The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB 2012a), provide a national standard for language instruction and assessment.
The following guiding principles of the CLB are also foundational to PBLA and inform second language planning, teaching and assessment practices (Figure 1).
CLB standard is learner- centred: Language instruction is based on the expressed needs and goals of learners; learners are informed and involved in decision making related to their language learning.
The CLB standard is competency- based: The competency statements presented in the CLB describe what learners can do in English. They are broad, general statements and are intended to be contextualized within language functions and social settings when planning instruction and assessing learner performance.
The CLB standard is task-based: Assessment of learners’ language abilities is determined through the performance and comprehension of real-world tasks and texts reflecting authentic communication. For more information on a task-based approach to teaching, see the video series Taking Teaching to Task (Manitoba Immigration, nd).
The CLB standard stresses community, study, and work-related tasks: Language learning tasks that are the focus of instruction and assessment are contextualized within community, study and work settings relevant to learners’ needs and interests.
The theoretical model of communicative competence underpinning the CLB is also reflected in PBLA:
Communicative competence requires organizational knowledge, including grammatical and textual knowledge; pragmatic knowledge, including functional and sociolinguistic knowledge; and strategic competence (CCLB, 2012a, p. IX).
Through instruction and assessment, teachers aim to address and have learners practise language learning activities related to each of these elements.
Download the complete PBLA Practice Guidelines 2019
We suggest viewing the Introduction to the PBLA Practice Guidelines 2019
presentation if you have not already done so.