What are Canadian Language Benchmarks?

The Canadian Language Benchmarks, or CLB, are used in Canada to teach and test language learning for adults. It is important for you to understand the CLB if you plan to go to English class, train, look for work or study at a college or university.

A number of ESL programs in Canada use the CLB levels. Students and teachers use CLB to understand what English is needed for day to day life in Canada. The CLB does not consider grammar or vocabulary for assessing English proficiency. It lists tasks happening in daily life. A task is something you can do in English. Two examples: phone a carpenter about doing a job; talk to a taxi driver about hiring a taxi.

The benchmarks are arranged in to 3 stages and 12 levels. The benchmarks describe tasks that people can do in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

CLB levels chart

CLB levels chart

A CLB test measures the following language skills to determine level of English skills: