English Language Proficiency Requirement

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The English Language Proficiency Requirement Policy is required to ensure that students have the necessary English level to be successful in their Robertson program of choice.



This Policy applies to all students who are English as a Second or Additional Language learners. A student may self-identify as an English Language Learner or be deemed an English Language Learner by a Student Admissions Advisor as described in section C below.



Student A Student is an individual who has applied for admission, is currently enrolled, or has previously been a student at Robertson College.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) or English as a Second Language (ESL)

The study of the English language by non-native speakers in an English speaking environment.
English Language Proficiency The ability to use the English language to make and communicate meaning in spoken and written contexts.
English Language Learner (ELL)

An ELL is a student who does not have English as a primary language and who may require English language teaching and support while pursuing academic studies. An ELL can be defined as any of the following:

  • Permanent Residents from non-English exempt countries
  • New Canadian Citizens from non-English exempt countries
  • Learners from French-speaking communities
  • Students from Indigenous communities whereby an Indigenous language or English as a Second Dialect is the means of communication
  • International Students from non-English exempt countries.




The language of instruction at Robertson is English. The practicum sites that students are placed in also uses English as the primary medium of communication. Therefore, students must have a level of proficiency in English that allows them to actively participate in all aspects of their program.

This Policy applies to students who are English Language Learners. To meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement for Robertson programs, students must provide proof of English Language Proficiency as outlined in section 2 below. Students will not be admitted into their program of choice until they have met the English Language Proficiency Requirement.

This policy does not apply to Robertson’s accredited programs (PT, HCA Alberta), as the accreditation body sets the English Language Requirement for these programs. Please refer to the accreditation requirements for required language levels and accepted standardized test types for accredited programs


The following English language tests are accepted at Robertson College a proof of English Language Proficiency.

Test Name: IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 
Requirement/Score: 6.0 overall in the General or Academic version.

Test Name: CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark)
Requirement/Score: level 7 in speaking, listening, reading and writing*

*Level 7, 7, 7, 7 as it appears on an English as a Second or Additional Language course progress report from a Canadian, federally funded language training program; Level 6, 6, 6, 6 as it appears on a Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) certificate. (Note: A LINC certificate shows completed CLB levels. A progress report from a federally funded language training course shows levels “in progress.”)

Test Name: CanTest
Requirement/Score: A minimum score of 4.0 in Listening, Reading and Speaking and a minimum score of 3.0 in Writing

Test Name: CELPIP General (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program)
Requirement/Score: Level 7 in speaking, listening, reading and writing

Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of some assessment centres to offer testing, Robertson is accepting the Duolingo English Assessment for most programs on an interim basis.

Results from other standardized tests may be accepted. If an applicant has presented results for a test not listed above, please inquire with the Teaching and Learning Team.

Expired test results will not be considered. Typically, test scores are valid for three years from the test date.


English Language Learners may not be required to submit a standardized test score as above if they can provide documentation indicating they have met one of the following conditions:

  1. Ten consecutive years of residency in Canada
  2. One year of full-time education in English at an English high school, college, or university in Canada (high school courses cannot be EAL designated)
  3. Degree or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada; the program of study must have involved at least one year of full-time study in English
  4. Degree or diploma from an international, post-secondary that utilizes a Canadian curriculum; the program of study must have involved at least one year of full-time study in English
  5. Graduation from an English, Canadian high school with at least one grade 12 English Language Arts credit; for provincial course codes, please contact an Admissions Advisor
  6. Graduation from a high school outside of Canada that utilizes a Canadian curriculum with at least one Grade 12 English credit or;
  7. Proof of origin as being from an English exempt country (as below):
    • – Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Austria
    • B – Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belgium, Bermuda, Belize, Botswana, British Solomon Island, British West Indies
    • C – Canada, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, Christmas Islands, Cook Island
    • D – Denmark, Dominica
    • E – Ellice Island, England, Eire
    • F –  Faeroe Island, Falkland Island, Fiji Island, Finland
    • G – Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Gilbert Island, Grenada, Guam, Guyana
    • I – Ireland, Island of Man (Great Britain)
    • J – Jamaica
    • K – Kenya, Kiribati
    • L – Leeward Islands, Lesotho, Luxembourg
    • M – Malta, Malawi, Mauritius
    • N – Namibia, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Northern Ireland, Norway
    • P – Philippines, Pitcairn Island
    • S – Scotland, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland
    • T – Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island
    • U – Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America
    • V –  Virgin Islands (U.K. and U.S.A.)
    • W – Wake-Midway Island, Wales, Windward Islands
    • Z – Zimbabwe, Zambia





  1. Determination of English Language Learner Status 
    • An applicant who expresses interest in a Robertson program may self-identify as an English Language Learner during the application process. If an applicant does not self-identify, the Student Admissions Advisor will be responsible for determining if the student would be defined as an ELL based on the definition in section 3 above.
  2. Submission of Documentation
    • An applicant who is defined as an ELL must meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement by providing a standardized test score demonstrating they have met one of the conditions outlined in section 2 above. 
  3. Inability to Provide Documentation
    • Students who are unable to provide a standardized test score or sufficient documentation of meeting a condition of exemption must be advised to take a standardized English Language Proficiency test.
    • Students who provide a test score that is slightly below the requirement listed in section 2 above may still be eligible for their program of choice (i.e. an applicant provides a progress report with a Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in one or some of the four skills areas – reading, writing, speaking, and listening – but not in all four). In these instances, the Student Admissions Advisor is to consult with the Director of Recruitment and Admission for the final decision. The Director of Recruitment and Admissions may consult with the Director responsible for the School to which the applicant has applied for the final decision.

*Please note that this does not apply to accredited programs, as all students must meet the English Language Requirement specified by the accreditation body; there are no exceptions.



Provincial English Language Arts Equivalencies

English Language Proficiency Requirement Information

*Please contact a Student Admissions Advisor for more information.



Last updated: June 1, 2020

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