How can I improve my language skills for the workplace?

There are many free programs in Ontario that help you develop language skills for your job, trade, or profession.

Choosing the right program will depend on your specific needs. It will also depend on what kind of work you want to do.

Enhanced Language Training (ELT) courses can help you find and keep jobs that match your skills and qualifications. The program is targeted towards individuals with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) English levels 7-10. Courses are offered in for fields such as health care, accounting and finance, engineering, information technology and office administration. Many ELT programs also have bridge-to-work assistance, including mentorship, work placements and other employment help.

Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) courses teach language and workplace culture skills for different industries. The program is targeted towards individuals with Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) English levels 6-8. Courses are available in the areas of business, health sciences, child and youth work, technology, construction and policing and security. Some OSLT courses incorporate online learning in addition to classroom instruction.

Some school boards offer sector-specific English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to help you get a job in your field or improve your language skills if you are already employed.

You may also want to explore alternative ways of improving your workplace language skills by volunteering in your field.

For More Information

  • Access to Professions and Trades Guide - Information about finding employment in your field, contacting licensing or regulatory bodies and the education and training options available to you. 
  • College Language Training Programs - A list of colleges in Ontario that have English or French language training programs. From the Ontario Immigration website.
  • Ontario Skills Passport - A website with clear descriptions of basic skills and work habits that employers want, and information about what skills and tasks are required for certain occupations.
Last updated: January 4, 2016 4001528