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Adult ESL (English as a Second Language)

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Teachers here at school, they’re very supportive, they know that English is not your first language so they have a lot of patience with you, they try to help you, especially in settling down in Canada.

Former student of the Adult ESL program

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Our ESL program can help you with:

  • Reading, writing and grammar
  • Speaking, listening and pronunciation 
  • Workplace skills, computer literacy
  • Citizenship preparation
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Test Preparation

Day and night adult classes are available for New Canadians, Landed Immigrants, Refugees, Refugee Claimants, Visa Holders, Visitors and Diplomats. Classes are throughout the city of Ottawa at Ottawa Catholic School Board adult schools and community locations.

Adult ESL Course Schedules, Details and Locations

See our Adult ESL course selections!

Learn more

Registration

To register, call or email to make an appointment for in-person registration at one of our registration locations.

Registration locations and contact information:
  • St. Joseph’s Adult School: 330 Lajoie St., (Ottawa East), 613-741-6808  joseph.adult@ocsb.ca
  • St. Patrick’s Adult School: 290 Nepean St., (Downtown), 613-594-5773 patrick.adult@ocsb.ca
  • St. Nicholas Adult HS: 893 Admiral Ave., (West Campus), 613-228-9060 esl.admiral@ocsb.ca

New students are welcome to register ONLINE.

Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB)

The Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test assesses how well you use English. After completing the test, you will receive an assessment report that gives your Canadian Language Benchmarks levels for listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

The Language Assessment and Referral Centre at the YMCA-YWCA provides immigrants with English or French language assessments for government-funded programs. Their services are offered at no cost.

ESL & LINC Eligibility

Generally, newcomers to Canada are eligible for language training at no cost. Eligibility must be verified when registering for a class.

To register in ESL or LINC programs you must:

  • be an adult, 18 years of age or older (if younger, with proof of high school completion from the country of origin)
  • be able to show proof of Ontario address
  • have your language ability evaluated by a Language Assessment Centre. YMCA’s Language Assessment and Referral Centre (Y-LARC) provides immigrants with English or French language assessments for government-funded programs

English As A Second Language (ESL)

  • Canadian Citizens (those born outside Canada who do not speak English as a first language)
  • Permanent Residents
  • Convention Refugees/Protected Persons
  • Persons in Canada whose applications for Permanent Resident status are being processed in Canada, and who have been informed by a letter from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada of the initial approval of their application subject to an admissibility assessment
  • Refugee Claimants
  • Temporary residents with CUAET
  • Temporary Workers or Students who have obtained initial approval for a concurrent Application for Permanent Residence
  • Foreign Domestic Worker admitted under the Live-In Caregiver program
  • Provincial Nominee (or Dependant) approved through Opportunities Ontario
  • Temporary Foreign Worker (or Dependant) approved through Canadian Experience Class

Language Instruction For Newcomers To Canada (LINC)

  • Permanent Residents
  • Government Assisted Refugees (GARs)

Not eligible for LINC

  • Canadian citizens
  • Refugee claimants
  • Temporary residents (such as foreign students, foreign workers or visitors)

ESL & LINC Assessment

All new learners must have a language assessment completed at the Ottawa Y-Language Assessment and Referral Centre (Y-LARC). Learners may then select the school location of their choice and register in person Please bring proof of status in Canada, proof of Ontario address and proof of immunization for children (if they are attending our childcare program).

  • Central Location: 308-240 Catherine St. | Tel: 613-238-5462
  • West Location: 1642 Merivale Rd. | Tel: 613-688-2150

Note: Visitors, diplomats and international students can be also assessed at Y-LARC for $125. Please call the school for more information or for help to make an assessment appointment at Y-LARC.

View the following videos for a more detailed explanation:

ESL Fees

Newcomers to Canada are eligible for language training at no cost. Eligibility must be verified when registering for a class.

Day Classes:

  • $4,000 per year for 15 hours a week ($400 monthly instalment) or
  • $8,000 per year for 30 hours a week ($800 monthly instalment)

Types of Payment

  • Cash
  • Money order

Cancellation Fee

In case of cancellation, students are charged either 15% of tuition paid or $50, whichever amount is less.

Online Night Classes:

  • $1,500 per year for 2 nights ($150 monthly instalment) or
  • $3,000 per year for 4 nights ($300 monthly instalment)

For information on Online Night ESL classes, please contact us at St. Patrick Adult School 9:00am – 3:30pm on weekdays: 613-594-5773 or email: patrick.adult@ocsb.ca

Types of Payment

  • Cash
  • Money order

Cancellation Fee

In case of cancellation, students are charged either 15% of tuition paid or $50, whichever amount is less.

Saturday Classes

  • $800 per year ($80 monthly instalment)

Types of Payment

  • Cash
  • Money order

Cancellation Fee

In case of cancellation, students are charged either 15% of tuition paid or $50, whichever amount is less.

Material Fees

All learners pay material fees:

  • $25 Part-time (15 hours/week) material fee per year
  • $30 Full-time (30 hours/week) material fee per year
  • $10 Night classes
  • $5 Saturday classes

Summer Programs

Interested in our Adult Summer Programs?

Learn more

Please note

  • The proposed schedule and locations for the new school year are subject to change depending on directions from Ottawa Public Health or other factors at the School Board.
  • Classes will include online components and learners should be prepared to participate in online sessions or complete online assignments.