The main role of Literacy Networks is to facilitate the Literacy Community Planning Process (LCP). They function as a liaison between Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training & Skills Development (MLITSD) and local literacy providers as a group. Literacy Networks also function to build partnerships and collaboration in the community between literacy providers and other community stakeholders. Literacy Networks may also undertake a variety of other activities related to literacy, such as research, training or assessment services.
LCP stands for Literacy Community Planning. This is a process by which all of the literacy service providers in a region co‐ordinate and plan services. This co‐ordination culminates in an annual Literacy Service Plan (LSP).
No. However, every literacy network has information about, and can provide referrals to, any of the LBS programs in its region.
Literacy Networks are part of Employment Ontario umbrella of services, funded by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD).
Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS)
LBS has 4 streams: Anglophone, Francophone, Native and Deaf. LBS provides basic education for adults in 6 competencies
- find and use information (e.g., read continuous text)
- communicate ideas and information (e.g., complete and create documents)
- understand and use numbers (e.g., manage money)
- use digital technology
- manage learning
- engage with others
LBS programs use the Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF). The OALCF provides a consistent delivery model while still allowing for individualized programming. There are 3 OALCF levels. Learners complete milestones as they progress through their learning plans and when ready to move to another level, complete a culminating task.
The length of time a learner is in the program depends on their pace of learning, the level they are starting at and their goal.
Anyone over the age of 19 can attend an LBS program. Some programs may allow students over the age of 16 to attend on an exception‐only basis. You should have some identification to prove your residency status in Ontario.
LBS programs are right for anyone who needs to improve their reading, writing or math skills. Even if you finished Grade 12 but you feel that you need to upgrade your skills you can still participate in LBS classes. Those who speak English as a Second Language must have a current Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 6 or higher in listening and speaking to participate in LBS.
There are many different providers for LBS. In your area LBS may be provided by a school board, community college or community based program such as a literacy council or pre‐employment program.
LBS programs are part of Employment Ontario umbrella of services, funded by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD).
Most LBS programs are free. Some programs may charge a small fee to register (less than $25).
Class sizes vary (2 to 20+); some programs provide tutors who work 1 to 1 with learners.
Most LBS classes are continuous intake – you can start anytime. Note that some programs may close during the summer. Most LBS classes are offered during the day, but many locations also offer evening classes.
Most LBS programs are offered on a full‐time basis; some are offered on a part-time basis. Programs with tutors may be flexible in terms of when and where they can meet with learners. If you want to study at home visit E‐Channel at www.e‐channel.ca
There are 2 major differences
- LBS programs help you achieve specific goals and acquire specific educational skills, whether related to employment, training or independence; high school credit programs are curriculum‐directed (everybody studies the same thing).
- LBS program studies go up to Grade 9‐10 level equivalency ‐ you do not complete LBS with a Grade 12 equivalent diploma; high school credit programs work towards achieving a Grade 12 diploma or providing pre‐requisite credits for college or university studies
Community colleges in Ontario that offer LBS classes also have programs that bridge learners to the colleges’ grade 12 equivalency program called Academic and Career Entrance (ACE).
Yes, most regions in Ontario have LBS classes available in French for people whose first language is French.
Most LBS programs do not have specific classes for students with diagnosed with learning disabilities. However, many instructors can help you increase your functional skills in reading, writing, or numeracy and help you with strategies and accommodations to help you cope with learning disabilities.
An official definition of Learning Disabilities can be found at Learning Disability Association of Ontario.
Yes, you can by connecting to any of these online programs. The current e‐Channel network consists of the following delivery organizations
- The LearningHUB for English speaking students
- Good Learning Anywhere for Aboriginal students
- Coalition Ontarienne de Formation des Adultes (COFA) for French students
- Deaf Learn Now for Deaf students
- Academic & Career Entrance Program / ACE Distance for students preparing to enter college
Yes, and in most cases attending LBS classes can help you meet your participation agreement requirements.
Yes, but check to see how many hours you are approved by EI to attend. Some EI offices will only approve upgrading for less than 10 hours per week. Other offices will approve more hours per week.
Whether you attend on a part‐time or full‐time basis, instructors are looking for you to make and commit to a schedule and specific goals.
Once you complete LBS you will be ready for employment, training or higher level education opportunities.
Literacy and Essential Skills
An international definition of literacy was established from the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS‐1994) study: “Literacy is the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities, at home, at work and in the community, to achieve one’s goals and to develop one’s knowledge and potential."
Both the IALS (1994) and the follow‐up Adult Learning & Lifeskills Survey (ALLS‐2003), found that 42% of all Canadians have difficulty with everyday literacy tasks. The 2013 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC) Results supported the evidence that literacy remains an issue in Canada. PIACC also indicated that those leaving the workforce have a higher skill set than those entering the workforce, resulting in a skills gap.
The term Essential Skills, in Canada, is generally used to refer to the system developed by Human Resources & Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) as a comprehensive description of the range of skills which are “essential” for work, learning and life. This includes Reading Text, Document Use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral Communication, Working with Others, Continuous Learning, Thinking Skills, and Computer Use. Go to the Essentials Skills homepage for further information