Teacher Training Program Recognition FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Regarding TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Recognition

 

  1. What is the purpose of TESL Canada Program Accreditation?
  2. The TESL Canada teacher training program accreditation process was set up to ensure that teachers have access to a certain standard of ESL teacher education in Canada. This is for the benefit of the entire discipline - ESL learners, teachers, employers and programs accreditation.

  3. Who can apply for TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation? Are any programs exempt from this process?
  4. Canadian-based programs wishing to receive TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation are encouraged to apply. Only programs that do apply may be recognized; there are no exemptions to the process. Programs using any portion of another program that has previously been approved must apply separately. This is to ensure equal adjudication in all applications.

  5. When during the year can applications be submitted for TESL Teacher Training Program Accreditation?
  6. Applications are accepted  on a continuous basis; a program can apply at any time of the year for TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation. To ensure continuous accreditation, reapplication should be made 1 month prior to the expiry date of the accreditation period.

  7. What happens to an application once TESL Canada receives it?
  8. A paid adjudicator reviews the application based on the teacher training program accreditation standards outlined on the TESL Canada website and in this manual. Once the adjudication process is complete, the adjudicator will write to the applicant with one of the following responses: award full or interim accreditation; make inquiries for further information or suggest minor changes; or inform the program that the standards for teacher training program accreditation have not been met. TESL Canada will also inform approved program contacts regarding the due date of their annual reports and the date of expiry of their accreditation.

  9. What is the role of the Standards Committee?
  10. The Standards Committee is a volunteer group of TESL professionals (and members of TESL Canada) from across Canada. The Standards Committee supports the adjudicator by advising on inquiries, issues, and appeals, and adjudicates in special cases. The committee also revises and sets new criteria for the standards as required, and ensures that the standards are clear and fair.

  11. How long will the adjudication process take?
  12. The initial adjudication process will take approximately 3 to 4 weeks and can take up to 8 weeks. If the adjudicator has questions about an application, the process will take an additional 3 to 4 weeks. If there is an appeal, it will take an additional 5 to 6 weeks to complete the process to allow for turn-around time and thorough adjudication.

  13. What is “interim” teacher training program accreditation?
  14. Interim accreditation is provided for programs that meet all the requirements, but have not yet been offered for a full cycle as outlined on the TESL Canada website. Interim status is necessary to ensure that programs are ongoing and have been pilot tested and evaluated. Programs holding interim status will be listed on the TESL Canada website.

    During the interim accreditation period the program must:

    • Be in continuous operation for a minimum of one program session and until a minimum of 12 students have completed the program. Continuous operation is defined as: normally scheduled terms without cancellation of the program due to insufficient numbers.
    • Submit a TESL Canada Interim Status Session Report (Form A). The report will include the number of trainees per session, a description of the facilities, teacher trainers’ qualifications and trainee evaluations
    • Report on any significant changes to the program that were not submitted in the original application, i.e. staff, facilities, curriculum.

    Students will be able to use the program for professional certification retroactively once the program receives full accreditation.

  15. Is there an appeal process if an application is not recognized?
  16. The Standards Committee will receive appeals, review them, and make a final recommendation. Unsuccessful applicants must wait one year before reapplying for TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation.

  17. What are the practicum requirements for TESL Canada Program Accreditation?
  18. Programs must have a required 20 hours of supervised practicum (50 hours for Standard 2 and 3 programs). 10 of these hours must be directed observation and 10 must be supervised practice teaching as outlined below (20 + 30 hours respectively for Standard 2 and 3 programs). In addition, the practicum must be thoroughly described in the application for TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation.

    The 10 (30) hours of directed observations must:

    • Be under the direction of an instructor certified a minimum of TESL Canada Professional Certificate: Standard One, Two, or Three [Permanent] with at least 2,000 hours of adult ESL/EFL classroom experience or equivalent.
    • Be conducted in adult settings (a minimum of 80% of students must be 18 years of age or older) with classrooms of five or more ESL/EFL students
    • Have specific required observation tasks associated with the observation
    • Cover a range of lesson types and a range of focus areas (i.e., in areas covered in the theoretical part of the program curriculum and required by TESL Canada)
    • Include opportunities for reflection and discussion of observations with the sponsor teacher and practicum supervisor

    The 10 (20) hours of supervised teaching must:

    • Be under the direction of an instructor certified a minimum of TESL Canada Professional Certificate: Standard One, Two, or Three [Permanent] with at least 2,000 hours of adult ESL/EFL classroom experience  or equivalent to ensure proper assessment and constructive feedback to the trainee
    • Provide assessment and feedback orally and in writing to the trainee using both standardized forms and qualitative comments on a range of teaching skills as covered in the program curriculum and required by TESL Canada
    • Be conducted in adult settings (a minimum of 80% of students must be 18 years of age or older) with classrooms of five or more ESL/EFL students
    • Cover a range of lesson types and a range of pedagogical aspects as outlined in the areas covered in the theoretical part of the program curriculum and required by TESL Canada
    • Include opportunities for reflection and discussion of teaching with the sponsor teacher and practicum supervisor

     

  19. What is the purpose of the practicum?
  20. The purpose of the practicum is to help trainees demonstrate their knowledge and skill of TESL in both theory and practice and to support them in the development of their teaching. Serious applicants should want their program graduates to be able to accomplish these goals. Therefore, programs should outline how their practicum helps trainees apply theory in their classroom teaching and how it supports the improvement of trainees’ teaching skills. Details of the practicum must be thoroughly described in the application for TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation.

  21. What is the difference between a practicum supervisor and a sponsor teacher? Do I need both?
  22. The role of the practicum supervisor is to guide and observe the trainee. This person has the main role in assessing whether or not the trainee has achieved the goals of the practicum. Observation by the practicum supervisor for purposes of assessment should be for all 10 (20)  hours. The role of the sponsor teacher is to provide the trainee with a class of English language students, act as a teaching model, and provide daily teaching guidance to the trainee. It is possible that one person may be both sponsor teacher and the practicum supervisor.

  23. If Form F and resumes of Sponsor Teachers/ Practicum Supervisors/ Teacher Trainers are submitted separately to TESL Canada for evaluation, will there be a fee?
  24. Yes, there will be a fee of $ 25 per Form F and Resume starting July 1, 2015. There will be no separate charge for Form F and Resumes submitted with the application package (New or Renewal) and Annual Report.

  25. Can an approved program use TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation for promotional purposes?
  26. Programs are encouraged to announce their accreditation status in their promotional materials for the benefit of their students and the profession. However, programs must not misrepresent what accreditation means. Programs should not imply that students will receive automatic TESL Canada Professional Certification, which is a separate process that each new teacher must pursue. Programs may, however, mention that successful graduates will be eligible for TESL Canada accreditation.

  27. Can programs receive accreditation if students do not have baccalaureate degrees, or if they are mature students?
  28. Yes, but all students must be informed in writing that they will not receive TESL Canada Professional Certification if they do not hold a baccalaureate degree. This is to ensure that those who wish to receive good training to work in ESL programs as volunteers, are not prevented from doing so.

  29. Can a program receive accreditation if students are admitted without a minimum language requirement?
  30. Yes, ELP scores are required for individual certification, but not for entrance into a TESL Canada Recognized teacher training program. Programs are expected to adhere to minimum language requirements for students in order to ensure that students in such programs are not held back by students whose linguistic abilities require improvement.

  31. Will a program maintain its accreditation status if it changes its name or is purchased by another institution?
  32. Major changes must be reported in writing to TESL Canada within two months. The TESL Canada adjudicator will review the change and ascertain if a new application is required. Minor changes can be reported in the required annual report to TESL Canada.

  33. Will programs denied accreditation receive a refund of the application fee or TESL Canada associate fees?
  34. No, the application fees cover the cost of adjudication. TESL Canada associate fees are refundable if the program is denied accreditation.

  35. Can programs (or ‘satellite programs’) offered outside of Canada by Canadian organizations, individuals or groups apply?
  36. No, TESL Canada will only consider programs based in Canada. This is regardless of who owns and/or operates the program.

  37. Can Canadian distance delivered teacher training programs within Canada apply?
  38. Yes, special considerations for distance delivered and blended programs are outlined in the Policy for Distance Delivered and Blended Delivery Programs Approved by TESL Canada on p. 8.

  39. Will TESL Canada provide information regarding what to include in the annual report?
  40. TESL Canada will send an annual report form to all approved programs at least 1 month prior to the annual report due dates. Annual reports are due on June 1st, for four years following accreditation.

  41. Will TESL Canada visit programs for monitoring purposes?
  42. Yes, TESL Canada reserves the right to visit programs to ensure that teacher training program accreditation standards are being upheld. Programs will be given one week’s notice if a site visit is going to occur. Programs are expected to cooperate in full with the program evaluators.

  43. Can a program lose its accreditation status?
  44. Programs can lose their accreditation status under the following conditions:

    • Failure to comply with accreditation standards
    • False advertising/promotion related to implications of TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation
    • Misuse of TESL Canada Teacher Training Program Accreditation status
    • Failure to submit an annual report
    • Failure to reapply by the 5-year expiry date
    • Failure to pay application and annual report fees
    • Serious complaints by students or program staff; such complaints will be investigated thoroughly before accreditation is withdrawn.