Frequently Asked Questions

No. This intensive program can only be completed on a full-time basis. Seneca's Faculty of Continuing Education and Training offers Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL certification) through part-time studies.

TESL — Teaching English as a Second Language. Used when teaching English in an English speaking country.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Used when teaching English to students in their own country.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. A broad term that includes all types of English Language teaching.

No. This program is restricted to university graduates only.

We do not recommend that you work while completing this course. In addition to classroom hours, there are readings and assignments to complete each night.

No. The program hours are not flexible and personal schedules cannot be accommodated. This intensive program is suitable for individuals who can handle a rigorous course load and tight deadlines. Attendance at all scheduled classroom hours is required for graduation and certification.

The TESL program is taught at the Newnham Campus (1750 Finch Avenue East). It is part of the English Language Institute located in Room B4000.

There are approximately 20 students in TESL 1 and TESL 2. There are two instructors for TESL 1 and three instructors for TESL 2.

TESL1 and TESL2 are full-time courses.

Schedule for TESL 1

Days Time/Hours Details
Monday to Wednesday 8:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Scheduled classes
Thursday Between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Practicum placements
Friday Between 8 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. Class observations (three-to-fours hours) and Independent studies 

Schedule for TESL 2

Days Time/Hours Details
Monday to Wednesday 8:55 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Scheduled classes
Thursday Between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Practicum placements
Friday Between 8 a.m. and 5:05 p.m. Independent studies 

Both TESL 1 and TESL 2 are very intensive. You can expect to spend one to two hours each night to complete course readings and assignments. There are a number of assignments in each course with set deadlines that require you to have strong time management skills and adequate time outside of class to commit to meeting the requirements of the program.

The English Language Institute at Seneca has an outstanding reputation in the industry for graduating teachers that are knowledgeable and well prepared to teach.

Yes. Both the TESL 1 and TESL 2 certificates comply with international certification standards, and also qualify for accreditation provincially by TESL Ontario and nationally by TESL Canada.

We do not have a job placement service. However, during practicum placements, you have the opportunity to work in one or two different ESL programs. Graduates often use these industry contacts to begin supply teaching and gain contract positions. We also maintain contact with you after graduation and send out job ads for local and overseas positions.

Upon completion of TESL 1, you can work in most sectors of the ESL field including private language schools, learning centres, school board adult education programs, tutoring, overseas and colleges/universities.

Upon completion of TESL 2, in addition to the above, you can also work in publicly funded programs like the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC).

No. The TESL program is not eligible for OSAP.  Tuition fees must be paid prior to the start of the program.

Yes. Providing there is space in the course, you can take TESL 2 in a subsequent semester.

There is an administrative fee of $150 ($250 international) for withdrawing before the fourth scheduled class. After the fourth scheduled class, there is no refund of tuition fees.

The program was completely revamped in 2017 to meet changing market demands. It is updated annually to ensure that it remains current with industry standards and practices as well as certification requirements.

All instructors are approved by TESL Ontario and TESL Canada to teach both theory and methodology. Instructors have at least a master’s degree and 15 years of teaching experience.

All facilities are accessible and well maintained. The English Language Institute has a modern computer lab and all classrooms are electronically wired with computers and data projectors. Wi-Fi is available throughout the campus. A full resource centre is available with computer access and learning supports.

Guest speakers representing the industry are regularly asked to speak to classes.

TESL 1 students observe 15 hours in various classes and levels in our intensive English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program for international students. Students will also observe for 10 hours and teach for 10 hours in a class assigned for practice teaching under the supervision of a mentor teacher.
TESL 2 students first observe classes for 5 hours and then teach a further 10 hours under the supervision of a mentor teacher. Students are also observed by a TESL faculty member during their practicum.

We teach students to create lesson plans using a typical LINC lesson plan template that incorporates skill-building and skill-using learning tasks. Students are taught the basics of portfolio based learning assessment and identify evaluative tasks that can be used in the portfolios.

We recommend you review basic English grammar rules prior to the start of the course.

We also recommend you complete the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Bootcamp.

If your intent is to complete both programs, we recommend you apply for both TESL 1 and TESL 2 at the same time. If you apply for TESL 1 alone, your space in TESL 2 is not guaranteed. Also, you will be charged a late fee if you apply for TESL 2 after TESL 1 has started. Refer to TESL 2 costs.

If one of your language proficiency scores is slightly lower than what is required for admission, please contact us by email at