There is no doubt that teaching English can be a challenging job. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can manage your classroom effectively and with ease. In this article I’m going to talk about three ways the 120-hour TESOL certificate course offered by OnTESOL prepared me really well for teaching English in Toronto.
I took the 120-hour advanced TESOL course in need of a career change. I didn’t expect to do that well on the grammar and methodology modules. Yet, to excel on an assignment is one thing, teaching English in context is very much another. As a new teacher I am starting from scratch and a classroom is a new and foreign place. In taking the practicum, what once seemed like new and foreign territory, became a thrilling place to stand up, discover skills I never knew I had and to empower others on their learning journey.
The first day jitters were very real. I was mostly nervous about my ability to teach and explain grammar, as many new teachers are. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the practicum requires lengthy and in depth preparation, but this is what will make you a better teacher! I was also fearful because I had no idea what kind of support I would receive from my supervising teacher or from the school. My fears were dispelled as the practicum became an opportunity to receive a tremendous amount of guidance and support from real and experienced teachers who wanted to help me to do my best!
After many years traveling and teaching abroad, I decided to transition into a more settled life to teach English in my home town of Toronto, Ontario. When I lived abroad, I absolutely loved traveling from one country to the next every nine months. The benefits were abundant! I lived with the locals, I learned two languages and explored as many sites and as many mountaintops as I could! This being said, there came a point when being the foreigner began to lose its charm. Home was calling my name and I began to develop a deep curiosity and yearning for my own culture and to explore my own backyard. The first things I noticed were how sleeping in my own bed never felt so good and all the places there are to experience here in Ontario that I had never noticed before. Most importantly, the most amazing thing about teaching English in Toronto is that it offers you a little bit of everything, helping you to realize that you have everything you enjoyed abroad, right in your own backyard! Below is a list of experiences to appreciate about teaching English in Toronto:
-Clare completed the 120-hour Advanced TESOL Certificate with Practicum, recognized by TESL Canada.
I teach English in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and my job is to assist students in preparing for the IELTS exam. There are books that focus on the types of tasks performed on the IELTS test, but I often found it difficult to choose textbook materials at the right level. In nearly all cases, the vocabulary […]
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 by 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.
As a Canadian, teaching English in my hometown Toronto has allowed me to develop my skills as a teacher, earn a good wage and meet students from all over the world, while remaining in close proximity to my family and friends. Canada offers many opportunities in English language teaching, whether it be in private language schools, government funded settlement programs, or at the College or University levels.
One of the obvious advantages of studying abroad is immersion, yet many students struggle to take advantage of the English environment in order to speed their learning. Integrating lesson plans with daily life so as to make this connection explicit can be helpful in nudging students toward seeking out more opportunities to practice outside the classroom. For this reason, it is worth investing time into lessons that teach students the skills they need to cope in their interactions with Canadians.
The second part of the Cultural Considerations series will focus on (Inter)cultural dynamics in the Canadian ESL classroom. ESL teachers in Canada have to be aware that while many students look forward to the prospect of meeting and learning alongside students from other countries, different approaches to study that arise from both personality and culture need to be addressed. Stereotypically, students of East-Asian origin (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, etc.) have a strong desire to improve their communication skills but feel overwhelmed and overpowered by students from a South American or European background, for whom fluency typically comes more quickly. It is up to you to establish a strong precedent of equitable patterns of participation in your classroom, and this may initially require explicit discussion about how ‘quiet’ students can make space for themselves, and how dominant students can ensure their less fluent classmates have the opportunity to be heard.
–Online TESOL Certificate Course Recognized by TESL Canada!-
Teaching English in Canada can be significantly different from teaching in other countries, particularly those which are non-Anglophone. If you land a TESOL job in a private language school, it is likely that the majority of your students will be visitors to the country, studying full-time for a period of 1-12 months.
The majority of ESL students will be learning English primarily for the purposes of work or study and are studying at great personal and financial expense, so stakes and expectations are high. At the same time, these students are also generally open to new experiences in a culture different from their own, so learning to strike a balance between rigorous study and fun is a necessary skill. What can new teachers do to take advantage of cultural factors and give their students an excellent experience studying English in Canada?