Operational Bulletin 510 – March 15, 2013

Settlement Program — Introducing Portfolio-Based Language Assessment as a Standard Feature of LINC and CLIC

Summary

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is introducing Portfolio-Based Language Assessment (PBLA) as a standard feature of Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and the Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC) programming beginning with contributions for 2013–2014. The PBLA will be phased in across LINC and CLIC over a three-year period.

Issue

The PBLA is being introduced to address the need for a standardized in-class language assessment protocol in LINC and CLIC.

Background

The 2010 LINC evaluation highlighted the absence of appropriate tools to measure the impact of LINC and CLIC on participants’ language learning. Following successful pilots in Ottawa, PBLA is being introduced across all LINC and CLIC classes as a standardized in-class language assessment protocol for teachers to measure the language proficiency of participants.

PBLA will be implemented in phases across all regions over the next three years. In the first year, as it is introduced, lead teachers are trained on how to implement the PBLA. In the second year, lead teachers train all classroom teachers on how to introduce PBLA into their programs. During the third year, the PBLA is fully implemented for all classes.

Additional costs associated with the introduction of PBLA have been outlined in the Negotiation Guidelines for CFP2012, the Department’s national call for proposals. There are requirements for training time, class preparation, and language assessments. Each student will also receive a Language Companion, a binder containing a portfolio section for students to organize their work, English as a second language (ESL) reference materials, and basic settlement information. A PBLA implementation plan and schedule for program officers and recipients will be shared at a later date. When negotiating LINC and CLIC agreements, program officers are to inform service provider organizations that an amendment will be necessary in the future to include provisions for introducing PBLA.

PBLA features – changes to LINC and CLIC

PBLA Project Year 1:

  • LINC coordinators participate in nationally-coordinated Orientation to PBLA.
  • LINC coordinators select lead teachers in their program – 1 lead teacher per 10 classroom teachers, and minimum of 1 lead teacher per recipient.
  • Lead teachers attend four-day in-person PBLA training.
  • LINC coordinators order PBLA Language Companions for students in lead teachers’ classes.
  • Lead teachers implement PBLA in their classrooms.
  • Lead teachers continue nationally-coordinated distance training five hours per week.
  • Lead teachers complete individual Student Progress Reports (available on www.Tutela.ca) and student interviews (‘conferencing’) at the end of each term.

PBLA Project Year 2:

  • LINC coordinators and lead teachers participate in nationally-coordinated three-day training to prepare for the training of all classroom teachers and program-wide implementation of PBLA.
  • Lead teachers provide four days of in-person training to classroom teachers.
  • Lead teachers provide ongoing support to classroom teachers to implement the PBLA.

PBLA Project Year 2 and subsequent years:

  • LINC coordinators order Language Companions for students prior to the beginning of the semester.
  • Lead teachers spend five hours per week to mentor classroom teachers.
  • Classroom teachers spend approximately five minutes per teaching hour and at least eight hours per year to conduct student language assessments and to improve their assessment practices.
  • Classroom teachers complete individual Student Progress Reports and student interviews at the end of each term.

The PBLA Implementation Plan and Schedule will be finalized in 2013–2014.

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