Greystone College TESOL FAQs

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To qualify for this program, students must have an advanced level of English ... The Cambridge TKT Young Learners program is full time, 4 weeks, Monday to ...

Greystone College TESOL FAQs 1. What’s the difference between TESOL, TESL and TEFL? The basic teaching skills for all of the above are the same; the difference between the names relates to where you are teaching. TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language, or teaching English in a country where English is the primary language, for example Canada or Australia. TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language, or teaching in a country where English is a foreign language and not the first language of the residents, for example China, Mexico, or Korea. TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This acronym includes both TESL and TEFL. 2. What are the minimum requirements for the TESOL program? To qualify for this program, students must have an advanced level of English (iBT 80, IELTS 6.5); have an interest in learning about other cultures and a desire to teach English to international students. Please refer to TESL Canada’s website for more details: It is recommended that you have a university degree but Grade 12 is the minimum requirement to take the diploma program. At least one year post secondary is required for the TESOL 130 program. 3. TESL Canada has 3 different Standards. What do they mean? The three standards of Professional Certification relate to the length of the training program you take. Standard One is awarded for an accredited course of 100 hours or more. Standard Two is for a program of 250 hours or more. Standard Three is for someone who has a Masters in TESOL or Applied Linguistics. Greystone College has two programs. TESOL 130 qualifies students for a Standard One Certificate. TESOL Diploma (TESOL 360) qualifies students for a Standard Two Certificate.

4. You also offer two Cambridge courses. What are they and can I apply to TESL Canada after the course? Greystone College offers a four week TKT course (Teaching Knowledge Test) developed by the University of Cambridge - ESOL Examinations. The TKT is a series of exams which help teachers demonstrate a comprehensive and current knowledge of teaching English. It focuses on the core professional knowledge needed by all English as a Second Language teachers. It tests understanding of teaching principles, not teaching experience or ability. We also offer a four week Cambridge Young Learners course, which focuses on teaching English to children between the ages of 6-12. Students will learn essential planning, management, and fun, active ways to help younger learners practise English. Many graduates go overseas and many contracts are for teaching children either in public schools or afterschool programs.These courses can be taken separately or together to earn a Cambridge TESOL Diploma. While these Cambridge courses are not eligible for TESL Canada certification, the Cambridge TKT has international recognition and adds value and strength to your CV. TESL Canada does not accredit programs for teaching children as this is under the jurisdiction of the provinces in Canada. 5. I am a native English speaker: do I need training to teach English? Some schools, especially overseas, will hire teachers simply because that person is a native speaker. However, expecting to step into a classroom and doing a great job when you are unprepared is a bit unrealistic. Just because you’ve been a passenger on many flights, doesn’t mean you’d be an effective pilot. Teaching a language requires many specialized skills. The programs that Greystone College offers can help you to gain and practise those skills. 6. I don’t have an undergraduate degree. Can I still take your programs? Yes. However if you plan on teaching in English in Canada, opportunities for employment will be limited. Minimum hiring requirements for most institutions especially those accredited by Languages Canada are an undergrad degree and a TESOL certificate from a program accredited by TESL Canada. If you plan on going overseas, it might not be necessary to have an undergraduate degree – each country has different VISA and minimum hiring requirements. A TESOL certificate alone might be enough for some places. TESOL training will also help you if you plan on tutoring rather than teaching in a formal classroom setting. When students make particular errors, you will have more confidence correcting them as well as planning appropriate lessons and activities for them.

7. I am a native English speaker with no teaching experience. Which program should I take? The more training you have the better. If you have the time and the funds to take the 12 week Diploma program, it is highly suggested, as you will have more time to process the material and to practice in class. However, if you can handle the intensity of a short program, the TESOL 130 Certificate would qualify you to apply for a TESL Canada Professional Standard One. Consider your short and long term goals. You will be competing against experienced teachers, so a longer training program is an asset. A higher professional standard can also help to open up other opportunities. 8. I am an international student with no teaching experience. Which program should I take? First the Cambridge TKT and then the TESOL Diploma program. 9. I am an international student with a lot of teaching experience. Which program should I take? We recommend the Cambridge TKT and then the TESOL Diploma program unless you are an almost native speaker. If you teach children in high school or below, you should also take the Young Learners course. 10. How long is each of the programs?   

The Cambridge TKT program is full time, 4 weeks, Monday to Friday (9-4). The Cambridge TKT Young Learners program is full time, 4 weeks, Monday to Friday (94) and includes a one week practicum in a local school within the 4 weeks. The TESOL 130 Certificate is: a) full time, 4 weeks in class, Monday to Friday (9-4) plus 3 – 4 weeks of practicum* once the classroom component has finished or b) part time, 12 weeks in class, Monday to Wednesday (5:30-8:30pm) plus a practicum of approximately 3-6 weeks*. * timing of the practicum is dependent on one’s performance in the classroom component, previous experience, future goals, etc. We try to personalize the practicum as much as possible. The TESOL 360 Diploma program is full time, 12 weeks, Monday to Friday (9-4) and includes the practicum component throughout the 12 weeks .

11. I am Canadian and want to go overseas to teach English. How will the Greystone College TESOL program help me? The TESOL program at Greystone College is a very comprehensive, “hands-on” program with many practical ideas and useful teaching strategies. It combines classroom learning, theory and perhaps, most importantly, practical teaching experience. The classroom component of the course will give you important core knowledge and teaching tools and techniques. The supervised practicum will give you the skills and confidence to stand in front of a class and teach while practicing what you’ve learned. If you’re thinking about teaching overseas, it is recommended that you research the specific destination. Some countries, and even schools within the same county, have very specific hiring and VISA requirements. Sometimes they will ask for a specific teaching certification. Generally, most language schools overseas want to hire teachers who have an undergraduate degree and TESOL training, while some will be satisfied with TESOL training alone. 12. After taking the Greystone College TESOL program, am I guaranteed a job? The Greystone College TESOL program will prepare you to successfully teach anywhere in the world, giving you the tools and practice you need to feel confident and effective in the classroom. Many of our TESOL graduates are teaching in Canada and around the world, following the school’s motto of “Learn a Living.” While we cannot guarantee a specific job placement, the College will help with resume/interviewing workshops and job research. We work with several local and overseas recruiters and schools that assist our graduates in obtaining employment. Many of our instructors have taught overseas and can make recommendations, plus you will have classmates from across the globe, so the opportunities for networking are fantastic. 13. What should I do to prepare before starting the course? Native speakers: should review or get started on learning grammar. Buy or borrow a grammar book that includes terminology, structure, and examples of usage. You will need to know fundamental grammar terms, tenses, parts of speech, etc. It’s also a good idea to visit or volunteer in some ESL classes to get a sense of student’s levels and abilities. Please remember, these courses are focused on techniques for teaching grammar, not learning it, so there is an expectation that you have knowledge of the essentials before the course starts. International students: before taking the TESOL 360 Diploma course, you must have achieved an Advanced level of English. If you are not at that level, you can take the Cambridge TKT courses to prepare you for Diploma program as well as the TKT exams.

14. What kind of working conditions should a new teacher expect from a school? When researching a suitable place to work, a new teacher should find out as much as possible about the school (and country). Good questions to ask a potential employer would be:  How long has the school been open?  Does the school have a fixed curriculum for teachers to follow, or do teachers plan their own lessons?  How much preparation is expected/required and is that time paid or not?  What kind of materials and resources are available? (textbooks, computers, internet, cds, copiers, reference books, a library)  How many contact (classroom teaching) hours per week?  How many students are in one class? How old are they?  Will I be the only teacher in the class or will there be a co-teacher?  How many weeks does each class run and how many hours will I be teaching?  What support or professional development can new teachers receive? (teaching resources, training courses, etc.)  Who supervises and schedules the teachers?  How long have most of the staff been working at the school?  (For Canada) What is the nationality mix in the school?  How often are contracts negotiated? Is the school unionized?