ESL Teacher Training

ESL Teacher Training in Canada

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Getting Started as an ESL Teacher

New ESL Teacher Prerequisites

There are some English conversation jobs and countries where English conversation practice is required. The only conversation job requirement is native speaking ability. These positions are open to native English speakers. These positions are for ESL conversation practice not ESL teaching. Some countries in Asia and Africa will allow foreigners conversation practice jobs without university degrees.

Most international ESL teaching jobs require a work permit. In most countries, it is impossible to obtain a work permit for a professional ESL teaching position without a university degree and a professional ESL teacher training certificate.

Many overseas countries also require a police search and certificate verifying no and I mean no criminal activity. These countries will reject candidates with any indication of alcohol, drug, violence, fraud or theft activity.

Conversation ESL Teaching Certificates

Many ESL teacher training organizations have created programs to provide initial ESL teacher training for international ESL conversation classes. Some of these programs have value as they introduce some teaching theory and methodology; however, most are completely worthless. The worthless programs only talk about how teachers benefit mankind, getting jobs, and the excitement of overseas travel.

You will save money and be better prepared if you read texts such as "Teaching by Principles" and "Principles of Teaching" by Douglas Brown, "Learning Teaching" by Penny Ur and "Grammar Dimensions 2" by Victoria Badalamenti and Carolyn Stanchina and "Basic English Grammar" by Betty Azar than all of the internet or introductory conversation teacher training classes.

Prospective teachers should use common sense - why spend $1000, 750, 500 even $199 for a couple of binders of photocopied book chapters and lists of internet resources that are free. You can get all five of the above-listed books for less than $250 and the internet resources are free. There are complete ESL curriculums, lesson plans, rubrics and tests free on the internet. Many of these free ESL curriculums, lesson plans, rubrics and tests have been provided by Canada and UK Ministries of Education, Education foundations and charitable organizations.

Do not be a victim of a sleazy "fast buck" promoter with an overstated hyped program.

TEFL TESL, TESOL, CELTA Certificate Programs

There are a wide variety of certificate programs offered by universities, colleges, private schools, non-profit educational organizations, and unfortunutely by fly-by-night paper mills.

Some TEFL TESL, TESOL, CELTA programs are granted partial credit towards specific university programs, some are excellent introductory programs that cover all the basics needed to start teaching ESL, the majority of others are completely worthless.

Most quality TEFL/TESL courses offer 150+ classroom hours and have an additional 150 hours of supervised practical training and teaching. These intensive courses focus on "practical training", "language methodologies" and "learning theory in practice" because of the scope of information that must be covered in a 150-hour program. Look for a certificate program with masters level qualified trainers, trainers with Canadian public and overseas teaching experience, current members of provincial Ministries of Education, TESL Canada approved curriculum, and professionally supervised practicum.

To teach in most private language schools in Canada and many international locations a CELTA, TESL or TEFL certificate and university degree is required.

Master's Degree

The Master's degree is a requirement for teaching higher education such as community colleges, university and teacher training. Eight universities in Canada offer masters degrees. Masters degrees can be named Master of Education (MEd) in TESOL, Master of Arts (MA) or Science (MS) in applied linguistics, MA in English with an emphasis in TESL, MA in teaching (MAT) in ESL. Any of these programs will prepare graduates to teach ESL as well as offer training in learning theory, curriculum development, teaching methodology, and linguistics. The excellent Masters programs require 30-36 hours of credit, a thesis option and supervised teaching practice.

Faculty of Education ESL Endorsement

Elementary or secondary school teachers in Canada must have a degree in education with an endorsement or add-on certification in ESL. Certification requirements can be obtained from university teacher-training programs. Many TEFL certificates do not count toward employment qualifications for public schools in Canada, but add-on faculty of education certifications in ESL do. Please ask your local Board of Education for clarification.

Distance Learning

Good introductory certificate programs focus on practical training, making distance education unrealistic and unreliable. Distance education is well suited for those who have completed a teaching practicum, are teaching ESL and want to pursue additional degrees or qualifications while continuing to teach. We do not recommend any distance programs that offer introductory programs completely by distance.

Continuing Education for Professional Development

Highly recommended for ESL teachers. Workshops, seminars, demonstrations, introductions to new technology, resources, and materials can benefit all professional teachers. Be prudent, investigate the quality of the instructors, the price and application to your current or near future teaching applications.

Evaluating Teaching Experience

Most tutoring is one-to-one with a student in an existing program. Tutoring provides teachers with experience with ESL content and providing direct and alternative content explanations. Tutoring is very difficult to evaluate when applying for professional jobs as the skill sets for class teaching are different and many schools will ignore tutoring experience completely.

Most volunteer teaching is in unsupervised and un-regulated programs. Prospective teachers should realize that this is the breeding ground of mistakes, bad habits and chaos. If you have the opportunity to volunteer teach - try to have the organization obtain a program and ask a full public certified teacher to supervise your instruction methods, lesson plans and content delivery. Have your professional teacher write a review with suggestions. Again volunteer teaching is very difficult to evaluate when applying for professional jobs and many schools will ignore it completely.

Most international university credit programs have a curriculum, texts, evaluation expectations, a content start and end point and professional supervision. This is an excellent environment for professional development as an ESL teacher.

A few private language schools are excellent professional organizations for teachers' professional development and provide students with an excellent learning environment and teachers with an entire support network. Unfortunately about 60% of the private English schools do not have a curriculum, sample lesson plans, library, support materials, teacher resources, professional standards, professional supervision, management experience, organizational ability or ethics. ESL Students and ESL teachers can be in heaven or hell. Private language school teaching is very difficult to evaluate when applying for Canadian/USA/UK jobs and many Canadian schools will discount it or ignore it completely if they cannot get an accurate evaluation of the school.

List of Recommended ESL Teacher Training Programs


  • Global Village, CELTA
  • Mount Royal College Language Institute. ACE TESOL
  • Prairie Bible Institute Graduate School - Dip. TESOL
  • University of Calgary, Faculty of Graduate Studies, M.Ed. TESL


  • University of Alberta, Masters Degree MA, in TESL


  • University of New Brunswick, CTESL Program


  • International Language Institute, CELTA


  • Queens University,


  • University of Western Ontario, Althouse College of Education


  • Concordia University, CTEFLA , M. A. in Applied Linguistics
  • McGill University, B.Ed, M.Ed TESL


  • Carlton University, Masters Degree, MA. TEFL
  • University of Ottawa


  • Providence Theological Seminary M.A.Christian Studies TESOL emphasis


  • University of Saskatchewan


  • Coventry House - Trinity TESOL Certificate Program
  • Humber College
  • Ontario Institute for Studies in Education "OISE", MA, MEd2nd Lang Edu
  • Seneca College
  • University of Toronto, Woodsworth College
  • York University

Trois Rivieres

  • Universite du Quebec


  • Columbia College, Vancouver, CELTA, CTEFLA
  • Kwantlen University College, Vancouver , CELTA
  • Simon Fraser University
  • UBC, M.A., M.Ed. in Language and Literacy Education
  • Vancouver Community College, TESOL


  • University of Victoria,


  • University of Winnipeg (Division of Continuing Education) CELTA


  • Yukon College, TESL Certificate

Example: TESL TEFL TESOL  Registration Form

Part 1: Please tell us what you are registering for

Please select one category to describe your student status.
 K to 12 Teacher
 Post-Secondary Teacher
 Undergraduate Student
 University Graduate Student
 Adult Volunteer

Part 2: Please check the study programs you are registering for:
 TESL Standard 1
 TEFL TESOL Standard 2
 Cambridge University TKT
 TESOL Preparation

Part 3: Please check other items your require

 Student Visa
 Work Visa
 Canada School Discounts
 Education Consulting

Part 4: Please provide student registration information:

Full name

Date of Birth


Full residence address

Full Postal address

Emergency Contact numbers

Email Address

Health Insurance Information

Any medical conditions?

Country of Citizenship

Visa Required

Months in Canada

Start date in Canada:

Finish date in Canada:

Any Additional Information:


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