People will always have certain preferences for learning from Toronto to Vancouver. Some enjoy traditional, classroom setups while some prefer to study on their own or learn through a much more informal way. Both of these learning methods have helped people and they’re both great ways to learn.

Regardless of their preferred learning method, the world of today has easily innovated to accommodate without compromising quality. Gone are the days where learning has to be confined in classrooms. Sometimes, you can even do it at home.

However, as much as there are advantages, disadvantages and challenges can also be expected.

In this blog, we’ll talk about the different challenges in learning and the ways you can learn English in Ottawa, their advantages, as well as their disadvantages. Read on to know more about each.

Challenges in Learning English 

Different Ways to Learn English in Ottawa. Source: Pixabay

Students will always encounter challenges as they learn, whatever the subject may be. However, for those who are learning English, there are a few notable challenges that are quite unique to this journey.

Here are some challenges:

Different Structure and Alphabet

If you’re learning English as a second language, it can be pretty challenging considering there might be differences in sentence structure and writing system. It can be pretty complicated since there are rules you might not always understand, especially in informal settings.

This may be a challenge for those who are not yet that speedy when it comes to translating sentences from their native language to English. Not only will it follow a different structure, it may also need words you don’t know how to translate yet.

Diction and Pronunciation 

Certain languages have pronunciations that may harden their tongues when speaking English. This might be a challenge when the words they want to say don’t get pronounced correctly either indicating a different meaning or not being understandable at all.

Slang and Informal Terms

While learning English is usually done through formal settings, these conversations may not always be appropriate given certain social conditions. If you just want to learn how to speak and write English naturally and colloquially, not for business purposes, formal classes may be lacking.

Sometimes, it might be even better just to watch TV shows in order to understand and adapt these colloquial terms and slangs.


The cost of learning English can also be a challenge as some classes are quite expensive, especially when you’re vying for a certification. These costs are usually non-refundable and can only be maximized if you pass such exams or certification.

If you happen to fail, you might be required to spend the same, if not more money the second time around.

Learning the English Language in in School 

Before the internet came to be, the only formal and common way of learning was through formal schooling. People simply enrol themselves in classes and learn from teachers who have extensive knowledge which they also learned from schools themselves.

Considering that this is probably the most common and oldest way of learning, an obvious advantage is that your knowledge is recognized through certificates and diplomas. You’ll also be validated through exams and grades that show your knowledge.

However, traditional learning can also be costly as not all tuition fees come for free. For higher education learning, the fees can be expensive which is an obvious hindrance to those who cannot afford it. Luckily, there are scholarships and loans available to provide support or leeways.

Learning the English Language in Ottawa. Source: Pixabay

In Ottawa, there are several world-class institutions that offer quality education. Some of the schools that offer English programs are the following:

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa is known to be the largest bilingual university in the world, like in Montréal speaking both French and English. It provides its students tons of access to different institutions and is an expert in social sciences, engineering, and humanities.

The university currently offers an English Intensive Program which can open a lot of doors for its students. It teaches more than 1000 students from different countries and territories each year to improve their English speaking and writing skills.

It’s offered three times a year, in spring, fall, and winter. Levels range from beginner to advanced, where skills are developed through listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Moreover, it’s inclusive of enriching socio-cultural activities to understand the Canadas culture.

Carleton University

Located on an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rideau Canal, Carleton University was founded in 1942 to help veterans returning from World War 2. The university is known for its innovation in research, teaching and learning.

Currently, the university Global Academy offers an Intensive English Language Training. It’s a full time, open enrollment program with courses currently offered in the campus.

The program seeks to help both professionals and students learn from basics to advanced lessons of the English language. Moreover, work-relevant communication and lessons are taught in a total of 23 hours. 

Faculty members and ESL professionals are teachers of the said program, using the latest and effective teaching methods.

Algonquin College

Algonquin College was named after the First Nations people who were residents of the area during the time it was built in 1967. The college was just a result of a merger between two schools: Eastern Ontario Institute of Technology and Ontario Vocational Centre.

It’s dedicated to student success and has ensured it through quality of the program, continual improvement of facilities, and the constant forging of strategic partnerships. 

The college offers an English as a Second Language (ESL) course that is structured and designed to meet different needs such as test preparations, language for business, and pronunciation.

Students of this course are all granted access to the college’s Multimedia Language Centre. But take not that a placement test is required for all levels of this training. Results from that test will determine your level in the course.

Step by Step Proficiency English Language School

The Step by Step Proficiency English Language School takes in pride offering small classes where there are only about 10 students. This is their way of ensuring that students learn as much as they can without compromising quality.

The small class size is also beneficial so that teachers can focus on their students and that students can speak up without much difficulty. One thing worth noting is that faculty members are members of the Ontario College of Teachers and are certified ESL instructors.

Currently, they offer a wide variety of English courses to achieve different levels of proficiency. These are:

  • Grammar
  • Pronunciation
  • Conversation
  • CNN

These unique programs will be able to help students learn English step by step and develop the proficiency they need to master it as if it’s their first language.

Private English Tutoring Sessions

And last but not the least, you can also learn English through private tutoring sessions where ever you live from Toronto to Vancouver. Contrary to the previously mentioned ways of learning, this learning method is unconventional and can be a little different than the traditional methods.

What makes learning through private tutoring sessions unique is that it’s personalized according to your learning method and personal goals. Moreover, your strengths and weaknesses are considered and evaluated as you go along which is helpful in assessing your progress.

This learning method can also be delivered through physical sessions or video conferences, whichever is more convenient and agreed upon by both parties. However, a certain limitation of learning through private tutoring sessions is that it’s not as structured as traditional classes.

So if you’re looking for frequent examinations, grading systems, and other forms of academic evaluations, this may not be the best choice for you. If you do want a more flexible and a bit informal way of learning, opt for this.

Finding a Private English Tutor in Ottawa. Source: Pixabay

An easy way to find yourself a private English tutor is by simply searching off the internet. But the easiest way would be to just go to Superprof. This online platform only needs your desired field of interest and your location to give you a list of tutors near you.

From the list, you can choose a tutor that best fits your budget and current needs. You’ll also get the chance to discuss more once you finally decide on having a first session—which is free, by the way.

So, ready to start your learning? Go to Superprof today and start browsing!


Students of today are lucky enough to have access to different types of learning methods. In Ottawa, three learning methods for English can be found: traditional, online, and tutoring. All these sessions have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.

However, a student’s learning will always be dependent on their diligence to study and their interest in the field, regardless of their chosen learning method. Of course, financial capabilities and resources are considered.

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Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.