Why Teach English in Canada?

I wanted to teach in Canada because I fell in love with the Country at an early age. After becoming a teacher at an inner-city school in London I realised that my English skills were transferable and that I might possibly achieve my dream and move to Canada – if they would have me! You can read more about me here.

From a material standpoint, teacher salaries are relatively high (compared with the UK), but I found the cost of living to be significantly higher also. Still, the satisfaction I’ve derived from living an working here far outweigh the costs.

You’ll Help Other People

Most people do speak English in Canada, although there are a fair number of Francophones, too. When you choose to teach English, you’ll be able to help other people by giving them the tools to communicate effectively. Language is a powerful connector and you may use your teaching skills in order to empower others. For example, ESL (English as a Second Language) students will benefit from your expertise, patience and personal attention. You will give them the ability to speak English and access all of the opportunities that come with developing fluency in the language, such as job opportunities, the ability to build happy relationships and the capacity to build self-esteem.

You’ll Build a Great Resume

Whether you want to teach English all through your career or use your teaching jobs as a stepping stone to another type of career, you’ll find that teaching in English sets a strong foundation for future career success. If you want to build a great resume, considering this career pathway will be a smart strategy!

How to Get Started

The easiest way to find out qualifications for this position and then make sure that you do qualify is to visit job boards online and see what employers are looking for. In some cases, you may need a post-secondary degree, such as a Bachelor’s Degree. If you don’t have the right level of education, you should move forward and access it.

A teaching degree, which comes after a Bachelor’s Degree, will also be very helpful in terms of attracting prospective employers. If you’re in high school, speak to a guidance counsellor about the type of education that you should access in order to get the right qualifications. If you’re an adult who’s already out of high school, you may want to access career counselling in your own community. There are community services available to job hunters, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of them.

Is This Career Right for You?

This career is best for a “people person” who genuinely enjoys meeting new people and getting to know them. You’ll need to have a sense of authority, as you’ll be in charge of a classroom, so leadership skills and confidence will be good traits to have. As well, you’ll need tons of patience. Learning a new language is a big undertaking and your students will need time to develop their skills. Your job is to come up with lesson plans which make learning English in Canada as simple and enjoyable as possible.

Teaching English in beautiful Canada will be fulfilling, as long as you have the right mindset and skill set.

What You Need to Teach in Canada

If you’re interested in teaching English in Canada, you will need to know which prerequisites are needed. Mapping out the right educational pathway will be much easier when you do have the inside scoop on what ESL employers are looking for from their teachers. Prerequisites do vary from employer to employer, so some employers may ask for less from applicants than others. However, in general, it’s safe to say that most top-notch employers want to see certain things. Today, I’m going to talk about what these things are…

What Are the Prerequisites?

In certain cases, the ability to speak English fluently may be all that is required. If you’re a native English speaker, you may be able to qualify to teach in Canada just based on the fact that English is your mother tongue! However, generally speaking, positions that require native English speakers aren’t bona fide teaching positions. Instead, they are ESL conversation practice positions.

When it comes to international ESL jobs for teachers, work permits are generally needed. As well, university degrees and certification as professional ESL teachers are required. As you can see, the real teaching jobs require more from applicants. If you want these sorts of jobs, you should make every effort to get a degree and then get certified as an ESL teacher.

In some cases, a clean criminal record may also be required.

Entering an educational program which sets you up to pass a TESL, TESOL, TEFL or CELTA certificate program exam will be a smart way to get the qualifications that you need. Plenty of these certificate programs are out there and you should look for them at private schools, universities, colleges and non-profit educational organizations.

Some of these programs grant partial credit towards some programs at universities. Others are great intro programs which offer basic training for ESL teaching. You should look for an accredited program which is highly-rated by former students. Suffice it to say that some training programs are much better than others, so take your time and find a training program which best fits your needs and learning style.

Training in Canada or Abroad

CELTA courses are delivered virtually worldwide, so you could take the training at home, or combine your studies with travel abroad. StudyCELTA provide training at locations across the World, including Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA. It’s perhaps worth noting that training in Europe is very often significantly cheaper than in Canada or the USA. Here’s an example of what you can expect as a CELTA student:

With most of these courses, you’ll need to spend one hundred and fifty hours in the classroom and then embark on another one hundred and fifty hours of training and teaching which is supervised. Practical training is a focus with these courses. You’ll do well to choose a program which has instructors that are very educated, at the Master’s level.

When you have a university degree and a certificate for TESL, TEFL or CELTA, you’ll be ready to score the “teaching in Canada” job that you want.

Start Planning Your Career Today

Now that you know what most employers want from ESL teachers in Canada, you’ll be ready to plan your education and select a training program which puts you in line for TEFL, CELTA or TESL certification. We believe that teaching English in Canada is a fulfilling career option which offers lots of growth potential. Expect to earn about thirty-five dollars per hour as an English teacher in Canada.

Qualification Required to Teach in Canada and Abroad

Eligibility for Teacher Training in Canada

Essentially, you will need a Degree from a recognised post-secondary education institution and a minimum  one year program of teacher training. In addition, you will need to be proficient to an advanced level in either English or French, depending upon the region in which you wish to teach. You will also have to demonstrate your ‘moral fitness’ to teach, which is usually satisfied through references and criminal record searches.

Eligibility for Teacher Training Abroad

The criteria for teaching abroad differs somewhat depending on the Country. To teach in my home Country of the UK for instance you will need your Degree, plus a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). If you only intend to teach adults however (over 16 years of age in the UK), you can do so with a City & Guilds 7303 PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector). Typically this qualification can be acquired in just a week of intensive study. For other Countries you will need to research their particular courses and criteria.

Further Training

Along with a Degree in your chosen subject, you will need to be highly computer-literate in today’s teaching environment. Microsoft Office applications are used extensively all over the World and at least a good working knowledge of Word and Excel will be required. Train Canada run Microsoft courses all over the Country and have the advantage of also offering training in French. If you are moving from the UK as I did, (or perhaps on a gap year) there are plenty of Microsoft training providers who offer classroom based courses in the major cities such as London, Manchester and Leeds. I took an Excel course in London with a Company called Paul Brown Training before I left the UK and it really helped me with teaching admin work.

What You Need to Know About Living and Working in Canada

If you thinking about moving to Canada from abroad, there are plenty of resources online and it’s worth starting with the Government of Canada (as I did). If you want solid, unbiased information on what you’ll need to do in order to live and work in Canada, visiting the official Government of Canada website will be a great way to get the ball rolling. You can view specific information on immigration at www.cic.gc.ca.

Today, I want to summarize some of the most important information that you’ll find at official federal government Web pages in Canada. My goal is to help you get organized before you embark on this type of adventure!

Consider Work Permit Requirements

You’ll need to know if a work permit is required! Whether you need a work permit or not will depend on what type of work you plan to do while you’re in Canada. If you need one, you’ll need to figure out how to apply for one. It’s possible to apply for many types of work permits. For example, there are work permits for temporary workers, live-in caregivers, business persons and students.

Also, extensions of work permits are sometimes granted. These extensions are available for live-in-caregivers and temporary workers. Also, there are open work permits which are designed for people who are waiting on approval of permanent resident applications.

Think About Your Credentials

If you want to immigrate as a skilled worker, who works in a particular trade or profession, or studies in Canada, then you should focus on your own credentials and having them assessed. Also, consider improving your English and French language skills. English and French are the official languages of Canada. While more people speak English than French, both languages are required for certain jobs, such as positions with government agencies. Proficiency in English and French will be helpful and well worth developing.

If you think that you’ll need assistance in order to get a job or in order to prepare to apply for positions, you should know that there are resources out there, including bridging programs and resume-building assistance. As well, mentorship opportunities may be available which are a perfect fit for your needs.

Learn All About Canada

If you’re someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time in Canada, you’ll benefit from learning about this beautiful country before you come over. Researching the currency, culture, history, government, climate and population will help you to familiarize yourself with the Canadian way of life. As well, I strongly recommend investigating the cost of living in Canada. It’s important to know how much you’ll need to spend on basics, such as rent, food, insurance and so on.

Living and working in Canada is very fulfilling for many. The country is peaceful, scenic and friendly. Hopefully, this quick guide has given you some things to think about as you prepare for this type of life change. The Government of Canada provides so much support to newcomers, so be sure to check out its official resources online.