About Us

The Bilingualism Centre at your service

What you should know about the Centre


Our number one mission is to assure that all members of our university’s community can live and learn in the official language of their choice. The Bilingualism Centre emphasizes education in BOTH of Canada’s official languages, the accessibility to information and activities in both official languages, the advocacy of linguistic rights, and the growth of the two official languages as well as their respective cultures.

Summary of Services

All members of our community are invited to take advantage of the services offered by the Centre.

  • We offer the opportunity to practice your second language with a tutor and during cultural events.
  • If you feel like you have been a victim of linguistic discrimination, we will also work to advocate for your language rights on campus.
  • For francophones, francophiles, and lovers of Canadian culture, the Centre presents a wide variety of cultural activities throughout the academic year.


What do volunteers do?

Volunteers give life to the educational programs at the Centre. Among the many activities volunteers lead, most spend their time tutoring and guide participants in learning a second language. Others work during cultural events such as the Gala de la francophonie or the Mois de la francophonie. Every kind of volunteer can find their place in the Bilingualism Centre’s team, so let’s find yours!

How to become a volunteer?

If volunteering interests you, please talk to us! We would love to talk to you in more detail about your involvement at the Bilingualism Centre today! Please sign up here.

For more information, please contact us via email at bilingualism@sfuo.ca


Since its foundation, the University of Ottawa has endeavoured to foster bilingualism and biculturalism and to preserve French culture in Ontario (1. An Act respecting University of Ottawa, S.O. 1965, c. 137, s.4(c).). As of Fall 2012, our student population has been fairly bilingual: 69.1% of students speak English and 30.1% speak French. (2. Univerity of Ottawa – Quick facts 2013, Institutional Research & Planning.). These numbers correspond with findings on a national level which estimate that 22% of Canadians identify French as their first language. 30.1% of Canadians can speak French fluently (3. Number of people and proportion of the population reporting French by selected language characteristic, Canada, 2006 and 2011, Statistics Canada). Research on this subject indicates that bilingualism is a key aspect of Canadian culture. More than 500 000 Ontarians report speaking French at home (4. Number of people and proportion of the population reporting French by selected language characteristic, New Brunswick and Ontario, 2006 and 2011. Statistics Canada.), half of whom are in Eastern Ontario. (5. Francophone Population of Ontario,  Office of francophone affairs.)

To tackle challenges relating to official language learning resources, French as a second language courses, and French Immersion studies, among others, the student body adopted a referendum. In 2007, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa created the first Bilingualism Centre in Canada. Since its creation, the Centre has worked on behalf of the two official language communities; we work to protect every university student’s right to live and learn in the language of their choice. This work is particularly important for the Francophone minority who is not always equitably represented on our campus.

Pas du tout! Whether you are francophone, francophile, anglophone, or allophone, the Centre is there for you. The Bilingualism Centre exists for all members of our community and we are more than happy to invite you in!

Bien sûr! Our tutoring sessions and resources are available in English for francophones and allophones wishing to improve their English. Come to the Centre and we will find the right program for your needs.

No way! As a member of the SFUO, services from the Bilingualism Centre and other SFUO service centres are free!

Although our staff is bilingual, we cannot offer a translation service. However, if you are looking for a bilingual dictionary, we have plenty that you may use!

  • SFUO clubs and Federated Bodies can benefit from a translation correction service to correct your posters and public ads before publication. For more information, please write a detailed message.