CERTESL is a 23-credit unit undergraduate certificate program offered by the University of Saskatchewan that includes a supervised practicum or professional project. It is a flexibly-designed online program that can be completed in one or two years, with up to five years to finish. Contact us if you need to make special arrangements to prolong or accelerate your time to complete the program.

Teach ESL to Pre-K to 12 students

Teaching English language learners in the K-12 school system in Saskatchewan?

If you are currently teaching in the Saskatchewan K-12 school system and have a B.Ed., the English as an Additional Language post-degree certificate (PDCEAL) will qualify you for the Saskatchewan Additional Qualification (AQC).

Within Canada

If you have completed a B.Ed. degree and are currently teaching in Canada, depending on your province of residence, CERTESL or its complementary Post-Degree Certificate in EAL Education (PDCEAL) credential may qualify you for an additional qualification or specialization.

Within Ontario

Any Ontario K-12 teacher who wishes to pursue a certificate endorsement should consult an Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) advisor before deciding to register in any course not officially mandated by OCT. Three degree-credit courses from either the CERTESL or PDCEAL program are frequently used to meet the requirements of TESL coursework mandated by the OCT ESL Part I certification endorsement. An additional three degree-credit courses may meet the degree-credit hours required for OCT ESL Part II. We anticipate that the full ten-course PDCEAL may be accepted as meeting ESL Specialist requirements of OCT, but please ensure that you consult an advisor at OCT first.

Internationally

Many CERTESL students, both with and without B.Ed. degrees, have been able to teach young learners on the basis of their CERTESL training. Depending on your prior degree and the country in which you are looking to teach, you may not have to take the entire program. As a rule of thumb, the higher a country ranks on the Human Development Index (HDI), the higher the expectations of employers and professional associations for professional training of English language teachers.

Contact the CERTESL Academic Coordinator for advising and please read the appropriate sections of the English Teacher Qualifications Manual for general advice about the most-suitable options for English language teaching in pre-Kindergarten to grade 12 contexts.

Teach ESL to Canadian Newcomers

CERTESL is recognized by all three TESL accrediting bodies in Canada: TESL Saskatchewan, TESL Canada and TESL Ontario. Requirements to teach in different provinces vary. Your CERTESL certification along with your prior education and experience will best determine your career prospects.

It is strongly recommended that you have previously completed a Bachelor degree. All applicants will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that completion of the CERTESL program alone does not guarantee accreditation or certification by Canada’s TESL professional associations.

Accreditation Requirements for TESL Saskatchewan

TESL Saskatchewan Level 1 (Introductory)

  • A prior university degree,
  • 19 credit units in total including the ECUR 446.3 practicum, and
  • ECUR 448.3 may be used in lieu of ECUR 446.3 for those with significant documented teaching experience or a B.Ed. degree (contact the Academic Coordinator).

TESL Saskatchewan Level 2 (Competency)

  • A prior university degree,
  • 23 credit units in total including the ECUR 446.3 practicum and the 447.1 additional hours,
  • ECUR 448.3 may be used in lieu of ECUR 446.3 for those with significant documented teaching experience or a B.Ed. degree (contact the Academic Coordinator).
  • See the Practicum Information section for additional details.

Accreditation Requirements for TESL Ontario

  • A prior university degree,
  • 23 credit units in total: ECUR 291.3, ECUR 292.3, ECUR 331.3, ECUR 339.3, ECUR 391.3, ECUR 393.3, ECUR 445.1, ECUR 446.3, ECUR 447.1,
  • ECUR 448.3 may be used in lieu of ECUR 339.3 for those with significant documented teaching experience or a B.Ed. degree (contact the Academic Coordinator).
  • See the Practicum Information section for additional details.

Certification Requirements for TESL Canada

TESL Canada Standard 1 Certification

  • A prior university degree, 
  • 19 credit units in total including the ECUR 446.3 practicum, and
  • Cannot include ECUR 375.3 or ECUR 448.3.
TESL Canada Standard 2 Certification
  • A prior university degree,
  • 23 credit units in total, including the ECUR 446.3 practicum and additional hours, and
  • ECUR 448.3 may be used in lieu of ECUR 446.3 for those with significant documented teaching experience or a B.Ed. degree (contact the Academic Coordinator).

Contact the CERTESL Academic Coordinator for advising and please read the appropriate sections of the English Teacher Qualifications Manual for general advice about the most-suitable options for English language teaching in adult learning settlement contexts.

Have you had prior TESL training?

In some cases, successfully completed TESL course work that meets degree-credit levels and covers content similar to that of specific CERTESL courses may be eligible for transfer credit.

Teach Indigenous People in Canada

Many First Nations, Métis and Inuit citizens of Canada may not speak English or French as their first languages, or may not speak a version of English that allows them to succeed in the mainstream educational system. CERTESL provides course options that will assist you to work effectively with Indigenous learners in your K-12 or Adult Basic Education classes.
  • ECUR 291.3—This introductory course in the CERTESL program incorporates information on teaching Indigenous learners into key modules.
  • ECUR 375.3—This course is under expected redevelopment for the 2020 Winter session. It will be entirely directed to working with learners and English language development needs in Indigenous communities.

Teaching Indigenous learners in the K-12 school system in Saskatchewan?

In Saskatchewan, PDCEAL courses can supplement your undergraduate and/or post-graduate (B.Ed. and M.Ed.) and progress toward class 5 or 6 on the STF salary grid. For more information, see the English as an Additional Language (EAL) post-degree certificate.

Contact the CERTESL Academic Coordinator for advising and please read the appropriate sections of the English Teacher Qualifications Manual for general advice about the most-suitable options for English language teaching to Indigenous people in Canada.

Teach English Overseas

Countries around the world need qualified English Language teachers. Whether you are newly graduated, newly retired or simply ready for a change, you can prepare for an overseas English Language teaching career.

Every market has its own expectations for training, education, and experience. In the field of English Language Teaching, as a rule of thumb, the higher a country ranks on the Human Development Index (HDI), the higher the expectations of employers and professional associations for professional training. Please review the appropriate section in the English Teacher Qualifications Manual for more information.  

  • Complete ECUR 291.3, ECUR 292.3 and ECUR 391.3 online to meet basic academic content expectations of many responsible employers in most non-English speaking countries. Note: If you do not choose to complete the ECUR 446.3—Supervised Practicum as well, consider volunteering in a local ESL program in order to obtain a recommendation from a volunteer or ESL coordinator. Reputable overseas employers will often require some language teaching experience when an applicant has not completed a practicum.
  • While teaching overseas, you can choose to continue with the CERTESL program. If you continue to study while you teach, by the time you return to Canada, you could also be qualified to teach ESL at home.
  • CERTESL is an award-winning, university-based program. Overseas employers often place value on university credentials. These credentials are easy to verify and mean substantial academic rigor.
  • University of Saskatchewan tuition is highly competitive when compared to the fees charged by some private seminar programs. Many of these private programs, despite their claims, provide less than half the content that CERTESL does in a single course. Private seminars generally do not provide the depth of content or the quality of assessment you would need for transfer credit into a recognized program such as CERTESL. Prior to pursuing such training, we encourage you to examine your long-term career aspirations.
  • CERTESL courses are nationally recognized and are welcomed by employers across the country. If you later decide to make teaching ESL your permanent career in Canada, it will not be necessary for you to repeat any of your studies or to increase your original tuition costs due to retraining requirements.

Contact the CERTESL Academic Coordinator for advising and please read the appropriate sections of the English Teacher Qualifications Manual for important considerations when preparing to teach English in international contexts.

More information and how to apply

For information about admission requirements, tuition and fees, application deadlines, how to apply and more, visit the Teaching English as a Second Language (CERTESL) page on admissions.usask.ca.

Contact us for academic advising and general enquiries.