Peel District School Board TESL Program
Frequently Asked Questions
ACE TESOL Certificate & ACE TESOL Diploma
1. What do the different acronyms mean?
Acronyms often make it difficult to understand the English teaching industry. Here is a short list of the most common acronyms and what they mean:
We use the terms TESOL and ELT because they encompass teaching English to any type of student in any environment.
English Language Teaching or English Language Training
English as a Second Language. Learning English in an English environment, for example Canada, Australia or the UK.
English as a Foreign Language. Learning English in a non-English environment, for example Japan, Mexico or France.
Teaching English as a Second Language. Teaching English in an English environment, for example Canada, Australia or the UK.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Teaching English in a non-English environment, for example Japan, Mexico or France.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This term covers both TEFL and TESL.
Teaching English to Young Learners. Teaching children and teens, from 3 to 17 years of age.
2. What qualifications do you need to teach English?
To teach English, you need the following:
- A strong command of English
- A level of education allowing for entry into your country's higher education system*
- A TESOL certificate is recommended. It is required in some countries in order to secure a work visa and in Canada by a number of regulatory bodies.
*A university degree is recommended. It is required in some countries in order to secure a work visa. It is required in Canada in order to apply for TESL Canada Professional Certification Standard One and for TESL Ontario Professional Certification.
3. What personal qualities do you need in order to teach English?
Personal qualities that make a successful English teacher include:
- Open-minded, interested in other cultures and people
4. Why should you take a TESOL course?
Taking a TESOL course can benefit you in many ways. It can:
- Provide you with the tools, strategies, skills and knowledge to be successful as a teacher
- Increase your self-confidence as a teacher
- Improve your communication and presentation skills
- Give you the opportunity to learn from professionals already in the field
- Provide you with hands-on experience
- Give you the opportunity to practice teaching in a safe environment
- Increase your marketability as an ESL teacher and make you more competitive in the job market
- Give you a professional credential
5. How do you decide which TESOL course to take?
'TESOL course' is an umbrella term encompassing many different programs, which vary enormously. There is a wide variety of certification names, course lengths, structures, tuition fees and institutions. Deciding on a course that best suits your needs and increases your marketability and job prospects can be a confusing process.
To choose a course most suited to your needs, ask the following questions:
- Does it cover the language system - grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation?
- Does it cover the four language skills - reading, writing, listening and speaking?
- Does it give you the knowledge and skills to plan lessons?
- Does it provide you with strategies for classroom management?
- Does it provide you with the opportunity to peer teach?
- Does it provide you with the opportunity to teach real students?
- Is it recognized by a professional organization or accrediting body*?
* Courses approved by an accrediting organization have been through a rigorous certification process and have met the approval of the standards committee. In Canada, TESL Canada provides recognition for English language teacher training programs. Minimum requirements for TESL Canada recognition include: 100 hours of instruction; 20 hours of practice teaching; and taught by trainers with a minimum of 5 years of teaching experience. In Ontario, TESL Ontario also provides recognition for English language teacher training programs. Minimum requirements for TESL Ontario recognition include: 250 hours of instruction: 50 hours of practice teaching; and taught by accredited trainers.
You also have to ask yourself how much time and money you want to invest in your qualification. To answer this, think about how long you see yourself as an English teacher. If you see yourself teaching English for a long time, invest in a longer and more expensive course. If you are not sure, invest in a course that gets you started but then allows you the opportunity to upgrade at a later time if you want to.
7. Where can you teach in Canada?
In Canada, there is a variety of settings in which you can teach English to teens and adults:
- Summer camps for international students held on private school and university campuses
- Summer immersion programs for French-speaking Canadians
- Private English language schools for international students
- Community and church programs for immigrants
- Workplace language programs for employees and managers
- Government sponsored language programs for immigrants (in Canada for example, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada or LINC)
- Community colleges and private career colleges
- Tutoring students privately
8. What are the pay, working conditions and qualifications?
The pay scales, working conditions, and qualifications required for working in Canada vary by province and by institution as well as according to the regulatory body to which the institution belongs.
To research the pay scales, working conditions and qualifications required in the area of Canada in which you wish to work, visit the following web sites:
Languages Canada: For listings of accredited language programs across Canada
Yellow Pages: connects you to Canada's businesses, products and services, providing all the information from the business directory
City Service Directories: For listings of government language programs for immigrants, search the city's service directory under the heading Language Instruction or variations thereof.
9. Where can you teach overseas?
Most teachers start their English language teaching careers overseas. Currently, the most popular destinations are: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. There are also opportunities in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe, Central America and South America.
There are teaching opportunities in many different settings including:
- Small private language schools
- National language school chains
- International language school chains
- Nursery schools and kindergartens
- Elementary, junior high and high schools both public and private
- Junior, technical and vocational colleges
- Universities, both public and private
- Private tutoring.
- Before accepting a position overseas, do your research.
The pay scales, working conditions, and qualifications for working overseas vary by country and by institution. Teaching positions are advertised on the web, in professional journals, in newspapers, by word of mouth and, most significantly through teacher recruitment agencies.
For more information on how to prepare for and acquire a job teaching English as a second language, visit the ACE Job Centre.
10. Where can I teach with the ACE TESOL Certificate?
The ACE TESOL Certificate is recognized as a TESL Canada Professional Certification Standard One course. In Ontario you can teach with the ACE TESOL Certificate in private language schools and any programs which have international students who pay fees to attend the program. In the rest of Canada you can teach in any English language program with the ACE TESOL Certificate. You can also teach internationally in any English language program.
11. Where can I teach with the ACE TESOL Diploma?
The ACE TESOL Diploma is recognized as a TESL Ontario Professional Certification course and as a TESL Canada Professional Certification Standard Two course. In Ontario and Canada you can teach in any English language program with the ACE TESOL Diploma, including government-funded programs such as LINC.
12. Do I automatically get TESL Canada certification when I successfully complete the ACE TESOL Certificate?
No, you have to submit an application form for Professional Certification to TESL Canada. Go to www.tesl.ca for the application form and fees.
13. Do I automatically get TESL Ontario professional certification when I successfully complete the ACE TESOL Diploma?
No, you have to submit an application form for Professional Certification to TESL Ontario. Go to www.teslontario.net for the application form and fees.
14. What documents do I have to provide in order to register for the ACE TESOL Certificate?
You need to provide a copy of your undergraduate degree. If you are not a native speaker of English you need to provide proof of language proficiency (see below).
15. What documents do I have to provide in order to register for the ACE TESOL Diploma?
You need to provide a copy of your undergraduate degree and a copy of your ACE TESOL Certificate or your TESL Canada Standard One course or equivalent. If you are not a native speaker of English you need to provide proof of language proficiency (see below).
16. I am a second language speaker of English. What proof of language proficiency do I have to provide?
If you are enrolling in the ACE TESOL Certificate that is approved for TESL Canada Standard One Professional Certification, you can demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving the minimum score indicated on one of the following standardized proficiency tests:
- TOEFL - CBT 213 / PBT 550, TWE - 5 recommend 5.5, TSE - 60 recommend 60
- TOEFL iBT - 80 overall with a minimum score of 20 in each area
- IELTS - 6.5 overall
- MELAB - 85/speaking test score of 4
- Can Test - Listening, reading, writing 5, speaking 4.5
- CAEL - Band 60 overall with a minimum of 60 in each of the writing and speaking subsets
- Common European Framework - C1
- Canadian Language Benchmarks - CLB 9 in each area
- High school graduation from a Canadian high school, including a minimum Grade 12 English score of 70%
- Completion of an undergraduate degree from an English-speaking University
For further information on the TESL Canada English language proficiency requirements, see page nine of this document:
If you are enrolling in the ACE TESOL Diploma that is approved for TESL Ontario Professional Certification, you can demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving the minimum score indicated on one of the following standardized proficiency tests:
- COPE&TOP - Listening: 32 Reading: 32 Writing: 46 TOP: 7
- Can Test – Listening 5, reading 5, writing 5, speaking 5
- CAEL – Listening 70, Reading 70, Writing 70, Speaking 80
- TOEFL CBT – Total 250, TWE 5.5, TSE 50
- TOEFL iBT – Listening 24, Reading 24, Writing 28, Speaking 27
- IELTS-Academic – Listening 7, Reading 7, Writing 7, Speaking 8
- MELAB – Total 85, Writing 87, Speaking 4
For further information on the TESL Ontario English language proficiency requirements and circumstances for exceptions, see page three of this document.
17. I completed my university degree outside of Canada. Will this degree be recognized for my application to the course?
Yes, your degree will be recognized for your application to both the ACE TESOL Certificate and the ACE TESOL Diploma. However, when you apply for your professional certification with either TESL Canada or TESL Ontario you may have to provide them with a document that indicates your degree is the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in Canada. You can obtain this equivalency document from an academic credential assessment organization such as World Education Services (www.wes.org).
18. I can’t afford to pay the tuition all at one time. Is there a payment plan I can sign up for?
This will depend upon the education organization that is offering the ACE TESOL Certificate or ACE TESOL Diploma. Make this inquiry directly to the organization.
19. I have a full-time job. Should I take the full-time or part-time course?
If you have a full-time job we recommend that you take the ACE TESOL Certificate and the ACE TESOL Diploma part-time. The full-time courses are very intensive. It is difficult to work full-time and complete the courses full-time.
20. Is the Peel program also recognized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities or is it recognized by the Ministry of Education and which is required for certification or are both accepted?
The Peel program is considered exempt under subsection 8(2)(c) of the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and therefore our TESL program does not require approval under the Act.
21. Is the TESOL Certificate and TESOL Diploma tuition fees tax deductible?
Yes, our programs are certified with Human Resources and Skills Development Canada for issuance of the T22O2A tax receipts for the full amount of tuition paid.
22. What happens if I fail an assignment in one of the courses?
In the ACE TESOL Certificate you have two opportunities to redo assignments if you do not reach the passing mark of 70%. In the ACE TESOL Diploma you have one opportunity to redo an assignment if you do not reach the passing mark of 70%.
23. Where will I complete the practicum?
You will complete the practicum in one of the ESL classes offered by the Peel Board of Education or in another ESL program with which the Peel Board of Education has an agreement for practicum placements.
24. Am I responsible for organizing my practicum myself?
No, we will provide you with your practicum placement. Once you have been assigned your practicum supervisor it is your job to communicate with him or her to arrange the times for your practicum.
25. How long should I complete my practicum?
a. Certificate Program - 20 hours
b. Diploma Program - 30 hours