Source: Citizenship & Imigration Canada
There are two official languages in Canada: English and French. Almost everyone in Canada speaks at least one of these languages; millions of Canadians speak both. There are Anglophone and Francophone communities in every province and territory. English is the language of the majority everywhere in Canada, except in the province of Quebec, where French is the official language. French is spoken in many communities in other provinces, especially New Brunswick, Ontario and Manitoba. New Brunswick is an officially bilingual province.
One of the most important skills you will need to adapt to life here in Canada is to speak English or French. Once you learn one or both of these languages, you will find it easier to get a job, to understand Canada and to communicate with your children, who will be busy learning English or French at school. Knowing both languages is strongly encouraged because bilingualism makes it easier to integrate into Canadian society, especially into the labour force.
There are many language courses available, and many of them are free. Sometimes these courses are called “ESL” for English as a Second Language, or “FSL” for French as a Second Language.
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
The Government of Canada, in cooperation with provincial governments, school boards, community colleges and immigrant-serving organizations, offers free language training across the country to adult permanent residents. In most provinces, the name of the program is LINC. (In French, this program is known as CLIC, for Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada.) LINC can also assess your current language skills to find out which training program would be best for you.
LINC offers both full- and part-time classes to suit your needs. Most LINC centres can also refer you to other non-LINC classes in your area, and some offer free child care while you attend classes.
Remember, language classes are available for all the adults in your family, not just the person who may be looking for work.
For more information
To find out where you can take LINC classes in your area, go to the Services for Newcomers page of the CIC website at www.servicesfornewcomers.cic.gc.ca. You could also contact your local immigrant-serving organization. They will likely refer you to a LINC assessment centre, which will then refer you to organizations offering LINC classes. You might also want to telephone your local school board directly to find out about classes in your community.
Most universities and community colleges also offer language classes, as well as some private language schools and community organizations. You can find more information on French Classes in Ottawa here http://www.ottawafrenchlessons.com . Remember to ask about fees, since these courses may not be free.