Becoming an ESL Teacher

You are probably connected to someone in the field of English language teaching. As speaking English becomes more and more popular because business and education is now intertwined with many other countries, the demand for English teachers continues to grow year by year both locally and abroad.

Although English teaching is often seen as a rite of passage for new university grads who still are not sure as to what direction to take or how they will pay off their debt, there are many other reasons for English speakers to get involved in this ever growing industry.

Our graduates have taken the program to:

  • Gain valuable experience before going to Teacher’s College
  • Travel and really understand a culture, not just stay at a resort with other foreigners
  • Relocate for a loved one or for the love of a particular country
  • Do something productive during a gap year or retirement
  • Give back to our community
  • Work during summer months
  • Begin a new, flexible and rewarding career

As the demand for English teachers increases, the industry has created standards for schools, accreditation bodies and teachers to follow. This is to assure that both the employer and employee have a good idea as to what is expected.

National and international standards require that English teachers have 100 hours of training in addition to a 20 hour practicum, which includes observation and actual teaching. Teachers who are certified with less than these hours will have a hard time finding employment locally and overseas.

Although there will always be some schools who will hire anyone who can speak English, put yourself in the shoes of your future students and think of how you would feel if you had an unqualified language teacher whom you were paying hundreds of dollars to each week.

Getting properly certified is not only important when applying for jobs, but even more important to keep your job!


In the English language industry, there are many acronyms that are used to describe teacher training. Many of them are very general and are used interchangeably; meaning that they are not specifically used for one type of training.

TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language)

This term is used when teaching English in an English speaking country and when teaching to those who are immigrating.

TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

This term is used when students are studying in their home country (if English is not an official language).

CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults)

This is a British based certification that trains teachers to teach both abroad and locally, much like the TESL Canada certification.

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