There are many great English language training programs for newcomers 18 years of age and older in Waterloo Region. Programs support learning from literacy to Canadian Learning Benchmark Level 10.

See this Overview of Language Learning Options in Waterloo Region to understand both formal language learning options like English classes and informal options such as conversation circles, tutoring, online learning, etc.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada and English as a Second Language are the main programs in Waterloo Region. You can only register for these programs if you have completed your language assessment.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes are open to adult permanent residents and refugees in Waterloo Region. Classes are free and child care is provided. The LINC program is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

In Waterloo Region, the LINC program is offered by several schools:

  • Conestoga College offers Literacy to Canadian Language Benchmark 7 programs. For information call 519-886-3300 or email.
  • St. Louis Adult Learning Centres offers Literacy to Canadian Language Benchmark 7 programs for newcomers 18+ years of age. For information call 519-745-1201 or email.
  • English at First offers Literacy to Canadian Language Benchmark 4 programs. For information call 519-571-0360 or email.

If you cannot go to class, you can also enroll in the LINC home study program. 

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Adult ESL is open to all adult English language learners. Adult ESL is offered at three St. Louis Adult Learning Centres campuses in Kitchener, with morning, afternoon, evening and online classes.

Language proficiency test preparation

You may need to take preparation classes to get ready for English or French language skills tests if you want to study in Canada or apply for Canadian citizenship.

Several language tests are widely recognized and provide you with a certificate that can be used for many purposes. In Waterloo Region, you can take Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) preparation classes at several locations:

Advanced English programs

Waterloo Region offers various advanced language programs that aim to prepare you for work or further studies where the language of instruction is English. You can find information about credit and non-credit courses at:


Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

102 King Street W, Kitchener ON

YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services

800 King Street W, Kitchener ON
258 Hespeler Road, Cambridge ON

KW Phone: 519-579-9622

Cambridge Phone: 519-621-1621

Email YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services

Conestoga College LINC Program

299 Doon Valley Dr
Kitchener, ON N2G 4M4

St. Louis Adult Education and Continuing Education Centres