uoPAL - Practical Active Learning

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Is this course for me?

Are you looking to improve your English skills? Do you want to spend the summer meeting new friends from around the world? Do you want to live in Canada`s capital city? Then uoPAL is for you! 

The uoPAL program will help you take the next step in your English learning journey. In addition to studying in Canada's bilingual capital, the program's highly qualified instructors will help you improve your English language skills in the best possible environment. 

Our general goal is to help you: 

  • Communicate effectively with both native and non-native English speakers;
  • Notice and appreciate similarities and differences between cultures;
  • Learn with classmates from around the world; and
  • Enjoy life in Canada.

What does uoPAL mean? It stands for the University of Ottawa Practical Active Learning course. 

To be practical, this course:

  • Connects you to the real world;
  • Applies to your professional, academic, and social life; and
  • Teaches you language skills for authentic use.

To be active, this course:

  • Engages you fully in the learning process;
  • Helps you learn by doing; and
  • Makes your learning enjoyable.

To allow for learning, this course:

  • Increases your ability to use language effectively;
  • Helps you develop a deeper understanding of different cultures; and 
  • Offers you the opportunity to learn about yourself.

Course Content

Through uoPAL, you will experience English in the real world!  You will be using English to:

  • Learn about Canadians, other nationalities, and their cultures;
  • Learn to effectively manage communication with native speakers and classmates;
  • Complete tasks connected to your everyday life in the community;
  • Express your ideas and discuss your experiences; and
  • Learn to use vocabulary and grammar to communicate clearly;

Course Tasks:

Here are some of the tasks you will do:

  • Create, give, and report on a survey to explore Canadian culture;
  • Make a video to compare cultures from different countries;
  • Set up and do an interview with a University of Ottawa employee to understand university culture;
  • Produce a play incorporating different language styles to understand different cultural dimensions;
  • Create a travel blog to share your Canadian experience; and
  • Complete our everyday communication challenge task with members of the community.

Course Levels

There are four levels in the uoPAL program:

  •         uoPAL100: Beginner
  •         uoPAL200: Low Intermediate
  •         uoPAL300 High Intermediate
  •         uoPAL400: Advanced

You will take a placement test to determine which level is best for you. Please note that depending on the number of students who register for uoPAL, multiple levels might be offered within the same class.

Course Dates/Length

Program Dates

July 29 to August 23, 2019

Program Length

4 weeks



The schedule for this program is the perfect balance of class work to improve language skills, day trips to discover the Canadian culture, and free time to enjoy the campus and the city. 








Integrated Language and Task-based Skills

Integrated Language and Task-based Skills

Integrated Language and Task-based Skills

Day Trip

Integrated Language and Task-based Skills


Lunch Break


Language Enrichment

Language Enrichment

Language Enrichment

Day Trip

Independent Study

*Please note statutory holidays.


Tuition Fees

$2420 (tuition fees must be paid in full by July 23, 2019)

  • Tuition fees include course tuition, course materials, mandatory health insurance and day trips. Airport pick-up and send off can be arranged with groups of 10 or more at a separate cost.
  • Fees subject to change without notice. A non-refundable deposit of $325 is required in order to receive a letter of admission for visa purposes and to take the program online placement test.

How do I Register?

Planning to join us? Great! Here’s what you need to do:

Step one: Click on the ‘Register Now’ button at the top of this page, and complete the online application form. After you complete the form, we will contact you with more information. 

Step two: Pay your full tuition or pay a $325 non-refundable deposit.  Please follow this link to learn about how you can pay for this course.

Step three: Once we receive your payment, we will send you a letter of acceptance that you can use for your visa application. 

Step four: Get your visa and book your trip to Ottawa! 

Step five: Pay your full tuition and UHIP fees before the deadline. 

We will follow up with you throughout this process to offer help when necessary!

Day Trips

Day Tips

Language practice does not only happen in the classroom! 

Outings planned for the summer 2019 program include:

Live in Ottawa, Canada's Capital

Living in Canada’s capital has its benefits! Ottawa is one of the world best cities to live in.


Where can I live?

Are you interested in staying in the uOttawa residence while you are taking this course? If so, great! We have asked our Housing Service to hold a room for you. Let us know by clicking on the ‘Register Now’ button at the top of this page. We will then get in touch with you to help you with the next steps.

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