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Language Requirements in Canada

As a Permanent Resident in Canada you may become interested in becoming a citizen. With full Canadian citizenship you can never be deported and you will be allowed to vote in federal elections. You will also be protected by the other rights reserved for citizens.

Applying for citizenship correctly is very important and it is absolutely necessary to closely examine the requirements. If citizenship is filed incorrectly, the Canadian government may view that as fraud and revoke your citizenship and may even deport you.

Here, we will examine the usefulness of the language requirement for Canadian citizenship.

Why Language Competency is important ESL class

The vast majority of Canada speaks either English or French and although this is not necessarily the reason for why these languages are the official languages of Canada, it does make them the languages of choice in the country.

Being able to speak either English or French properly will help you be successful in Canada in a variety of ways:

  • Every day interactions will be significantly easier. Going to the bank, filling up your gas tank or purchasing groceries will all be much easier with good language skills.
  • Enrolling in higher education. Canada has some really great universities and in order to be successful in school you will need to be able to read and write in the local language.
  • You will be better able to understand the daily goings-on of Canada and be a well-informed member of the society.

No one is saying that you should abandon your native language, rather, the government is asking you to simply add one more language to your repertoire. As an added bonus, being able to speak multiple languages is considered extremely valuable to employers. Many native English speakers in Canada know only one language, so being able to speak two fluently is a real leg-up in the job market.

What Is Fluency?

Fluency is a term used to describe how well you know a particular language. A person who is fluent can use a language in a way that rivals or exceeds a native speaker. These qualities are examined by professionals to evaluate fluency:

  • Reading: the ability to recognize and understand written language.
  • Writing: the ability to translate a thought into written language.
  • Listening: the ability to hear spoken language and to understand its message.
  • Speaking: the ability to vocalize language with a coherent meaning.

You will be analyzed for proficiency (another word for fluency) during your citizenship interview where the immigration officer administering the test will simply observe how well you respond to and use either English or French. You may also have to provide certification of proficiency granted by a Canadian regulatory body.

Learning a New Language

There are many different ways that you can learn French or English, or even improve upon your current language skills:

  • Enroll in classes. Many local schools offer classes in English as a second-language or French.
  • There are community programs designed to help immigrants with learning English or French that you can sign up for.
  • You can also learn English by self-study and consistent usage in daily life, however this way may be a bit more difficult.