What It Entails To Teach English in Canada

In Canada, although there are many career opportunities for just arrived immigrants, know that it may take quite some time after arrival before you can secure a perfect job. At this point, do you just fold your hands and wait? You may want to consider casual employment options, but unfortunately, these options beyond a quick buck, will not contribute much to career development.  

The good news is that there is yet another option to consider which is teaching English as a foreign language. In Canada, language learning is a big and lucrative industry, because both the latest newcomers and international students continually seek to improve their language levels. Moreover, a lot of small towns, and even cities, have a whole lot of language schools that are in search of English teachers.  

Although, English language classes in Canada are mostly made up of locals, nevertheless, group of students comes from overseas to come to Canada to pursue a short English course. One of the reasons why Canada is considered a top worldwide destination for learning the English language is because as students pursuing study programs of a minimum of six months duration, you do not need to get a study permit.

As you settle in Canada as a newcomer, know that teaching English in Canada can be a career opportunity or a bridging job, and here is a detailed guide on how to go about it. 

Who are those who can teach?

Truthfully, a lot of people may not take up teaching as a career option since it is not appealing to them. Moreover, you must know that teaching English in Canada can take different forms.

Some of these positions require absolute preparations, organization, and knowledge such as designing lesson plans, handling large classes of students, and paying good attention to grammar and linguistics.

While there are some such as language assistants and casual tutoring at all levels and all ages that is not as time-consuming as the former. Also, in the language teaching industry, there is a wide range of opportunities from teaching and homework help for children to community integration initiatives, to helping someone practice English over a coffee.

How to start

If you truly want to teach the English language, then the first thing to do is to get certified because qualifications like TEFL or CELTA certificate will lead you to a wide range of options to select from when it comes to teaching English in Canada. Irrespective of the fact that some schools may require English as a first language for the tutor but this is mostly not the case, they require their tutors to have such a qualification. 

Furthermore, as a certificate holder, you could be eligible before you arrive in Canada, either through a local institution or an online course because these teaching certifications are usually recognized internationally, therefore, you should ensure that you settle for a certificate that is accepted and recognized by language schools in Canada.

Also, you can train as a teacher in Canada, nevertheless, you have to be sure that your status in Canada permits you to pursue these programs, of course, these depend on how you obtained the right to come to Canada because sometimes, you are not permitted to combine work with study.

Understanding the meaning of the acronyms

In the English language teaching industry, certain acronyms are used interchangeably, but when it comes to choosing a certification course, there are vital differences between each of them, so, we will find out what the differences are between TEFL, TESL, TESOL, and CELTA.

  • TEFL

TEFL is an acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language which is a term used generally. This certification is recognized as a high standard, and this is why a TEFL certification could help you in Canada, nevertheless, confirm from local schools before you choose this over other certificates. In addition, please note that even though the least required length of a course is 100 hours, most well-paid positions will request 120 hours of training.

  • TESL

TESL is an acronym that stands for ‘Teaching English as a Second Language, and it is a well-known certificate choice in Canada, because the aim is to teach English to non-native speakers who are in an English-speaking country, and this is quite a tasking thing to do.


TESOL is a certificate in ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Another Language’, and it is the latest qualification that combines the approaches of TEFL and TESL in one course. Truthfully, though this certification permits its holder to teach English in English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries, the disadvantage is that it may not be popular or recognized by employers.


CELTA is an acronym that stands for ‘Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This is a certificate that is widely recognized and involves 120 hours of training. Not just that, the CELTA  is specific to the Cambridge English Language Assessment which is part of the University of Cambridge, unlike other certificates that are issued by a range of various institutions or websites.

How can I secure a job teaching English in Canada?

For you to secure an  English-teaching job in Canada, there are numerous ways to go about it. Oftentimes, language schools may advertise positions on their sites, and other organizations like TESLCanada,  Craigslist, Kijijuiand, and Indeed. Ca. post job listings.  You can as well take your time to search for schools in your target destination to find out more.

While at it, be careful not to be scammed through casual employment sites. Also, any school requiring a Canadian-certified qualification should be a more reputable place to work, and it may pay good remuneration. 

Just like any other job, the first thing to do is to prepare a strong resume and cover letter. Though you may take the job as a means of passing time while searching for a real job, please you must be serious with the job.  

Feel free to take a look at our guide on how to write the perfect resume and cover letter for a job application in Canada to assist you to take the right step.

Are there benefits you can get in the future?

Teaching in Canada, aside from the job being a great way to meet and interact with people, while earning money at the same time, you can also have the opportunity to develop your resume and get the attention of employers.

If you can garner Canadian work experience in such a field, you will have opportunities in a host of other fields, since this field requires strong social skills like communication, teamwork, and organizational skills.

Finally, working as a teacher in Canada can be an intriguing job while still searching for your dream job. You just have to press the right buttons like obtaining the right certificates and making strong connections in the country.

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