English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL programs

Do you picture yourself working in a bilingual context?

ESL programs are designed to improve and broaden your English language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and knowledge of specialized areas such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and cultural awareness. Course units from these programs count for credits, students from all faculties can register.

Through the English as a Second Language Programs, you will:

  • Develop your English through a variety of learning activities using motivating instructional materials.
  • The program includes a rich blend of content and task-based approaches, hybrid course offerings, experiential learning and community engagement.
  • Be prepared to use English appropriately and confidently in a variety of social, academic and professional contexts.
  • Your learning is supported by innovative and traditional learning resources, such as multimedia materials and language labs, a resource centre, web-based activities, conversation workshops and a dynamic students’ association!

These programs are offered:


  • Full time or part time



Choose your program

Want to further customize your degree?

Complete a microprogram by taking any 4 ESL courses of your choice.  Acquire knowledge and develop skills for fewer course units than a major or an honors program.

  • Students already admitted to a University of Ottawa program may add the microprogram to their program of study through the online tool. It will contribute to the degree requirements at the elective course level.
  • Individuals interested in the microprogram who are not previously admitted to a University of Ottawa program must apply for registration as a special student.

Career opportunities in public and private sectors

  • Second Language Teaching
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • Public Relations
  • Public Service
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Creative or Technical Writing

Beginner in English?

Course in English as a Second Language is meant to help you improve your language skills. The course is offered from a beginner level to an advanced level.

Check the courses available for you

Links with other programs

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