also provide instruction from grades 1 – 8. Generally, students begin elementary school at 6 years of age and graduate at 13.

Secondary schools, often called “high schools,” provide instruction from grades 9 – 12. Generally, students begin high school at 14 years of age and graduate at 18. To graduate from high school and receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) students must:

  • Earn 30 credits – 18 credits are compulsory. This means that students must take 18 courses from a list of required subjects. The remaining 12 credits are optional. Students choose their optional courses from the full range of courses that their school offers.
  • Pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
  • Complete 40 hours of community involvement (volunteer work)

The high school program is based on a credit system. Students get 1 credit for every 110-hour course successfully completed.

School systems in Ontario

In Ontario, there are 4 publicly-funded school systems

  • English Public
  • English Catholic
  • French-language Public
  • French-language Catholic

Publicly-funded schools are managed by district school boards. English Public elementary and secondary schools, and English Catholic secondary schools are open to all students.

Catholic elementary schools are open to all students who are baptized as Roman Catholic and to children who have 1 or 2 Roman Catholic parents. Some English Catholic school boards might admit non-Catholic students into a Catholic elementary school. Generally, French language schools are open to all students seeking a French language education.

You need to provide all of the following information to register your child for school:

  • Proof of your child’s age – A birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of address – A copy of a bank statement, telephone or electrical bill or apartment lease with your name and address
  • Proof of student’s immigration status* – One of:
      • Birth certificate
      • Passport
      • Permanent Resident Card
      • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) or Record of Landing (IMM1000)
      • Immunization record


It is important to know that all children aged 6-18 can attend school, regardless of their immigration status or the immigration status of their parents. Usually elementary school students are placed in a grade according to age.

Secondary school students who have recently arrived from other countries may have an initial assessment before they can enter a school. This assessment covers two areas: mathematics and language. The mathematics assessment is based on the standard requirements for Ontario schools. The language assessment usually starts with an interview. The purpose of the interview is to test the general linguistic skills of a student in the language he or she has been taught. Many students require ESL instruction and are placed in appropriate language classes. Even if your child has very little English, he or she will be place in at least one mainstream class. If your child is starting secondary (high) school, the guidance counsellor will talk to your child about his or her previous schooling, interests and goals for after graduation.

Useful Links

Adult Education

In Canada, there are opportunities for adults to attend schools to obtain high school education. This is applicable for individuals of ages 21 and over. Anyone who is below the age of 21 is required to register into a secondary school program at a district based school.

Useful Links

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