LINCages to Inclusion: Survey of the Ontario LINC program regarding learners with high need and diverse abilities

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By: Howard Barton & Associates
Date: 2006


Survey of the Ontario LINC program regarding learners with high need and diverse abilities

Files Available for Download

LINCages Full Report [Acrobat PDF, 330 Kb]

Final Report Appendices
Appendices A, B, and C [Acrobat PDF, 246 Kb]

Background

The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program was established in 1992 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for adult immigrants and refugees. It offers basic language training in English or French for the purpose of facilitating settlement. LINC has two distinct components: assessment centres that establish learners? eligibility and language skill level and a delivery component that provides a broad range of specialized services. In Ontario, the LINC program is delivered by a variety of service providers including boards of education and non-governmental organizations. Some of the LINC programs exist in communities with a wide range of settlement services while others operate in communities with fewer settlement resources.

The Ontario Region LINC Advisory Committee (ORLAC) oversees policy and program delivery. It is composed of representatives from service providing organizations, CIC and OCASI (Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants) and meets regularly. ORLAC members represent multiple constituencies within LINC including assessment centres, instructors, administrators, funders and policy makers.

ORLAC meeting discussions have recorded much anecdotal evidence of the ongoing participation of learners with high or special need within the LINC program. Based on this information, ORLAC issued a proposal through CIC to sponsor a study that would investigate and define high need and provide an estimation of numbers of learners with high need.

This study examines in detail the question of what constitutes high need within the LINC program in Ontario, the extent of high need, and provides suggestions for ameliorating the same. It includes a review of the pertinent literature as a resource to assist in providing information about learners with high need and methods on how to address this issue. The report identifies 13 issues and makes 23 recommendations for policy makers, funders and service delivery organizations that address the individual and social factors that comprise high need.