Michener English Language Assessment
Bruce Russell, B.A., B.Mus., CTESL, M.Ed. (OISE)
The assessment takes approximately 4 hours and scores are reported in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
Reading, Writing and Listening – Saturdays between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Toronto – Eastern Time)
Speaking – Sundays for a 30-minute timeslot between 9:00am and 4:00pm (Toronto – Eastern Time)
The Michener Institute of Education at UHN (conveniently located by St. Patrick Subway Station)
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON, Canada M5T 1V4
For participants located outside of Ontario: The MELA test is no longer being offered online. Unfortunately, this makes attending a MELA test more complicated for out-of-province participants. Please note that we currently do not recommend travelling outside of your home province to attend the MELA; this is because we cannot guarantee that we will be able to run a test session without a minimum number of participants, and Michener reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a MELA test within a week of the test date. This can be difficult to anticipate as participants are arranging for travel plans in addition to attending the MELA.
As such, if you are located outside of Ontario and require an English language test, we recommend finding an assessment more accessible to your location that is accepted by your professional body. If you decide to travel to attend a MELA test date, all associated costs related to your travel, including additional costs incurred when a MELA is cancelled, will be a risk incurred by the participant. Michener accepts no responsibility for these costs; Michener will not reimburse participants for these costs or make special arrangements for those affected by a cancelled MELA. In registering for a MELA test, you are agreeing to incur this risk as an out-of-province participant.
When you arrive at the Michener Institute for an onsite MELA, you will be directed to the test room at reception. The test room will open at the time the test is scheduled to start. The test invigilator will ask you to complete a registration form, sign an attendance form and show a government issued photo ID (e.g. drivers’ license, health card) to verify your identity. No dictionaries or electronic devices are allowed in the test room. You may use pen or pencil to complete the test.
The reading, writing, and listening tests take 3 hours and there will be one short break after the first hour. You should allow a minimum of 4 hours to complete the MELA.
To minimize the risk of close contact with the test invigilator, the speaking test will take place following day online. Participants will be required to log on to the Zoom session for a 30-minute interview between 9:00am and 4:00pm during the specified speaking test date.
To participate in the MELA Online, participants must have access to:
- High speed internet
- Speakers with a microphone or a head set
- Webcam (You are not permitted to use the camera associated with your mobile phone. Laptop web cams are acceptable)
- Quiet room to complete the test
- A piece of government-issued photo ID to verify your identity
All communications will be sent to the participants via email only at the email address provided at the time of registration. Michener does not accept responsibility for missed communications. It is the responsibility of each participant to check ALL personal email folders (including Junk/Spam, promotions, social, etc.) to ensure they receive communications from Michener.
If you have signed up for a MELA test, you will hear from the MELA office approximately a week in advance of the test. Speaking Test invitations with instructions will be sent no later than 3 days ahead of the MELA. If you cannot locate any communications from us at that time, it is recommended to reach out to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three (3) days prior to the writing of your test.
Please note: A participant may only attempt the MELA test up to a maximum of 3 times.
Is MELA different from other language tests I have already taken?
Yes. Michener English Language Assessment (MELA) tests communication exclusively in the context of Canadian healthcare (workplace and academic). All the test tasks are related to communication in health care.
Who can take MELA?
- Students applying for admission to the Michener Institute
- Health professionals fulfilling the language requirement for professional certification
How can I prepare for MELA?
The MELA is intended to measure how well you use English in a familiar health care context. There are no specific training programs or material available to prepare for taking the MELA test but you can still prepare yourself for MELA by:
- Reviewing the format of the test as described in this document;
- Reviewing the sample tasks in this document via the downloadable MELA PDF ;
- Becoming familiar with language used in typical healthcare communication tasks. For example, understanding main ideas, facts, details, and inferences in workplace written texts; giving verbal instructions to a staff member; understanding information delivered orally in a professional development presentation; and understanding facts and details in a work-related voicemail message.
Where is MELA administered?
The Michener Institute of Education at UHN
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5T 1V4
What do I need to bring to a test session?
Government issued photo identification (for example, a health card or driver’s license) and a pen or pencil.
How long is a test session?
The reading, writing, and listening tests are 3 hours. The speaking test is 20 minutes. Speaking tests are scheduled individually after the reading, writing, and listening tests. You should allow a minimum of 4 hours complete the entire test.
Can I take MELA more than once?
Yes. You can take MELA up to a maximum of three times at certain test sessions. When you register for a second or third time, The Michener Institute will inform you what dates are available to you.
What is the pass score on MELA?
There is no pass or fail on MELA. You must check the minimum score required for your purpose in taking the MELA; for example, program admission or professional certification.
How will I get my MELA Report?
The Michener Institute will send you an electronic test report. To fulfill language requirements for professional certification, submit a copy of your electronic MELA Test Report to the CSMLS, CMIRTO, CRTO, or CMTO.
When will I get my MELA Report?
You will receive your MELA Test Report within 10 business days of your MELA test session.
List of Regulatory Bodies
The following regulatory bodies have approved the MELA test as one of their language proficiency tests for their applicants who are required to demonstrate English proficiency.
- Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science
- College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario
- College of Medical Radiation and Imaging Technologists of Ontario
- College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
- College of Massage Therapy of Ontario
“The CRTO has embedded MELA as one of the accepted language proficiency tests used in the registration process. We recognized MELA as a valuable and unique tool because of MELA’s focus on health care specific context” by Ania Walsh, Manager of Registration, CRTO
For information on transfers, withdrawals, refunds and cancellations, please refer to our Continuing Education Policy.
Participants must comply with social distancing measures and wear a face mask at all times. In addition, to minimize time spent indoors on your MELA test date, the MELA Speaking Test interview will be conducted online at a later date – typically by next day. Additional information will be provided to all registrants.
COVID Vaccine Requirement:
Proof of full vaccination will be required.
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