Language Test Dropped

Canada Immigration Forum (discussion group)

Subject: Language Test Dropped
  Ottawa drops English exam
Move on immigrant test follows Star story
Jun 04, 2008 04:30 AM
Lesley Ciarula Taylor

Ottawa has dropped its idea of making all immigrants take a rigorous British-made language test to get into the country.
"They realized the ludicrousness of it," Alex Stojicevic, chair of the immigration section of the Canadian Bar Association, said yesterday.
"The optics of it were terrible. Telling Americans they need a language test to come to Canada makes us look silly."
Stojicevic wrote to Immigration Minister Diane Finley three times to object to the rule change and Monday night got a call from Leah Olson, Finley´s senior policy adviser, with the news the immigration lawyers had won.
The Star published a story Monday about the three-hour International English Language Testing System exam created at the University of Cambridge in England. Immigration officials championed its impartiality and efficiency, but language experts objected to its academic tone and un-Canadian content.
The ministry proposed all immigrants, without exemption, take the three-hour International English Language Testing System exam ? or a French equivalent ? already used by Britain and Australia to judge how well newcomers speak English. A mandatory test at one of hundreds of testing centres around the world would make the system fairer, quicker and more efficient, the government said when it proposed the changes in April. Immigration lawyers had wanted exemptions for native English speakers or lower pass marks for tradespeople.
"It was just a simple proposal. It´s not moving forward," was all Finley press secretary Tim Vail would say.
That means the status quo remains and prospective immigrants can produce their own documents to prove how well they speak English, or take the IELTS test.
If the government wants a fair and efficient test, Carleton University Professor Janna Fox of the School of Linguistics has a plan ready to go. "A team of Canadian experts could quickly come up with a practical, efficient, economical and Canadian solution" that visa offices could use around the world, she said. "It isn´t as if we don´t have a long history of excellent test development."


(in reply to: Language Test Dropped)
This article should convince more who are at the stage of removal that if you embarrass the government with a common sense issue good things can happen.

Power of the press.


(in reply to: Language Test Dropped)
I am a little bit lost, Is the IELTS requirement going to be dropped for all applicants, or just for Native English speakers and the tradespeople? Is the decision already made or is it still a proposition?
Thank you

(in reply to: Language Test Dropped)
Same rules that exist now will stay. If you are a native english speaker a letter of proficency will be accepted. There is still no guarantee that you will be assigned the points you think you deserve. The only way to do that is to take IELTS. If your points are tight, secure you language points. if you are not a native english speaker and you claim you are fluent - be prepared to prove it beyond a letter stating you took english as a course in university.

There is some discussion about making some sort of provision for lower english skills for tradespeople but that is yet to be determined.

It was a common sense decision. I suspect they are trying to sort out the best way to get immigrants with better english skills. Certainly is a problem. Who knows, maybe they will create a Canadian version of IELTS and it won´t be so controversial.

I almost wish there was a minimum language proficiency for all CIC applicants that would include family class and dependents of skilled workers. Some english... not fluent, just enough to function. It will never happen but I still wish it was the case.

(in reply to: Language Test Dropped)
Thank you Sharon for your quick reply. It helps clarify my confusion.

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