The Quest for Standardization: The Canadian Federal Government and the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program
Since the inception of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program in 1992, the Canadian federal government, through the ministry responsible for immigration, has diligently sought to bring consistency to the program through a variety of government initiatives. These include operational bulletins, curriculum guidelines, standardized placement assessments, in-class assessment procedures and protocols, standards for describing and measuring the language proficiency of adult immigrants speaking English as an additional language (EAL), and a variety of other guidelines (e.g., waitlist management). This paper introduces a novel LINC standardization model as a tool for describing and analyzing how the synergies of these government initiatives converge to bring consistency to the entire LINC Program. The model comprises four stages: a Pre-Entry Stage, Entry Stage, Language Training Stage, and Exit Stage. These stages represent phases an adult LINC learner goes through on their LINC English language learning journey. The model highlights the centrality of the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) by showing how they are the mainstay of most, if not all, of the other government initiatives. Both positive and negative implications for the government’s quest for standardization are discussed.
Copyright (c) 2020 Calisto Mudzingwa
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