TESL Ontario, established in 1972, is a non-profit organization serving the needs of teachers of English as a Second Language. It represents more than 4,600 language training professionals and is instrumental in influencing the success of many thousands of English language learners throughout the province. TESL Ontario’s expertise is in teaching, advocacy, accreditation, and professional development.
TESL Ontario accredited instructors have distinct knowledge and skills specific to teaching adult ESL. They belong to a community of highly educated, responsible and committed professionals who seek to further the best interests of the learners. They constantly strive for excellence through academic inquiry, self-reflection, openness to new ideas and ongoing professional development. As a result, TESL Ontario Language Instructor Certificate of Accreditation has become the industry norm in Ontario, and TESL Ontario accredited instructors are being hired by ESL instruction providers in both publicly-funded and privately-funded sectors.
The TESL Ontario certificate has been designed for individuals interested in teaching in adult ESL programs in Ontario, other Canadian provinces, and other countries including:
Employers of TESL Ontario Accredited Instructors
TESL Ontario accredited instructors are being hired by a wide range of employers including:
|• School Boards||• Universities|
|• Settlement /Immigrant Service Agencies||• Private Career Colleges|
|• Welcome Centres||• Private Language Schools|
|• Community Colleges||• International Language Schools|
More information about employers can be found at the following links:
|• LINC Classes in Ontario||• Private Career College Search Service|
|• ESL Classes in Ontario||• TESLOntario Job Board|
|• Ontario Colleges||• TESLOntario Volunteer Job Board|
TESL Ontario Language Instructor Certificate of Accreditation is an annual renewal. Accredited language instructors are required to engage in a minimum of 10 hours of professional development per accreditation year and retain the proof on file. The annual renewal fee is $154.00.
Any applicant who is denied the TESL Ontario accreditation/approval shall have the right to appeal the decision to the TESL Ontario Appeals Committee within three months from the date the decision has been made. Please be aware that the degree and English language proficiency (ELP) requirements of the TESL Ontario accreditation/ approval are "non-appealable" requisites. For details about filing an appeal, please go to Appeals.
Accreditation on the basis of demonstrated teaching skill and knowledge is an important area of professional practice in Canada, especially in the province of Ontario where a very substantial share of Canada’s new immigrant and refugee population settles each year. The TESL Ontario portfolio-based PLAR assessment gives applicants an official statement of exactly what gaps exist between their previous TESL training (and ESL teaching experience) and TESL Ontario's required courses and practicum.
As a result, PLAR assessment applicants will be required to go through the additional TESL courses and practicum needed to qualify for the TESL Ontario Language Instructor Certificate of Accreditation. All additional training required (up to 200 hours of theory, methodology, and practicum courses) must be completed through TESL Ontario accredited TESL training programs (http://www.teslontario.net/accreditation/tesl-training-programs).
You are eligible to apply for TESL Ontario accreditation through PLAR assessment if you
1. meet the degree and English language proficiency requirements of TESL Ontario accreditation, as outlined below;
2. have completed a minimum of 150 hours of formal TESL-related training through certificate, diploma or degree programs in Canada and/or overseas;
3. have engaged in professional development activities through participation in conferences, seminars, webinars, workshops, research projects, etc.; and
4. have documented adult ESL/EFL teaching experience.
Please note that you may be required to complete up to 200 hours of additional theory, methodology, and practicum courses through TESL Ontario accredited programs to qualify for TESL Ontario accreditation.
Applicants are required to hold a minimum three-year Bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree, from an accredited institution located in Canada or a basic, general, or document-by-document Canadian degree equivalency report for degrees obtained from accredited institutions located outside Canada. The equivalency report must indicate that the evaluated international degree is equivalent to a minimum three-year Bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree from an accredited institution in Canada.
TESL Ontario accepts degree equivalency reports prepared by any one of the members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC) including the following agencies:
For a complete list of ACESC members, please go to www.canalliance.org/index.en.stm
Proof of English Language Proficiency (ELP):
If you have studied on-site full time to complete a minimum three year degree program with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed below, your degree or official transcript or Canadian equivalency report is your proof of ELP. Please note that in some cases, transcripts may be requested to determine the length of the program.
|Canada||Benin||Ghana||Republic of Ireland||Turks and Caicos Islands|
|Anguilla||Bermuda||Grenada||Saint Kitts-Nevis Seychelles||United Kingdom|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Botswana||Guyana||Sierra Leone||United States|
|Australia||British Virgin Islands||Jamaica||South Africa||Uganda|
|Bahamas||Cayman Islands||Montserrat||St. Lucia||US Virgin Islands|
|Belize||Dominica||New Zealand||Trinidad and Tobago||Zimbabwe|
OR if you have completed a minimum three year online/distance degree program with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed above, a combination of your degree or official transcript or Canadian equivalency report and an ELP test report indicating the scores required for listening and speaking skills, as shown in the table below, is your proof of ELP,
OR if you have not completed a minimum three year degree program in one of the countries listed above, you should take an ELP test and meet the required scores as specified in the table below. Please note that TESL Ontario accepts a combination of two test reports (for the same ELP test taken twice or for two different ELP tests) indicating that all required scores have been met. Also, TESL Ontario accepts ELP test reports up to 5 years after the test date. Test reports older than 5 years are considered on a case-by-case basis.
|Recognized ELP Tests||Required Scores|
|IELTS-Academic||Listening: 7 Reading: 7 Writing: 7 Speaking: 7|
|CanTEST||Listening: 4.5 Reading: 4.5 Writing: 4.5 Speaking: 4.5|
|CAEL||Listening: 70 Reading: 70 Writing: 70 Speaking: 70|
|TOEFL iBT||Listening: 24 Reading: 24 Writing: 27 Speaking: 24|
|MELAB||Listening: 87 GCVR: 87 Writing: 87 Speaking: 4-|
OR if, prior to doing your university education, you have completed grades 6-12 (each grade completed in one full school year) with English as the language of instruction in one of the countries listed above, your grade 6-12 report cards are your proof of ELP.
We strongly recommend that applicants either include only authorized photocopies of their original documents (such as transcripts and certificates) in their portfolios or bring in their originals along with their photocopies to be authorized by a TESL Ontario staff member free of charge. Unauthorized photocopies of required documents will not be accepted.
The individuals/parties listed below may authorize photocopies of your original documents:
In Canada: a TESL Ontario staff member (when submitting your application to the TESL Ontario Office in person), notary public, commissioner of oath, lawyer, senior university/college officer or professor, public school principal, signing officer of a bank, medical doctor, minister of religion, or police officer.
Outside Canada: the Canadian Embassy or the Consulate
Authorization by other officials may be accepted. Please contact TESL Ontario at email@example.com
Please provide the authorizing party with an accurate photocopy when you show the original document. The authorization should include: full name, title, address, telephone number, signature, date, and a statement to this effect: "This is a true copy of the original."
You are required to submit a PLAR portfolio containing the documents listed below to TESL Ontario by mail or in person. Upon receipt, your PLAR portfolio becomes property of TESL Ontario; it will not be returned to you and cannot be picked up from the TESL Ontario Office.
All documents must be in English.
Your PLAR portfolio must be delivered in a soft cover binder or folder with tabs indicating the following 7 sections. Please do not use plastic sheet protectors or bulky binders.
Poorly organized portfolios will not be accepted.
1. Application Form
2. Proof of University Degree:
3. Proof of English Language Proficiency:
4. Proof of formal and in-service TESL-related training:
5. Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Training Certificate
6. Resume and Employment Confirmation Letters
7. Lesson Plan Samples and Other Supporting Materials:
(The following documents and materials can be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format on a USB or a CD)
Please note that TESL Ontario may request more material if the candidate does not provide enough solid information about exactly what skills he or she has acquired, in which case the assessment process may take longer. Poorly organized portfolios will not be accepted.
For current TESL Ontario standard members applying for accreditation through PLAR:
For all other accreditation-through-PLAR applicants:
*For current members, the pro-rated accredited membership fee - a maximum of $80.00+HST - will cover the period starting from the date a standard member is accredited to their standard membership renewal month. TESL Ontario will calculate this fee and notify the applicant by email or phone. Payment will be due immediately upon notification.
Payment for accredited membership fee must be included in the application package. However, this fee will be charged only after the applicant is approved for accreditation.
Method of Payment: If paying by cheque, please write a separate cheque (payable to TESL Ontario)
for each required fee. If paying by VISA or MasterCard or American Express, please write your credit card number and expiry date on the application form (Please note that other credit cards are not accepted). You can also pay by cash in person at the TESL Ontario Office.
For operational reasons, TESL Ontario reserves the right to extend the application processing time, as necessary. TESL Ontario may request additional documentation beyond the requirements described above. All submitted documentation and information will be kept confidential. We strongly recommend that you keep photocopies of all submitted forms and documents for your own records. The requirements of the TESL Ontario Language Instructor Accreditation and PLAR assessment may change without notice. If you do not meet all of the requirements for accreditation, TESL Ontario will send you an email specifying the additional steps you need to take.
Questions? Please contact TESL Ontario by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 416-593-4243, Ext. 205.