Learning or Improving your English

Peterborough has many programs, classes, and activities that will help you learn or improve your English. You can find a program that meets your needs regardless of your language level, immigration status, and schedule. Below is a selection of available programs, however a more comprehensive list and details on each program can be found here.

Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)

The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program provides free English classes to permanent residents, live-in caregivers and convention refugees. These classes assist with the settlement process and help newcomers learn English. Contact the New Canadians Centre to book an appointment with a Settlement Counsellor and complete a free language assessment.

English as a Second Language (ESL) training for students

Trent University offers ESL classes for international students. The English for University program is an intensive academic English language program that provides total immersion in the English speaking community and a strong foundation for university and professional success.  Conditional admission (for degree-seeking students) allows for university study to be combined with ESL training. Upon completion of the ESL program, students immediately progress to degree studies or can continue in their professional role with outstanding English proficiency. These courses cost money.

The English As A Second Language Bridge Program is an intensive full-time academic English program that integrates all language skills in order to prepare English Language Learners for post-secondary studies. Students who successfully complete the ELB program can move directly into a Full-Time Program at Fleming College.

Occupation Specific Language Training

Enhanced language training (ELT) and occupation-specific language training (OSLT) programs are intended to provide language training specialized for your industry. ELT is most useful for you if you are a trained professional or trained tradesperson. OSLT is an advanced level of training and is available within driving distance of Peterborough. For information on occupation specific language training in Peterborough, contact the New Canadians Centre

The English Conversation Circle

The English Conversation Circle is a weekly English class at the New Canadians Centre. The program is free and is open to all newcomers. It is led by trained volunteers. No registration is necessary.

The New Canadians Centre also offers a variety of English language workshops throughout the year. Past workshops include Slang & Idioms, Pronunciation and Business English.

ITCH Conversation Circle

The ITCH is another free English conversation circle run by Trent Valley International Coffee House. It is free and open to all newcomers.  ITCH is held at Sadleir House every Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Those who are interested in attending should register by emailing ITCH.Peterborough@hotmail.com.

One World ESL School

One World ESL School offers English language training at all levels and is open to all learners. Full-time classes run Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Part-time classes and one-on-one tutoring are arranged as needed. Contact them at oneworldeslschool@sympatico.ca, tesltrainer@sympatico.ca or by phone at 705-755-0378.


Toastmasters  is a public speaking improvement organization. It provides training and gives you the opportunity to practice your English and public speaking skills at the same time. You will need advanced English skills to participate in Toastmasters. In Peterborough, Toastmasters training is available through Peterborough Toastmasters or through the New Canadians Centre Speakers Bureau program.

Online Resources

There are a number of online resources that will help you with your language skills.