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Teaching ESL in Canada

 
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agreen



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:45 am    Post subject: Teaching ESL in Canada Reply with quote

I have my BED degree and teaching certification from Ontario, a TEFL certificate from TITC (The International TEFL Corporation) and will complete my Masters in TESOL in 2011.
I have been teaching ESL in Hong Kong for 2 1/2 years and created English Language assessments for 2 years with the HK government.
I want to return to Canada in 2011 and am quite anxious about getting a job because there is still a surplus of teachers.
On the positive side, I am fairly flexible on taking up a full-time teaching position as long as it is a place where I can see myself settling down (so native reserve and northern areas are out of the question). My question is this, which areas in Canada are facing a teaching shortage? And, what advantage do I have with a Masters (I feel not much in ON as school boards are looking for AQ courses).
I still have about a year before I return home and I hope I made the right decision to teach internationally and get the experience rather than take my chances doing substitute teaching... I am ready to settle down and have a family I cannot bear the thought of being an international English teacher for the rest of my life, separated from my family.
Any suggestions and advice are welcome!

Thanks.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1896
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ontario has a bunch of year-long CTESL / TESOL certificates- from UofT, York, Carleton Brock etc PLUS year-long programs in TESOL through colleges. Unless that TESL certificate from TITC was an equivalent length as your B.Ed, then it won't count much (though the B.Ed will- for teaching at private language schools and tutoring companies [for which you will earn not much more than a full-time job stocking shelves at a big-box store]).

A masters degree (in TESOL / Applied Linguistics) will let you teach at universities and colleges (though an issue you may have is that universities in Ontario generally hire people from their own program, and often won't look at people who haven't done part of the practicum at the university level. With the exception of UofT's Masters in second language education through OISIE, you generally need to have an Ontario university TESL certificate to get into a masters in TESOL). You don't mention what level your BEd is for, nor what your teachable(s) (if any) are. An intermediate/ senior division might be useful for university level ESL teaching especially when dealing with international students from Asian countries (as you should be well aware after having taught in Hong Kong).
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jdl



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 632
Location: cyberspace

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only teacher shortages in Canada are 'up north' and on reserves. Good luck. The bright side is that there are jobs all across Northern Canada for those who want the adventure. Getting a job 'near home' is a matter of some major networking, supply teaching and patience. Lots of luck also helps.
Try educationcanada.com for job postings across Canada. It is the site most used for recruiting. A survey of the site will give you an idea of the market.
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Symphany



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gambate, your information is out of date. New big box stores aren't being built and older ones are closing. There are jobs to be had, but especially in these post-recessionary times, not in a field of first choice usually. Ontario, to my understanding has too many teachers to jobs, however there are openings in privately run schools and in post-secondary education. Check college and university websites for postings. The key is flexibility. There are jobs to be had, but often in an area of 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th choice.
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agreen



Joined: 27 Nov 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your responses. It is disheartening to hear that I may need to teach in northern Canada or on a reservation, I hope that my experience in curriculum and assessment development will give me some edge in finding employment, I am quite flexible in working in something other than the standard classroom teaching.
I am certified to teach primary/junior and my specialization is social studies. Unfortunately, I have not specialized in teaching adults, my focus is mainly on teaching children though I have tutored secondary school students in the past.
Oh well, I will give it a try in Canada and if I must I will go overseas again for teaching because I cannot bear to make minimum wage or be stuck substitute teaching endlessly. The main thing is that I want to be back in my home country and settle down and have a family!
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dmocha



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: It's tough to make a living in teaching in Ontario Reply with quote

It's tough to make a living in teaching at any level in Ontario unless you are already in the system or have the connections to get in when a rare vacancy occurs There are rumoured to be 20,000 or so unemployed but qualified teachers vying for jobs. People will change religions to get jobs. (see link) In the tertiary sector, it is very difficult to cobble together enough work to make a living.

This is based on firsthand experience: One Ontario CAAT keeps part-time instructors at a maximum of one 3-hour class/semester. Another will hire for ‘full time’ but only one semester every six. “In-bred’ hiring seems to be the norm. The teachers’ room will often be dominated by hires who are predominately from just one Teachers College. If you aren’t from that college you may get hired if you are an available ‘warm body’ and they need you right away for a sudden vacancy. Getting re-hired next term is unlikely. I saw very few males in those staff rooms.

There is a very real difference between ESL and EFL work. People with a lot of EFL experience often think they can just start teaching ESL without pause. Adjusting to the political correctness (not much found in many overseas environments), the no-fail policies (hard to believe!) and the cronyism can be very frustrating.

Overall, there is little demand for people with teaching skills at any level in Canada and there is a huge supply of people available and willing to work for peanuts in the faint hope of making it work.

If you are an OTC qualified K-12 there are not many new openings. If you are an EFL teacher/instructor/professor with US, UK or other 'non-standard' qualifications expect suspicion or condescension at times. As is the case with foreign doctors in Canada, international experience is often not respected or rewarded.

TESL Ontario: You may want to get a local certification to improve your resume. Think carefully about what it may cost you. They make people jump through a lot of hoops and charge a lot for membership. Once you start paying, you have to pay forever. If you stop and renew they want back pay for the missed years and often add more hoop jumping. Their cert seems to be necessary if you teach LINC but otherwise not worth a lot IMO.

It might be wise to simply decide to persue a new career right from re-entry to Canada.

Good luck!

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20100510015226672

http://www.macleans.ca/education/universities/article.jsp?content=20071126_191435_7400

http://www.teslontario.org/
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