4 Unusual Ottawa Attractions to Visit When You Study ESL for Carleton University

Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, has many fun unique things to do while you study English!
Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, has many fun unique things to do while you study English!

If you’re taking ESL courses because you want to attend Carleton University, you will have plenty of chances to explore Canada’s fun capital city of Ottawa. After you’ve seen all the usual attractions like the Parliament Buildings and Rideau Canal, you might be looking for something even more unique to do with your new international friends.

So gather your new classmates and discover these four unusual attractions in Ottawa. What’s the best part? You can practice your English while you visit them!

1. Visit the Diefenbunker During Your ESL for Carleton University Studies

The Diefenbunker is a safety bunker that was built from 1959 to 1961 during the Cold War. Canada’s Prime Minister at the time, John Diefenbaker, built the bunker in order to protect the government in case Canada came under attack. The bunker is 75 feet underground with four floors. It could have held over 500 people for 30 days in case something bad happened to Canada’s capital city.

Fortunately, the bunker never had to be put to the test and Canada is very safe. The underground building was declared a National Heritage Site in 1994 and is now an interesting museum you can visit. You can practice your English listening skills by taking a tour of the bunker and learning about its interesting history. The Deifenbunker even has special events like zombie adventures and escape room challenges for advanced ESL students to try while they study in Ottawa!

Tour the Diefenbunker and learn about history while you’re studying in Canada
Tour the Diefenbunker and learn about history while you’re studying in Canada

2. See Horses and Mounties at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stable

Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police—also called Mounties—are famous for their red jackets, yellow striped pants, and wide-brimmed hats. They are most known for riding horses. You can discover the RCMP and their horses for yourself by visiting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Stable when you take English for academic purposes courses. Guided tours are available all year long, and (if you’re lucky!) you may even catch the Canadian Mounties during their Musical Ride practices.

Visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Horse Stable with your friends
Visit the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Horse Stable with your friends

3. Take a Tour of the Old County Jail When You Study ESL for Carleton University

Join The Haunted Walk’s Crime and Punishment Jail Tour to walk the hallways of one of Ottawa’s first jails. Your tour guide will tell you about what life was like for prisoners. You will even get to see their cells!

You will have plenty of opportunity to practice the English skills you’ve gained during your ESL for Carleton university studies. For example, you may practice your listening skills as your tour guide talks about the history of the Old Carleton County Jail. You can even read brochures about the jail while you’re there to practice your reading skills.

4. Explore the Beautiful Victorian Central Experimental Farm that Surrounds Ottawa

Not far from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court is a beautiful working farm. The Central Experimental Farm is a research station for Canada’s Department of Agriculture. The government uses the land to conduct research on gene expression and biodiversity in crops.

You can visit the farm with your friends to see what beautiful Canadian farms have to offer. During your visit you can see attractions such as the Ornamental Gardens, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and the heritage buildings. Practice speaking English with your friends by naming the plants and animals you encounter!

Are you interested in studying English as a second language for Carleton University?

Contact CultureWorks today to learn how you can get started!

Taking English Courses for Academic Purposes? Here’s How Reading the News Can Help You Learn English!

ESL for Carleton University

If you’re looking to improve your English so you can study at a top Canadian university, it’s smart to read as much written English as you can get your hands on! One excellent source of reading material for ESL students is the news. Newspapers, advertisements, news bulletins, and more can be both interesting and informative for students like you. Here’s why.

Reading the News Improves Your Conversational English Skills

In Canada, newspapers are produced to provide everyday people with information about current events. The purpose of newspapers is to tell stories in ways that are easy for the average Canadian English-speaker to digest. That means the news is written in a style similar to the language you would hear spoken on the street by average Canadians.

By reading local news, you get instant access to the kind of vocabulary today’s English speakers use most often in conversation—making it a handy way to get comfortable with your second language while at ESL school.

Tip: Try reading news articles out loud with a pen in hand. Unlike textbooks, newspapers are disposable, so you can feel free to mark them up with notes and highlights. Circle new words, underline important sentences, and make note of which phrases you’d like to try using yourself!

Students in English Courses for Academic Purposes Read the News to Improve their Grammar

If you’re interested in taking English courses for academic purposes, you know that English universities expect a certain level of English proficiency among their students. You can get ready to become one of these strong ESL students with the right training program and the habit of reading the news.

Newspaper articles tend to use crisp, clear writing with short, declarative sentences—sentences that use a subject-verb-object structure pattern. Usually news article headlines follow this rule. It helps newspapers achieve the kind of clear and easy-to-read writing that professors expect in English college and university programs.

You can even access the news in different levels of difficulty, through resources like BBC’s Learning English page, The New York Times’ Learning Network page, and NewsInLevels.com. All mainstream news media sites and newspapers are carefully edited, so reading them at any level of difficulty will show you clear examples of how English grammar and punctuation should be used.

Students in English Courses for Carleton University Read the News to Learn New Vocabulary

Perhaps the most exciting benefit of reading the news as an English-learner is the range of topics and vocabulary it presents. By reading about current events, you’ll learn about topics like culture, events, and politics that are exciting to talk about with friends and classmates.

CultureWorks students can have fun talking about news topics that interest them
CultureWorks students can have fun talking about news topics that interest them

If you’re taking English courses for Carleton University, reading the news can help you learn new vocabulary. In fact, at CultureWorks, we even have an elective called ‘The Daily Boomalang,’ where students read and discuss current events. Reading the news can also help you boost program-specific vocabulary too. If you’d like to learn more business vocabulary, for example, you could practice reading the business section of the newspaper.

Are you interested in taking ESL for Carleton University?

Visit CultureWorks to learn more about getting started.