Originally posted on insauga.com
Teaching, for many, is a calling—one that some students dream about from the moment they first set foot in a classroom. For many more people, the desire to travel is just as strong as the urge to share knowledge with others.
Now, imagine a program that will equip prospective teachers with the skills and expertise necessary to earn prestigious certifications to teach English as a second language both abroad and at home.
The brand new TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Plus program, which will be launching for the very first time in January 2018 at the academic institution's Hazel McCallion Campus in City Centre in Mississauga, is a teacher training program specifically for people interested in teaching English as a second language (ESL).
As for what sets the program apart, it's the only one in Canada that allows students to gain three separate (and crucial) qualifications in one academic school year: CELTA, TESL Canada and TESL Ontario.
"The field is pretty competitive; you need the qualifications and accreditations that employers are looking for," says Tania Iveson, ESL Professor/TESOL Plus Program Coordinator.
Sheridan has partnered with the United Kingdom-based University of Cambridge to allow students to directly earn CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) accreditation. CELTA is the most internationally respected and recognized pre-service ESL teacher training qualification and is ideal for anyone who wants to teach abroad.
Students who want to teach ESL in Canada or Ontario usually require TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Ontario and/or TESL Canada certifications—something that the completion of the Sheridan program also allows them to do with ease (Note: these must be applied for separately and apart from the program, as they're third-party certifications).
Completing the Sheridan program opens up incredible employment opportunities, as graduates will be well equipped to teach both internationally and nationally in private schools, LINC (Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada) programs, colleges and universities.
"Our program is so unique because it's the only program in Canada that grants people the ability to apply for accreditation for all three qualifications," says Iveson. "Once you pass our program, you can have all employment sectors open to you in Canada and abroad."
As for how it works, graduates obtain the CELTA certification upon completion of the program, as Sheridan works directly with the University of Cambridge. After graduating, students can send their certificate and transcripts to TESL Canada and TESL Ontario to get the desired accreditations.
As of now, the exciting new program is only available at the Mississauga campus. It's currently offered on a full-time basis (part-time and evening and weekend classes are not available at this time) and runs for two semesters (or one full academic school year). The program is particularly unique in the sense that it immediately fuses practical and theoretical learning, meaning students are given opportunities to start their practicums and begin teaching
To introduce the program to prospective students, Sheridan is hosting an Information Session that will allow interested attendees to meet experienced instructors and administrators and ask questions.
The session will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 11 and run from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in room A165 at the Hazel McCallion Campus. Anyone who is interested in the program can drop by at any time, no registration or RSVP required. There will be some beverages and light snacks, but most importantly, prospective students can come to better understand the program.
“People can learn more about program, meet administrators and ask questions about the program," says Iveson. "The instructors are highly qualified and have been in the industry for at least 10 years. Attendees can tour the facilities and the campus and meet instructors face-to-face."
In terms of enrollment qualifications, prospective students must formally apply for the program. As far as prerequisites go, applicants must have an undergraduate degree (any type is acceptable) from a recognized university. Candidates interested in enrolling must submit an application, perform a written task and participate in an in-person or telephone interview.
Students who are granted admission to the program will get to enjoy small class sizes (about 24 students per cohort, to be exact). Students will also benefit from a ratio of one trainer to six students for one of the practicum courses.
"There will be lots of attention, help, feedback, guidance and support," says Iveson.
Classes will be held five days a week, with class times to be determined by school. About 20-22 hours of class a week are to be expected.
In this program, students hit the ground running.
"Practicum begins in first semester and people can begin their practice teaching as early as week two," says Iveson. "There's full integration of theory and practice; we see it as weaving the knowledge and practice together right from the start."
The course is exciting because it's, among many things, uniquely efficient. Instead of having to take various courses with different institutions (and, in many cases, spending more money as a result), students can enjoy "one-stop shopping" in a respected academic institution staffed by seasoned professionals.
As far as career building goes, the program is also ideal for internationally trained teachers who want to build on their qualifications and create more teaching and employment opportunities for themselves in Canada.
And although the program is brand new, it's already turning some heads.
"People who know about it are excited about it," says Iveson. "Some people have said they've been waiting for it for years."
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