As Canada’s capital, Ottawa is the perfect place to experience some of the country’s best attractions, celebrations and flavours.
From Parliament Hill, its many national museums and the beautiful Rideau Canal, this city is an amazing place full of opportunities for anyone looking to find them.
That said, being the capital of Canada means that it is a highly intercultural spot where you will find people from very diverse backgrounds converging.
If you are lucky to be in this city as an English student, keep reading to find out more about English schools in Ottawa, how to learn English with Superprof tutors and the basic English rules you need to know in order to succeed.
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How To Learn English? Basic English Rules
Every English student needs to start by the basics: grammar and spelling rules that can make it or break it when it comes to using the language on a regular basis.
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No matter if you are an advanced, intermediate or beginner English student, knowing the following basic English rules will help you master your way through the complexities of the language and give you some solid grounds when it comes to learning things like vocabulary, coloquial expressions and English for business.
- Rule of gold: a sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a period/full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark.
- A complete sentence must include a subject and a predicate: when we talk about a subject we refer to a person, place or thing of which the sentence is about. On the other hand, the predicate describes the subject, what the subject is doing, or what is being done to it. For example: The Dog ran. In this sentence "the dog" is the subject while "ran" is the predicate since it is describing the action that the dog is doing. As the sentence gets more complicated, it becomes more clear how subject and predicate are different from noun and verb.
- About adjectives and adverbs: you need to make sure you use adjectives and adverbs correctly. For starters, adjectives describe, identify and quantify people or things and usually go in front of a noun. They don’t change if the noun is plural. On the other hand, adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs and usually come after the verb. For example: She is a slow walker. (Adjective) She walks slowly. (Adverb)
- Most adverbs are created by adding -ly to an adjective but some adverbs are irregular, such as:
- fast (adjective) – fast (adverb)
- hard (adjective) – hard (adverb)
- good (adjective) – well (adverb)
- Compound subjects are created through the use of conjunctions. But what are conjunctions? Conjunctions are connecting words, like “and”, “or”, and “but”. For example: The dog and the cat played. This sentence has a compound subject (two subjects brought together by a conjunction) and a simple predicate.
- Pay attention to homophones: Homophonic words are those that sound and are pronounced in the same way but actually have a different meaning. Try to understand what word you are hearing from the context in which it is used. This confuses a lot of people because English is full of words like these:
- they’re – their – there
- it’s – its
- break – brake
- our – hour
- you’re – your
- here – hear
- I – eye
- flower – flour
- Make sure to always spell a proper noun with an initial capital letter. A proper noun is a "name" of something, for example Amy, James, Japan, Mexico, Ottawa Senators, English. For example: Are you going to Mexico with Amy?
- Use the correct conjugation of the verb: make sure that you change the verb to agree with the subject. The main subjects you need to be careful with are he, she and it because they often have a different form to the others. For example: She loves to dance. (RIGHT) vs She love to dance. (WRONG)
- Try to use the active voice instead of the passive voice. For example: I ate the pasta. (ACTIVE) vs The pasta was eaten by me. (PASSIVE)
- Get familiar with the main English verb tenses: if you are new to the English language you probably don't know all the verb tenses yet. Try to become familiar with the four or five that are used most often:
- Present simple: used to describe habits and permanent situations. For example: We live in Canada.
- Present continuous: this one is used to describe current situations and future plans. For example: I am going to a party tomorrow.
- Past simple: used to describe finished past actions. For example: They left at 9pm.
- Present perfect: used to describe past actions connected to now. For example: We have finished washing the dishes.
- Will: used to describe future actions. For example: I will see you next Tuesday.
Which basic English rule is the hardest for you? If you are looking for a place to formally learn English with the help of a teacher or private tutor keep reading to find out where in Ottawa you can study English.
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English Schools In Ottawa
Are you looking to study English in Ottawa in a school setting where you can learn from both a your teacher and a group of peers. If this is the case, you can check out some of the English schools in Ottawa below and the English courses that they have available for the general public:
- Algonquin College: you can enrol in English as a Second Language (ESL) at Algonquin College Language Institute to improve your English communication skills. Their courses are designed to meet various specific language needs, such as test preparation, language for business, and pronunciation. Your language training focuses on a combination of lessons which includes speaking, listening, reading, and writing. All students registered in an English as a Second Language course have access to the Multimedia Language Centre. You will need to take an initial placement test that will determine your starting level.
- Centre de Formation Caron ltée: since 1976, they offer a wide range of services in various fields of expertise which include translation, program management, language training, testing, consultation, and language profiling, as well as test and program development. Their courses include: BUSINESS FRENCH ENGLISH AND SPANISH, PREPARATION FOR STANDARD LANGUAGE EXAMINATIONS, LANGUAGE FOR SPECIFIC PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES and BUSINESS ENGLISH À LA CARTE.
- Sprachcaffe Ottawa: According to their website, "Sprachcaffe language courses offer a wealth of languages and destinations to choose from, each with their own unique charm. We aim to provide a wide enough selection of course packages so that there is something to meet the needs of all types of language learners." The courses available in this school include Standard, Intensive, Part-time, Private and many more. Courses start every week on Monday (except beginners). The minimum age for the English course in Ottawa is 18 years but for students aged 16-17 they can check the possibility of participation on request.
- GEOS Languages Plus Ottawa: they are located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, just minutes away from the Parliament Buildings of Canada. According to their website, "students benefit from variety in their daily classes. They are able to practice all of the English language skills because they get three different classes every day. Each class is taught by a different teacher. All our students take up to 90 minutes speaking and listening every day." Their courses include General English, IELTS Preparation, Business English, Private Tutorials, University and Pathways Momentum Program.
- Interlangues English Academy: located two blocks from Parliament Hill and the city’s prime landmarks, Interlangues is one of Ottawa’s top and most established language schools. In their classes, learning takes place through active student-teacher interaction and cultural instruction, and in an inclusive, dynamic setting. They have a wide range of English courses, from general to specialized programs to personalized packages, where they aim to provide students with the highest quality learning experience.
Are you ready to learn English? If you think you would benefit from English classes with a private tutor and want to learn more about finding an English teacher online, keep reading so we can introduce you to Superprof.
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Find English Tutors With Superprof
Superprof is an online platform that connects private tutors with students all over Canada. We have over 1776 English tutors all over the country that can provide online classes to those students looking to improve their English skills, prepare for a test or just feel more comfortable in a professional setting.
How to find the right English tutor for you? Just look for the subject that you are looking to study in our website and check out all the profiles available. Every tutor is different and unique, with diverse backgrounds and teaching experiences behind them.
Make sure you read as much as possible about their background and experience and that you have a clear idea of the type of private English tutor so you can learn English in the best possible way for you.
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