The Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment assesses English language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. An example of a listening question prompt is a 43-second audio clip of a newscaster reporting on local weather. Questions assessing the listener's comprehension of the clip ask what the temperature is and how the weather might affect someone's travel plans.
Another example of a listening prompt is a one-minute audio clip of a telephone message between friends. Questions assess whether the listener understood the gist of the conversation and how they would make weekend plans based on the details in the message.
Examples of speaking questions, answered in the form of an interview, include where the applicant is from, how long they have lived in Canada and what they do for a living. Additional questions include what interviewees like to do on weekends, what kinds of food they usually cook and what they think about Canadian weather.
Examples of written questions are prompts to complete a grocery list, write four sentences about yourself and write a short letter to your landlord indicating that your heat is not working.
A sample reading question is based on a grocery list, where students must indicate their understanding of the purpose of the list and their recognition of key vocabulary words.
To see samples of language proficiency at different benchmark levels, in both written and spoken forms, visit Language.ca. Under Resources/Expertise, click on For Language Learners and Examples of Speaking and Writing. Additional speaking and listening examples can be found at Bookshelf.Language.ca. To take a sample test, go to CLB-OSA.ca.