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Teaching conditions in Toronto area

 
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erracht



Joined: 13 Oct 2003
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Teaching conditions in Toronto area Reply with quote

I am back in Canada after having taught in Prague for almost 7 years. I am considering staying with language teaching, and would appreciate some feedback about how realistic it is to make a career here out of it. Could anyone comment on the following questions?

-In Prague I taught on a locally obtained International TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Is that (together with my 7-year experience) considered to be an accepted qualification here, or would it be necessary to get any further qualifications (TESL) to be competitive?

-What are the typical hourly rates?

-Can I expect to get anything like full-time employment?

-Are language schools the main place to look for work, or is some other kind of institution more prospective?

-What kind of schedule can I expect (mornings? Evenings? 9 to 5-ish? etc)?
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ETG



Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:24 am    Post subject: toronto Reply with quote

The anser depends somewhat on your qualifications.

Have you connected with TESL Canada to get your Level 1 or Level 2 certification? Or TESL Ontario certification? Good idea to start there if you want a reasonable position, since these certs are a starting point with most of the best employers - it is tough out there
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've taught in Prague and Canada as well (and other places). Canadian language schools do not recognise all certs - there is a list (do a search on the forum to find...or perhaps our friend Chancellor will be along soon to provide it).

Your years of experience abroad are probably helpful, but you can really expect only newbie-level jobs with just a cert. The better positions usually require post grad quals, and the job market's very competitive.

Also, keep in mind that the students (and their expectations) will be very different in Canada! This was problematic for me, as I expected higher levels of motivation and maturity in the students than I found. I was ok once I landed a uni position (I have an MA TESL/TEFL) but I was miserable at the regular language school with the 'language tourist' students.

If you're an entertainer, it's probably easier. I'm the serious type Cool

Good luck!
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Chancellor



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 1335
Location: Zibo, China - if you're willing to send me cigars, I accept donations :)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here's the list of TESL Canada-recognized TEFL certification programs: http://www.tesl.ca/Secondary_Navigation/TESL_Canada_Recognized_Teacher_Training_Programs/Recognized_Teacher_Training_Programs.htm
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erracht



Joined: 13 Oct 2003
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your answers...will look into the local certification.


spiral78 wrote:

Also, keep in mind that the students (and their expectations) will be very different in Canada! This was problematic for me, as I expected higher levels of motivation and maturity in the students than I found. I was ok once I landed a uni position (I have an MA TESL/TEFL) but I was miserable at the regular language school with the 'language tourist' students.

If you're an entertainer, it's probably easier. I'm the serious type Cool


This is another thing I was wondering, how the people I would teach here would compare to the Czech students I taught. As immigrants and "language tourists" come from all over the place, I'm sure the answer would vary highly. I am a bit of an "entertainer" within some bounds. I was imagining the many Asian students one can expect to have in Canada would tend to appreciate a more regimented program, based on what I heard about language schools in Japan, but maybe I'm wrong.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9484
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nyaah, the Asian students are here to have fun first and possibly learn a little language as a side trip:)
Entertain 'em and show them how Cool Canada is, and you'll have them eating from your hand. The most popular teacher at the language school where I was so briefly was a hockey fan and brought that kind of enthusiasm and topic into his classroom.

Not my bag. Rolling Eyes
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1906
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TESL Ontario will be required to teach in LINC programs. TESL Ontario certificates are through universities (UofT's Woodsworth etc) and colleges (Humber is really well known). These programs are two terms (an academic year). The university ones are the equivalent of a masters degree in TESOL (all coursework stream). But without the name 'master' then you will be cut out of jobs that require a masters degree (and that includes universities in Ontario. It's a ridiculous situation because you can get a masters degree in Geography or something, than do a TESOL certificate through a university, and then teach ESL at the university because you have both an MA and a university TESL certificate. Overseas, of course, a one-year university certificate in TESOL isn't considered equivalent of a masters degree because it isn't called a 'masters' degree. The university programs are great, but something has really got to be done about the usefulness of the programs. Right now, the majority of people do one simply as a stepping stone into the masters, or to try to get education experience points for yet another attempt to get into a B.Ed. At one time Brock's program was actually called a B.Ed in TESOL. The program at UofT changed it's name from TESL to TESOL to mark the reality that many people leave Canada to go teach English. But they do nothing about increasing knowledge of what the qualification actually is, so it remains to be thought of as not much different than Oxford etc. Some places in the Middle East know about this kind of program, at least. Still, I would hesitate over suggesting a distance masters instead of a TESL Ontario certificate, just because the TESL Ontario certificate programs require you to be in practicum for several hours a week from the beginning of the program right through to the end, and often people volunteer until the end of term. You would think with the practicum in the certificate, they would offer the masters off-campus. But nope, not Canada. It's starting to change, UofT OISIE now offers an off-campus M.Ed in language teaching, it requires a B.Ed or a university TESL certificate [not sure if they'll accept a provincial college certificate] and it's hideously long and expensive- far FAR more than programs in other countries. I wonder how many people have actually signed up for that instead of a program from a university in the UK or Australia... not too many, I don't think).

Generally, ESL is thought of something that people do for a couple of years and then go on to do a B.Ed to teach in the k-12 sector, or do a masters degree and teaching at the tertiary level. 'In the community' (LINC or private language schools, but especially LINC) is also commonly thought of as a career for people with 'family-wage' earning spouses (Private language schools tend to like the type of person Spiral described- and the kind who will be there part-time for a few months or a year, and then leave).

LINC jobs pay better than private language schools, but it's very, very difficult to get a full-time job.

spiral78 wrote:
Nyaah, the Asian students are here to have fun first and possibly learn a little language as a side trip:)


That's at least partially because that's how they are taught to see English classes with a foreigner in their own countries, even within their k-12 school system.
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NoExit



Joined: 01 Sep 2010
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was interested in looking towards TESL in Toronto for the future myself. Some good/informative posts here. Thanks guys Smile
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