Sunday, April 15, 2012

Canada to use IELTS English test for immigrants

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/hello-bonjour-language-tests-coming-for-some-immigrants/article2398540/

Starting this July, certain people immigrating under the provincial nominee program will face language testing.

The tests will be mandatory for those applying for semi- and low-skilled jobs and will assess listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities...

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Select+immigrant+workers+face+mandatory+language+testing+ministers/6442858/story.html

Kenney said low- and medium-skilled workers applying under the Provincial Nominee Program will be subject to mandatory English or French language testing, and will be required to meet a minimum standard for speaking, reading, writing and listening in one of Canada’s two official languages.

As a result, immigrants coming to Canada under the program will arrive with much better language skills and will be selected for the impact they can have on Canada’s economy, he said in a news release.

“We have supported enormous growth in the number of provincial nominees in recent years because it makes sense for the provinces and territories to have the flexibility to meet regional needs.”

The cost of the tests will be paid by the applicant or their prospective employer.

The changes take effect July 1, and will not affect workers already approved before that point.

The new language requirements will impact tradespeople, those in manufacturing, sales and services, as well as certain clerical and assistant categories.

Applicants will be required to provide valid test scores from a designated testing agency.

Temporary foreign workers who arrive before July 1, 2012 and transition to the provincial nominee program within a year have a one-time exemption.

More than 38,000 workers and their families came to Canada last year through the program which gives the provinces and territories a greater say in immigration in a bid to fill gaps in their local labour markets.

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D - as always, the inherent difficulty of English is a barrier to immigrants. A decent IAL (international auxiliary language) would bypass this issue.

D - what is the test? It's the IELTS.

http://www.immigration.ca/permres-independent-languagetesting.asp

The Federal skilled worker class is point based and confers permanent resident status to applicants who are able to demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada. Applicants are assessed under 6 factors and numerous sub factors of assessment providing for 100 points. The language factor accounts for up to 24 points of this total.

The IELTS language test evaluates applicants under a series of benchmarks. Benchmarks are measured on a scale of 1 to 9 corresponding to an applicant’s proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and understanding. Benchmark results are then “converted” into a language score for immigration purposes. A benchmark of 7.0 to 9.0 for any of the four skill areas will earn the applicant a total of 4 points for each skill area resulting in a total possible score of 16 points under the skilled worker language factor. This is called high proficiency.

A benchmark of 5.0 through 6.9 will result in 2 points per skill. A benchmark of 4.0 to 4.9, will result in 1 point for each skill area with a maximum of 2 points across the four skill areas at this low benchmark. A benchmark under 4.0 will not result in any points for the referenced skills.

Additional points above 16 towards the availability of 24 points under the language factor, are awarded under the applicant’s second language proficiency (French).

D - the site is right: this test is made for England and Australia, not Canada! I think this is a bias that favours former British colonies such as India over other countries such as China.
D - A skilled worker who wants to move to Canada should read British newspapers, and listen to British news in order to familiarize themselves with the 'feel' of British English. What Canada really needs is a unique Canadian version of the IELTS test.

http://www.ielts.org/test_takers_information/test_sample.aspx
(D - this site is a good source of sample questions!)

http://www.ielts-exam.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=category§ionid=15&id=35&Itemid=64
(D - here are more sample test questions.)

D - some of the questions are not formed well. Talking about "300mm" instead of 30cm or "1 foot" is just clumsy.

D - I wrote the security guard test for Canada. The wording on questions was too complicated. When the test was done, 3 foreign-born non-Anglophone men were clearly frustrated by the test. I do not see how a complicated written English test is a useful measure of what a security guard actually does at work.

http://englishpronunciationblueprint.com/invitation-to-join-5/?gclid=CLS__N7etq8CFbMEQAod_EePgg

D - I have a slight auditory processing problem. It makes accents even more difficult for me. Reducing one's foreign accent makes conversational English more clear and easy for listeners.
D - just keep in mind that an adult's brain cannot 'hear' English sounds not used in their other language. You need to learn visually and tactilely to place you mouth in the correct position.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-brain-doubts-accent

Of the many indignities international students endure, accent discrimination may be the most mortifying, in part because it is still widely accepted in our society. Like skin color or attire, accent is a characteristic we routinely use to identify someone as unfamiliar or foreign ... Moreover, employers who deny jobs to non-native speakers can protect themselves by arguing that a foreign accent impairs communication skills essential to the workplace.
(D - if the job involves much spoken communication, that may very well be true.)

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D - I volunteered for an improv theatre skit through the YMCA. It was called "Coming To Canada" and involved frustrating scenarios that immigrants encounter in Canada.
I was dismayed to learn that we refuse to recognize many qualifications as valid for work here, even though it was part of why we allowed an immigrant in the first place!
Some certifications require a year of work in that field in Canada before we will recognize it. McGuinty's plan to help new immigrants get work experience here would have helped. After all, don't we want qualified workers working at what they are qualified for? Making somebody with an advanced degree engage in menial labour is not helpful to either the new immigrant or Canada.

2 comments:

nancy john said...

students must command over good IELTS WRITING conversion for passing the test.

nancy john said...

Thanks for sharing information it is very useful for study


Guidelines for IELTS Essay Writing