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The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) provides a common assessment method for individuals who are learning English as a second language.

CLB assessments are also frequently used to determine eligibility for enrolment in courses and training programs and as a reference point for job opportunities. CLB assessments are also used in Express Entry for minimum requirements and to calculate comprehensive ranking scores (CRS).

Classification of 12 benchmarks into 3 stages
The following explains the classification of the 12 benchmarks within three Stages (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced):
  • Stage I – Basic Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing
    CLB 1: Initial
    CLB 2: Developing
    CLB 3: Adequate
    CLB 4: Fluent

Interpreting and creating simple communication in routine, non-demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas.
  • Stage II – Intermediate Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing
    CLB 5: Initial
    CLB 6: Developing
    CLB 7: Adequate
    CLB 8: Fluent
    Interpreting and creating moderately complex spoken communication in moderately demanding contexts of language use within the four Competency Areas.

  • Stage III – Advanced Language Ability Benchmark and Ability Level Listening Speaking Reading Writing
    CLB 9: Initial
    CLB 10: Developing
    CLB 11: Adequate
    CLB 12: Fluent