TESL Canada - General FAQs

What is TESL Canada?

TESL Canada is a national non profit organization with a mission to promote excellence in the teaching and learning of English as a second or additional language in partnership with its constituent provincial and territorial associations, and like-minded national and international organizations. Made up of 10 provincial/territorial associations, TESL Canada is a membership organization with almost 7,000 individual members across Canada. TESL Canada is governed by a national board of 20 who set the strategic goals and establishes the national standards for TESL Canada Professional Certification and Teacher Training Program Recognition.

How do I become certified?

To become TESL Canada certified, you must have a minimum of 100 hours’ TESL/TEFL training, a 20-hour practicum teaching adults, and a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline. Please refer to our certification FAQs to learn more.

Do I have to become TESL Canada certified to teach in Canada?

TESL Canada certification is a voluntary process but many schools that teach ESL to adults require their instructors to have it and use it as a prerequisite for employment.

Does TESL Canada certification replace provincial certification?

The TESL Canada National Professional Certification Standards represent a teacher-driven initiative to create basic, minimum national standards. Some provinces currently have professional certification systems in place. The TESL Canada professional certificate does not replace provincial professional certificates where they exist.

Is membership the same as certification?

No. If you reside in Canada, you may wish to consider becoming a member of your provincial TESL organization to enjoy benefits such as member discounts on conferences and/or professional training activities. If you reside abroad, TESL Canada is open year-round to applications for international membership at a cost of US$58 for those residing in the United States and $62 for residents of other countries. 

Certification is an additional process which recognizes your professional qualifications as an individual. It involves a longer application and providing supporting documents. Membership in your provincial/territorial association is required for TESL Canada’s certification process. If you reside abroad, you may purchase international membership at the time you pay for your certification.

I want to complete TESL training. Where can I find TESL/TEFL courses?

TESL Canada recognizes teacher training programs that meet its national standard. Click to see TESL training courses that are recognized by TESL Canada. If a course is not on the recognized list it may because it does not meet our standards or that the program has not applied for recognition. If the TESL course you choose/have taken is not on TESL Canada’s recognized list then you can apply to TESL Canada and be recommended to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). The TESL Canada adjudication team will only refer you to PLAR your alternative training appears to be equivalent to that required for TESL Canada certification. For more information on PLAR, please refer to the certification FAQs.

Where can I find TESL Canada’s publications?

TESL Canada Journal, established in 1984, is a refereed journal for practicing teachers, teacher educators, graduate students, and researchers. TESL Canada Journal invites the submission of unpublished manuscripts about the learning and teaching of official languages; second language teacher education; and the maintenance and development of minority, heritage, or Aboriginal languages. 

TESL Canada’s academic journal, the TESL Canada Journal, is available online, open-access at: www.teslcanadajournal.ca .

TESL Canada also published an e-magazine called SHARE. This annual publication focuses on practical teaching ideas for the ESL classroom, classroom technology, reviews of ESL teaching and learning online and print resources and opportunities across Canada for professional development.

Article submission guidelines are here. Article submissions are welcome and article submission guidelines are here.

Can I find or post jobs on the TESL Canada website?

As a service to its members and to schools seeking qualified ESL teachers, TESL Canada maintains a jobs section where international and Canadian jobs are advertised. Posting an advertisement is free of charge provided it meets our guidelines. TESL Canada has no affiliation with the persons advertising and applicants should respond directly to the contact details provided by the advertiser. For current listings, please visit our jobs page.