How can people who live outside of Calgary get the English language support they need?
Bow Valley College is offering LINC classes for permanent residents throughout southern Alberta, funded by IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada). Before they can take a LINC class, learners must have their English assessed with the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT).
In cooperation with Bow Valley College, ILVARC (Immigrant Language and Vocational Assessment Referral Centre) began providing English language assessments for learners in the region when classes were established in Canmore and Banff in 2011.
We began testing in Canmore with ILVARC staff traveling out to the Bow Valley College campus to do full day testing sessions where 10 to 20 individuals could receive an assessment.
In 2015, we decided to try remote testing at our new Banff campus as part of a national pilot. The ILVARC staff remained in Calgary and worked with a regional facilitator, who received CLBPT training to conduct the assessment.
After the success with remote CLBPT in Banff, we added the service in High River and Airdrie, and most recently, in the new campus in Strathmore.
Having remote testing allows us to do more frequent assessments. Rather than waiting four to six months to get a large group of 20 clients, we now usually offer CLBPT every two weeks for two to four clients. Additionally, we can counsel learners more effectively after the test. This is our opportunity to promote a variety of courses offered by Bow Valley College.
Remote testing is a convenience for the client and the tester, as well as a great marketing tool for Bow Valley College.
“Taking a full day off work to travel to Calgary for testing is simply not an option for most rural immigrants, and without a CLBPT they cannot access LINC classes. The remote CLBPT has vastly improved our ability to serve the immigrant community in Banff and Canmore – it takes about 2 hours, and they receive their results and can register for the next LINC intake on the spot.” Holly Foster, CLBPT facilitator, Banff.
Learn more about our Regional Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program.
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