Learn English for Free in Toronto!

By Remitbee - Jun 20, 2022

Undeniably, Canada is among the top choices you’ll see if you’re planning to migrate. One of its most popular cities, Toronto, has been an attractive spot for newcomers to the country.

In fact, in 2021, Toronto had the highest record of newcomers out of all cities in Canada. It welcomed almost 118,000 immigrants, nearly 2% of all the newcomers in the country!

Canada offers a lot of opportunities to foreigners, which is one of the reasons why many people want to live there. However, to make your career work in the country, you must be fluent in at least one of their two official languages—English or French. Fortunately, free English classes for new immigrants are offered in many cities in the country.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada

Canada offers new immigrants the LINC program. LINC, or Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, aims to equip new immigrants with sufficient English communication skills to land them decent opportunities in the country.

If you’re worried about the cost, LINC is a public-funded program, so you don’t need to worry about paying for any class.

LINC covers English language skills, particularly in the Canadian context. If you need to learn a more intensive English skill, taking other specified English courses is recommended. In such cases, however, fees may apply.

Who can take the free English classes

To qualify to take the free LINC classes, you must be:

  • a new immigrant at least 18 years of age;
  • a convention refugee, or;
  • a landed immigrant.

Landed immigrants are foreigners who have been granted the right to live in the country permanently. Meanwhile, convention refugees are refugees who had fled their home country because of threats due to their race, religion, nationality, and social/political identity.

If your Canadian citizenship is still in process, you are still welcome to take the free classes. This is recommended as your English certificate can be an excellent add-on for your paper’s approval.

Not eligible for free English classes

LINC may not apply to Canadian citizens by birth, live-in caregivers, temporary residents (e.g., students, tourists, workers, etc.), and refugee claimants (refugees who fled their home country to seek protection from Canada).

If you’re among the ineligible LINC beneficiaries, you can still take your desired English classes. But take note that such courses typically come with a fee.

How to register for a free English class in Toronto

If you’re an eligible participant, follow these steps to register for a class:

STEP 1:

Before registering on a LINC site/institution, you first need to know your English level based on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB).

If you already took one in the last two years, you don’t need to take a language test anymore, and you may now proceed to contact your preferred institution. Take note that the assessment is free.

STEP 2:

Contact 416-925-5462 to schedule an appointment for your language assessment. You may also fill out this form from the Toronto District School Board. Depending on the result, you may be eligible to take beginner or advanced classes in LINC.

Alternatively, you may also inquire about other institutions that offer LINC, such as the Eglinton LINC & ESL Centre, Toronto Catholic District School, Victoria Park LINC Centre, and others.

STEP 3:

Wait for the result. Sign up for the recommended courses/programs for you.

Inclusions and coverage of LINC

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada offers various English levels. Beginners may take the course to learn the basics of grammar and vocabulary. There’s also an option to take more advanced levels, including pronunciation and intermediate grammar. The highest level you can take is the high intermediate.

Although many schools and LINC sites offer only English, a few institutions offer French in their language preference options.

What to expect in LINC

LINC is offered in several language schools across Toronto. Your schedule depends on the school you want to take the courses in. While some schools may let you choose between part-time and full-time classes, others may only offer a part-time schedule. Other schools also offer classes at night or on weekends to accommodate those who need to work full-time.

What’s attractive about this program is that it has a Care for Newcomer Children (CNC) that comes along with it. With this, parents can leave their kids aged 19 months to 6 years at the designated facility while in class.

Although many classes are offered online, there have been institutions opening for on-site classes as the threat of the pandemic is gradually lifted.

All LINC sites and institutions are accessible through public transit. It’s also best to inquire about your chosen institution for free transportation, as you can be a qualifier for transportation subsidy.

Benefits of taking free English classes in Toronto

More than 85% of people in Toronto are English speakers. With extensive English knowledge, you will have plenty of opportunities. The courses usually last for nine weeks, and within that time, you’ll be able to gain enough skills to speak, read, and write in English in the most fluent way possible.

Some programs may also open an unpaid work placement, which is an excellent way to benchmark your career. They will also train you to join conversation circles to help hone your oral communication skills.

Taking free English courses in Toronto through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada is beneficial to new immigrants for work, academics, and citizenship.

Where to take free English classes

The Toronto District School Board has been supervising the LINC program for more than 20 years now. They operate in 13 locations in Toronto:

  • Albion Road
  • Yonge Street
  • Jane Street (Christian Centre)
  • The West Mall (Civic Centre)
  • Danforth Avenue
  • Don Mills Road
  • Kennedy Drive
  • Kenton Drive
  • Sheppard Avenue
  • Overlea Blvd.
  • Barrhead Crescent
  • McCowan Road
  • Victoria Street

Some private institutions in Toronto also offer the LINC—it’s free anywhere. Just contact your preferred school for assessment and follow the steps above.

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