LINC Home Study
LINC Home Study is an English-language program for newcomers to Canada seeking to improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. It provides permanent residents and Convention refugees—who are 18 years of age and older—with the tools to learn English in their own homes. It is specifically for students who are unable to access regular LINC classes. Classes are taught by certified TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language) instructors. Students may choose to use their computer or a textbook to study. Teachers provide a weekly phone conversation lesson for each student and feedback on work and progress.
"I found this program very useful and helpful and I will recommend it to every newcomer. This was the first and the most important step that will help me to reach my goals in my new country. And what is very important is that I had a chance to learn while I was looking after my children."
The LINC Home Study program course materials are accessible at any time of day/night to registered students for self-study. To determine eligibility, applicants must have their language skills assessed at one of the assessment centres and meet minimum benchmark requirements.
Language education for students with a range of disabilities, including mobility, hearing, and visual impairments is also available. Students with hearing or visual impairments use the LINC Home Study material but also receive extended teacher contact time every week (a minimum of 45 minutes). Deaf students are assigned an ESL/ASL (American Sign Language) trained teacher. Visually impaired students are provided with LINC Home Study modules that are printed in larger font size on non-glare paper.
This self-directed learning program requires a high level of student involvement. Students must commit a required number of hours to the program every week and studying and learning the LINC level material. Teachers conduct a thorough consultation with new students and work with them to develop individual learning plans. Students are also encouraged to provide program feedback through various channels (i.e. feedback button on the learning management system, through teachers, student surveys, etc.)
As new services and materials are developed, newcomers are included in the development and evaluation process through focus groups and test pilot groups provide input to topics of interest, format, ease of use and prior to finalizing new products/services.
LINC Home Study team members regularly attend and participate in meetings with regional partners and funders. Often, these meetings present opportunities to discuss referral issues and processes, collaborate on projects (such as LINC graduation), or share best practices. Any new or significant changes to the LINC Home Study program requires end-user feedback; where suitable, pilot groups are recruited for testing and feedback prior to implementation. LINC Home Study Canada program has established a Working Group consisting of representatives from CIC regional offices and national headquarters, and representatives from the referring assessment centres.
LINC Home Study has a solid track record of delivering services that are appropriate to clients needs, as per contribution agreement requirements, and within budget. CIC funders receive both financial and program status reporting on a monthly and annual basis. Team members participate in regular meetings with regional partners to share information and best practices. Teachers are required to continually update their skills to remain current in the field of e-learning. Ongoing professional develpment is provided to teachers through the program, including in-person events/meetings and online instruction/tutorials. They also submit quarterly reports which detail their students' strengths, weaknesses, and progression.
The primary objective of LINC Home Study is to ensure that students make adequate and measurable improvement in their language skills during the course of their study. To remain in the program, students are expected to progress to the next LINC level in at least one skill area—listening, speaking, reading, or writing—within a six-month period. Students establish learning goals and a plan to achieve those goals with the support of their teachers. By making progress towards or achieving their goals, students develop both their language skills and confidence.
The program started in 1995 as a pilot project in Halton region (Ontario). It engaged volunteer tutors and supported only six students. Based on positive feedback and demonstrated results, funding for this program was extended and, in 1997, the program expanded to Peel region (Ontario).
In 2008, LINC Home Study was piloted in three more provinces across Canada. Today, it is offered in six provinces—Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan. Specialized compendiums and web-based information based on geographic location make this program relevant to newcomers across Canada.
- Service Providers
- Centre for Education & Training (TCET)
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
- Across Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan
- Year of Launch
- Languages of Delivery
- Newcomer Groups Served
- Adult newcomers (18 years of age and older) who have not yet acquired Canadian citizenship
- Expected Results
- Language/Skills (Newcomers have language/skills needed to function in Canada)
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