Where to study English or French in Ottawa

For many immigrants who come to Ottawa, mastering the English language is a must. If a newcomer doesn’t have an advanced level, they will need to look for a language school to fill in any gaps in order to succeed in the job market.

In the case the newcomer speaks good English but doesn’t know any French, they might consider learning it so that they have more chances to land a job. Although it’s not necessary to speak French to live or work in Ottawa, it’s certainly a very desirable asset.

I remember a couple of times when I handed over my resume in person, the person who received it looked briefly at the resume and marked with a pencil the word French. I took care to put in a visible place in the document that I had an intermediate knowledge of French.

Probably that was what helped me to get my first job as a Spanish instructor for children who had francophone backgrounds.

So, if you need to learn or improve your English or French, you should know that there is a program aimed at helping newcomers acquire good language skills so they can more easily integrate into Canadian society.

This program is called Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The courses are free in Ottawa for Permanent Residents or Convention refugees, who are older than 18 and who reside in Ontario.

The French version of the LINC program is the Cours de Langue pour les immigrants au Canada (CLIC) and is also free.

The only payment required in these funded programs is for materials and those costs range from $15 to $35.

In any case, if you want to enroll in the LINC or CLIC programs you have to have an assessment at the Language Assessment and Referral Centre (LARC) by setting up an appointment.

Central Location
240 Catherine Street, suite 308
613-238-5462, 613-404-1559 or 343-999-5064

West Location
1642 Merivale Road, 2nd Floor (Merivale Mall)
613-688-2150, 613-404-1559 or 343-961-5259

LINC Schools

ESL/LINC Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)

The OCDSB, which is the largest board of English public schools in Ottawa, offers not only the LINC program but also preparation courses for the IELTS test and the Citizenship test. https://www.ocdsb.ca/cms/One.aspx?portalId=55478&pageId=214016

Phone: 613-239-2737

Address: 440 Albert Street.

Email: esl@ocdsb.ca

Saint Patrick Adult School

This school offers the LINC program and also computer courses, and preparation courses for the IELTS test. https://www.eslottawa.com/stpats2.html

Phone: 613-594-5773

Address: 290 Nepean Street. K1R 5G3

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

OCISO offers an intensive LINC program and also provides immigrant services to newcomers including help in settlement, counseling, and assistance in finding a job, and clinical counseling in case of stress or anxiety. https://ociso.org/language-instruction-for-newcomers-linc/

Address: 1800 Bank Street. 3rd Floor (Bank Street South, near Alta Vista Dr.)
K1V 0W3

Phone: 613-238-5462

Graybridge Malkam

This is a private institution that offers language training but also runs the LINC program (levels 1 to 6). https://graybridgemalkam.com/courses-workshops/language-proficiency/language-instruction-newcomers-canada-linc-level-1-6

Address: Westgate Shopping Centre, 2nd Floor
1309 Carling Avenue, Suite 5

Education Permanente

This school offers a subsidized program for newcomers who want to learn English but it’s not entirely free. If you’re a permanent resident, there’s a fee of $40 per month. https://educationpermanente.ca/langue-seconde/

Address: 181 Donald Street. K1K 1N1

Phone: (613) 741-2304


La Cité

This school offers free courses in French and also English to newcomers, aiming to facilitate their integration into a job. https://www.collegelacite.ca/immigrants-langue

Address: 801 Aviation Parkway. K1K 4R3

Phone: (613) 742-2475. Toll-free: 1 800 267-2475  

Email: tonavenir@collegelacite.ca

Ecole des Adultes Le Carrefour

This school offers a funded French program for new immigrants and the unique fee is $20. https://carrefour.cepeo.on.ca/programmes/education-aux-adultes/centre-de-langues-language-courses/

Address: 2445 Boul. Saint-Laurent. K1G 6C3

Phone: (613) 731-7212

Email: languages.secondes@cepeo.on.ca

Education Permanente

This school is where I studied French before the pandemic and my experience was a very good one. I took the full-time program that was three hours a day, five days a week, besides an additional three hours of online work daily. It also offers programs in English and Spanish. https://educationpermanente.ca/langue-seconde/

Address: 181 Donald Street. K1K 1N1

Phone: (613) 741-2304

Learning languages or improving our communication skills in the two official languages in Canada will always be of great benefit. I hope this post is helpful to you. Take care.

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