ARCHIVED – Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada – Performance results by LINC level

Executive Summary

  • This report is the second of two analyses on the most recently available LINC program data. The first report profiled the LINC client population and provided information on client performance at an aggregate level.
  • This analysis looks at the LINC program by specific LINC level. For each of the levels, the following three broad characteristics are examined:
    1. Number of clients in training at a specified LINC level.
    2. Number of clients who have completed courses at a specified LINC level.
    3. Average number of hours taken to complete a course at the specified LINC level.

Table 1: Average Annual Number of Clients in Training and with Completed Training, by LINC Level, 2003-2008Note 1 ] [ Note 2 ]

Training Literacy LINC 1 LINC 2 LINC 3 LINC 4 LINC 5 LINC 6&7
Clients in Training 2,352 9,489 13,198 19,034 14,007 7,924 1,530
Clients with Completed Training 655 3,033 4,603 6,569 4,886 2,470 332

Source: iCAMS and HARTs, CIC

  • As illustrated in Table 1, the average number of clients in training each year differs for each LINC level. The largest numbers of clients in training are found in LINC levels 2, 3, and 4. Not unrelated, the largest numbers of clients with completions are also found in these levels.
  • For all LINC levels Ontario has the highest share of clients in training and the highest share of clients with completions. For most LINC levels Ontario’s share accounts for nearly 85 percent of all clients. The two exceptions are in the literacy level where the share is lower (72 percent) and in level 5 and beyond where the share is around 95 percent.
  • Ontario continues to have the highest share of clients (in training and with completions) despite the declining trend in the number over time. Over the 6-year period the share of clients in Ontario has declined by 7-10 percent depending on the LINC level while the share of clients in Alberta has increased by 4-11 percent. [ Note 3 ]
  • This trend coincides with the trend seen in immigrant landings over the period. The share of new immigrants landing in Ontario has declined from 54 percent in 2003 to 45 percent in 2008. Over the same period, the proportion of immigrants who landed in Alberta has increased from 7 percent to 10 percent.
  • The category distribution of clients in training and clients with completions are different across LINC levels as well. Refugees and family class immigrants make up the overwhelming majority of clients in the lower LINC levels (LINC literacy level to level 2) while skilled workers make up a relatively smaller share (10-25 percent).
  • In the higher LINC levels (levels 3 to level 7) skilled workers account for the largest share of clients. In LINC level 3 they account for over 40 percent of the clients in training and with completions and in level 5 and beyond the share increases further to roughly 60 percent. This may reflect the fact that a large share of skilled workers are selected based on their labour market skills (including language proficiency) and as a result, are less likely to enroll in lower levels of language training.

Table 2: Completion Rates (%) and Average Hours Taken to Complete a LINC Literacy Course by LINC LevelNote 4 ]

Completion Literacy LINC 1 LINC 2 LINC 3 LINC 4 LINC 5 LINC 6&7
Completion Rate 32% 35% 35% 35% 35% 31% 22%
Average Hours to Complete 384 379 368 337 309 310 300
  • Overall, roughly 1 in 3 immigrants enrolled in LINC training completes a LINC course. Completion rates are lowest for LINC levels 6&7 (22%), however our analysis suggests that caution should be exercised when looking at these figures since training at LINC level 6&7 started in 2006 and incomplete data may be impacting the results. 
  • Completion rates also vary by immigration category with skilled workers noting the highest completion rates (in the 40 percent range) and lower rates recorded for family class immigrants and refugees (in the 30 percent range).
  • As illustrated in Table 2, the average number of hours taken to complete a LINC course is negatively correlated with the LINC level. In the literacy level clients take an average of 384 hours to complete while in LINC level 4 and beyond the average hours taken to complete is just over 300.
  • As previously mentioned, at lower LINC levels a larger share of clients (in training and with completions) are refugees and family class immigrants. Both groups, especially the refugee group, require more time to complete a LINC course. Refugees, for example, require 70 to 80 additional hours to complete a course as compared to the overall average. In contrast, skilled workers require fewer hours to complete a LINC course.
  • The differences in the immigrant category distribution across LINC levels coupled with the differences in the length of time certain immigrant groups require to complete a course are driving the negative correlation between average hours taken to complete and LINC level.

  1. The completion rate referred to in this analysis refers to the number of unique clients completing LINC courses at a certain LINC level  (2003-2008) divided by the number of unique clients training at the same LINC level  (2003-2008) and this rate is expressed as a percent.
  2. For LINC level 6&7 the annual average is calculated for the period 2006-2008 due to the unavailability of data prior to 2006.
  3. The one exception to this is in the literacy level in where the trend was reversed. Over the period, Ontario’s share of clients in training and clients with completions increased by 4 and 13 percent, respectively. In contrast, Alberta’s corresponding shares decreased by 3 and 8 percent.
  4. Due to the availability of data, completion rates are based on the 2003-2008 period for all levels except LINC 6&7. The average hours taken to complete a LINC course are based on the 2005-2008 period.
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