Before you arrive in Ontario

Do a free, online test to get an idea of your English or French skills and find out if you need language training.

Once you know your skill level and you need to improve your language skills, you could:

  • take an English or French language course in your home country before you move to Ontario
  • use free online resources to learn to speak and read in English or French, such as Learning English with the CBC
  • use the free Mauril app from CBC/Radio-Canada to learn English or French

Take English and French as a second language classes

If you are a resident of Ontario you might be eligible for language training classes at school boards across Ontario.

Classes are free and available:

  • at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels
  • during the day, in the evenings or on weekends

Get information about English as a second language classes for adults, including eligibility and how to register.

Get information about French as a second language classes for adults, including eligibility and how to register.

Government of Canada language classes

You may be eligible to take the Government of Canada’s language training programs. Language classes are free and available for permanent residents and protected persons.

Learn about and register for language instruction for newcomers to Canada (LINC) program for English.

Learn about and register for programme de cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC) program for French.

Get language training for your job

There are classes that can help you improve your language skills for the workplace.

Visit a language assessment centre near you to have your language skills assessed and to learn what classes are available to meet your needs.

You can also take language classes to help you succeed in the workplace through the Government of Canada.

Take language classes for your education

High school diploma

If you are 19 and older, you may be eligible for free high school language, reading, writing and other courses to help you get your high school diploma.

You can apply for full-time, part-time, summer or evening programs or take classes online.

College and university

Certified language tests when you apply

If you are applying to college or university in Ontario the school might ask you to take tests before you can start your program. Tests that you might have to take include the:

You must pay to take these tests.

If you are applying to college or university programs taught in French, you may be required to take a French language skill test.

Contact your college or university’s enrolment services office to confirm whether you need to take language tests.

Language training programs

You can also choose to pay for a language training program at one of the many universities or colleges across the province.

Contact a university or college near you for information about their language training programs.

Language programs for children and youth

Children and youth from kindergarten to Grade 12 may receive support to learn the language of instruction in school if they:

  • do not speak English or French as their first language
  • speak a version of English or French that is different from that used in Ontario schools

Some school boards have newcomer reception centres where they test your child’s language skills and help you find schools with language training.

Contact your local school board to find out what services are available.

For more information about Ontario’s school system, read or download the newcomer’s guide to:

Updated: September 10, 2021
Published: May 19, 2017