By setting standards for teacher training certification, TESL Canada plays a very important role in building a reputable industry that attracts more than a hundred thousand of ESL students every year from all around the world.
This is evident from the rising number of boutique ESL schools in Canada.
In this blog, I will write more about the differences between teaching English abroad and teaching English in Canada and how TESL Canada plays a big role in the evolution of the Canadian ESL industry.
Boutique ESL Schools
The boutique ESL school concept is something I have never seen before. It goes beyond fancy classrooms with large TV screens and open-concept hallways.
A number of schools have developed very innovative curriculum.
It is now common for Canadian language schools to offer one-to-one lessons after school hours and take the class outside the classroom to enhance the cultural immersion experience. One school from Toronto has gone as far as fully replacing the textbook with the iPad by developing customized and interactive material for each lesson.
In this kind of program, teachers are required to collaborate with the Director of Studies in various curriculum development tasks.
The 250-hour TESOL Diploma I completed with OnTESOL taught me how to create full lesson plans using various authentic materials.
Another great thing about teaching English in Canada is that levels are well-defined.
When I was teaching abroad, I encountered many multi-level classes, which are very challenging because you have to plan separate lessons for different groups in order to help students learn
English and avoid behaviour problems with students that get lost or bored. Well-defined ESL levels are a product of the high standards that TESL Canada requires for teacher training and TESL certification.
ESL classes in Canada are expensive, so international students are very eager to learn and try to get the most out of each lesson.
The English-only policy exists in every school, and some schools will even have a maximum number of students from the same country in order to encourage students to speak English.
This multi-cultural environment creates many opportunities for the teacher to create interactive classes, but it also creates challenges for teachers to integrate many different cultural behaviors and beliefs
As a trained professional, I was able to implement the English-only policy when teaching abroad; however, the English-only policy is not possible for many programs to implement because their teachers are generally new and only a few invest their time in an internationally recognized TESL course.
Having highly qualified teachers is what makes Canada such an attractive destination for hundreds of thousands of ESL teachers.
This is a great thing for teachers too because we are able to learn and improve by collaborating with other highly qualified teachers.
In fact, many boutique schools were developed by ESL teachers who found a demand for customized ESL lessons and had the skills to create a curriculum thanks to the training they received during their TESL Canada training.