TEFL qualifications online in Canada: Just like many other countries, Canada’s employment scene has seen a dramatic shift towards remote work in the last two years. As companies open their physical offices again, a large number of Canadians seem to be reluctant to resume their pre-pandemic work routine.
A study shows that most of Canada’s workforce want a flexible work environment that allows them to choose when and where to work from. This is particularly true for the 18-34 age group, who would prefer a hybrid work culture.
One way or another, it is clear that the pandemic has significantly affected employers and employees alike. As a consequence of redundancy or professional vs personal life imbalance, many have been forced to reassess their work situation. Some have taken this opportunity to make a career change or chase their own entrepreneurial dreams.
Stepping into TEFL
If you are thinking about retraining to step into a new career or delve into the freelance world, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) could be a great opportunity. Whether you are looking for a full- or part-time commitment, rest assured that you will find teaching English rewarding and fulfilling.
There are many companies in Canada that offer TEFL training and qualifications (online or not). Choosing the most suitable course for you can be baffling and it may depend on several factors, such as location, cost, and accreditation, to name a few.
Feeling confused? Don’t be! Head to this handy article to compare some of the TEFL course providers out there. It is important to note, however, that there might not be much difference in the course content from one provider to another.
- Part-time TEFL courses
This option is ideal if you want to sharpen your skills and train as a TEFL teacher while working – before your big career change! These provide the same kind of training as the full-time intensive courses (see below), but they are usually spread out over the course of 12 weeks.
- Full-time TEFL courses
During a 4-week period, a full-time TEFL course covers the basics of areas such as classroom management, language awareness, teaching language skills, lesson planning, and materials writing. Needless to say, these courses are intensive and time-consuming. They require your undivided attention and focus throughout.
Note: Whether it’s classroom-based or online, full- or part-time, the course should cover at least 120 hours of training. This is the minimum number of course hours required by most employers.
What Happens Next?
Once you have got your TEFL qualification, you need to make the important decision of where to find your first job as an English teacher. You might choose to teach in Canada, abroad, or online – from home or while travelling.
- TEFL in Canada
Canada is a lovely country to live and work in. It offers such a wide variety of geographical features and cultural diversity that it is impossible to get bored! If you live and work in this amazing country, you’ll be blessed with excellent quality of life. Because of this, the TEFL industry there can be very competitive. As well as a TEFL certificate, you will need a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. Some employers might require you to be TEFL Canada certified – this is an additional certification on top of your initial TEFL training.
Saying that, here are some of the options available for teaching English as a foreign language in Canada:
- International schools
There are many international schools dotted around Canada, especially in the big cities. Keep in mind that some of these schools follow an American curriculum, while others might require you to be accredited by the British Columbia Ministry of Education – or both.
- Language academies
These are where most TEFL teachers find work. They are private language schools that provide courses for students at different proficiency levels and age groups.
- Government-sponsored programmes
If you are a Canadian citizen, you could apply for a full-time language assistant role through one of these programmes, like Odyssey. You would be placed in a different province to work alongside local English language teachers. Your duties here are to facilitate English language learning in a fun and engaging ways while sharing your own cultural perspective.
- TEFL abroad
If you fancy venturing abroad, the world is your oyster! Once you have your TEFL certificate you can choose to work anywhere in the world. Keep in mind that different countries (and institutions within a country) have different criteria for hiring their TEFL teachers. Do your research before you travel abroad.
The convenience of modern technology gives you the option to teach online, either from the comfort of your own home or while travelling. As a freelance teacher, you could work independently or with the support of teaching platforms – either option has its pros and cons. Do your research to find out what freelance path is more suitable for you.
The TEFL industry has become increasingly popular over the years. Regardless of the country you teach in, it can always be competitive to a certain extent. To keep on top of your game and to stand out from the other candidates, you should always invest time. money and effort in your own professional development.
One way to do this is to find the TEFL niche you enjoy the most and specialise in it. For example, if you want to keep the stream of online students flowing and be able to charge an hourly fee you can be proud of, consider taking a specific course for teaching English online. This will give you the tools to provide your students with the best online learning experience possible.
Other areas that you could specialize in are: teaching young learners, English for Specific Purposes, English for Academic Purposes, or exam preparation, such as IELTS or TOEFL.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a profession that is as enriching as it is challenging, especially in a country that is as TEFL-selective as Canada. However, if you do not meet the criteria to teach there, other options – such as teaching abroad or online – are available.