Site Language

Beginner level

Reading comprehension

The beginner level is the basic level of second-language reading comprehension for international students, including the understanding of texts of limited scope.
Persons reading at this level can:

  • Fully understand very simple texts;
  • Grasp the main theme of texts about familiar topics, and
  • Read and understand simple points of information such as dates, numbers or names from relatively more complex texts in order to perform the routine tasks of a job.

Written expression / grammar

  • Written expression or grammar in the second official language evaluates all the levels of competency necessary for bilingual positions in the Public Service. The definition of each of these levels follows.
  • Ability to write points of information of limited scope in the second language; ability to write isolated words, phrases, simple statements or questions on very familiar topics using words of time, place or person.

Oral proficiency

Learners at the beginner level can partially understand speech that deals with concrete and routine topics and is delivered slowly and clearly in standard speech. Can make themselves understood in short contributions, even though pauses and false starts are very evident. Can talk about their routine activities and handle a simple question-and-answer exchange. Have sufficient basic vocabulary and grammatical structures to conduct routine transactions involving familiar situations and topics. Use structures and vocabulary borrowed from another language, which can interfere with the clarity of the message. Have pronunciation that requires close attention from the listener, but there are no long stretches that are unclear.

Intermediate level

Reading comprehension

The intermediate level is required to understand most descriptive or factual texts on topics related to university or post-secondary studies.
Persons reading at this level can:

  • Grasp the general meaning of most texts
  • Identify specific details in them.

Written expression / grammar

The intermediate level in grammar aims to develop the ability to write short descriptive or factual texts in the second language, and to master the grammar and vocabulary required to deal with explicit information on education-related topics.

Oral proficiency or conversation

Students at the intermediate level can understand the main points of clear standard speech that deals with concrete work-related topics and is spoken in standard dialect at normal speed. Can give a simple description of a concrete topic and explain main points of a speech comprehensibly. Can compare and discuss alternatives when complications arise. Can speak with some spontaneity, although pauses for grammatical and lexical planning and repair are evident in longer stretches. Have sufficient vocabulary and a variety of simple grammatical structures to handle concrete, non-routine situations and topics. May be miscommunicating in some areas, but most stretches are clear.Have pronunciation that is generally clear enough to be understood, despite an evident accent from another language. Will at times be asked by the listener to repeat or clarify.

Advanced level

Reading comprehension

  • Grasp the greater part of the complex details of academic language, recognize allusions and inferences;
  • Fully understand of texts dealing with specialized or less familiar questions;
  • Distinguish between main, secondary and tertiary ideas.

Written expression / grammar

The advanced level in grammar brings the skill to write explanations or descriptions in a variety of formal and informal work-related situations, and to write texts in which the ideas are developed and presented in a coherent manner in which vocabulary, grammar and spelling are generally appropriate and require few corrections.

Oral proficiency

The advanced level in oral proficiency allows for the understanding of linguistically complex speech that deals with work-related topics and is spoken in standard dialect at normal speed. Persons at this level can give clear, detailed descriptions of complex topics and can summarize a discussion. Can express and sustain opinions and respond to complex and hypothetical questions. Have a fairly natural and even delivery, with occasional hesitations, but most hesitations are to look for ideas. Have a broad range of vocabulary and structures allowing them to talk about complex and abstract topics, with a relatively high degree of control. Make errors, but these rarely lead to misunderstanding. Have pronunciation that is clear, even if an accent from another language is noticeable. Have occasional mispronunciations but they rarely interfere with communication.

Modules and programs

This program is made up of intensive courses lasting six to nine months. Their average duration is 700 to 1,000 hours spread over 10 modules for the individual or group courses:

Individual and group courses

  • Module 1 = Beginner 1: 100 hours
  • Module 2 = Beginner 2: 100 hours
  • Module 3 = Beginner 3: 100 hours
  • Module 4 = Intermediate 1: 100 hours
  • Module 5 = Intermediate 2: 100 hours
  • Module 6 = Intermediate 3: 100 hours
  • Module 7 = Advanced 1: 100 hours
  • Module 8 = Advanced 2: 100 hours
  • Module 9 = Advanced 3: 100 hours
  • Module 10 = International test simulations: 100 hours