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TESL Canada / Ontario - you're joking

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Joined: 03 Mar 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: TESL Canada / Ontario - you're joking Reply with quote

So I've been teaching overseas for ten+ years. I've got two TESOL certificates and two years ago completed my DELTA.

I'm planning to move back to Canada next year, and am doing research on jobs and requirements there. I see I need a TESL Canada accreditation and/or TESL Ontario accreditation to apply to most decent jobs.

The CRAZY thing is that even though the CELTA is on the list of TESL Canada Approved Teacher Training Programs (, they don't recognize the DELTA.

So I have to apply for PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) for a Diploma that is really difficult to get because the standards are so high. At a cost of almost $300 for TESL Canada and then AGAIN for TESL Ontario.

Does this not strike anyone else as completely crazy? There may be a really logical explanation, and I'd be so happy to hear what it is... so I feel less shocked about this 'welcome' back into Canadian life.

Any comments?
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Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:02 am    Post subject: TESL Canada/Ontario Reply with quote

Most certification processes drive people slightly mad but once you start working your way through the TESL Canada certification process it's not so bad. They are very helpful so contact and speak with a live bod.
You should have no trouble getting the TESL Canada level 1 cert, are you trying to get the Level 2?

Why bother with TESL Ontario? Just join since you need to be a provincial member for your TESL Canada cert application but I don't think having the TESL Ontario cert provides any benefit above the TESL Can one. Actually TESL Ontario's regs are more stringent so better to leave that until you complete the other process.

I have both certifications and since the TESL Canada is what you will see in job ads that's the one I would concentrate on if I were you. Once you get all your documentation together (their check list is very hepful) the process is really smooth, just spend the prep time.

Remember the TESL organizations are teacher driven and not some governmental programs, if you want to change the process get inside your local association but many teachers have worked very hard to make sure that teaching English is seen as a professional endeavour.

Also until 2006 you could have been grandfathered in in prep for a return to Canada.

What kind of job are you looking for? check it out maybe they don't care about the certification, although it can be seen by employers as a a great benefit since it saves an employer from doing a whole lot of work if they accept that TESL Canada has done it for them.

It's a reality, cough up the bucks and get on with it. I'll tell you this process is much easier than what other professional associations demand.
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Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 2021
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of jobs ask for a certificate recognized by TESL Canada, (or TESL Ontario) because that way they can be sure that it isn't one of those quick intro certificates offered by private organizations that you see listed in the classified section of the newspaper. That's not the same as asking for certificate from the organization itself (so long as the training is well known, like from a university like UofT, Brock or Carleton or a community college like Humber, Seneca or Algonquin). So coughing up the money to one of theses organizations is not always necessary. A lot of people go through university or college training for a year to get their TESL certificate (the university ones, at least, are basically the same as an MA in TESOL from other countries, but with a practicum and without the final paper), meet the requirements of TESL Ontario, and then not bother with getting certified. Maybe you should just go look for a job and if the lack of the certificate from TESL Canada is holding you back, then fork over the cash. If you are in Ontario, then you should be aware that with all the people who are graduating from the community colleges and universities with the aforementioned one year certificate, then there is a lot of highly qualified competition around and that drives down work conditions.

Community college and university programs are designed to make money. The fact that they churn out far more labour than the maket can handle isn't their concern (until the wages for those jobs drop so much that people decide not to take their program any more). That's part of why when you ask your university or college TESL profs for job hunting advice they will tell you it's their job to teach you how to teach, not how to get a job (because they already know that with more than 5 university and college programs in TESL in Toronto, each with 30 or so students, and knowing that people who do their certiciates in Ottawa are likely to go to Toronto for jobs, and that the people in St Catherines and Kitchener are almost definatley going to go to Toronto, that there are far, far more people graduating each year than there jobs in the province). But in fact, a TESL program is actually a good one to take, because then you are able to leave Toronto and Ontario and Canada and get a job. Unfortunately, because the program that is called an MA TESOL in the States and Australia and other countries is called a Certificate TESL in Ontario, you get locked out of the jobs that require an MA. But that way the universities in Ontario can try to get you back to do their MA in Applied Linguistics, or Second Language Education. They are banking on people not wanting to just spend 15- 30 thousand dollars to change the letters on their resume from a foreign university (in fact they will tell you that people who do distance MAs cannot get jobs in Ontario, although that's just not true. The universities also tell prospective TESL certificate candidates that if you go to a community college for the certificate you save some money, but you won't be able to get into the MAs in the province and therefore your career will have a pretty low ceiling, which is also not true), but also not wanting to find a way out of the Hogwan / eikaiwa edutainment by a blond haired clown type of teaching that marks most of it in Asia.
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