Category Archives: Professional Development

Five Most Frequently Asked Questions about OCELT® (Ontario Certified English Language Teacher) Certification and Designation

Written by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager, TESL Ontario

OCELT certification has become the industry norm in Ontario, and OCELTs are being hired by both government-funded programs and private schools in Canada, and by international employers. 

As the Accreditation Services Manager at TESL Ontario, I help interested individuals navigate the certification process to become successful in their pursuit of OCELT certification. Here I would like to share the five most frequently asked questions from applicants:  Continue reading

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Five Reasons to Attend The 2022 TESL Ontario Annual Conference

TESL Ontario’s landmark 50th annual conference, Celebrating 50 Years of Community, Leadership and Innovation, will be here in no time! The conference, taking place October 26-28, will once again be held virtually to prioritize the safety of all of our attendees.  
Here are just a few key reasons why you should mark your calendar now and make plans to join us in October! 
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Career Tips for Shy/Introverted ESL Teachers and Students

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In general, Western society favours people who are extroverted and outgoing. This bias can be seen in multiple areas of daily life. At school and work, it is apparent in the emphasis placed on teamwork and open workspaces. In language, it is evident in the positive connotations associated with those who are outgoing/extroverts (e.g., approachable, the life of the party) and negative connotations for those who are shy/introverts (e.g., sheepish, wallflower).

Personally, I am an introvert. I prefer calmer environments and get depleted by lots of stimulation. I was once very shy, and I feared negative social judgment. In this blog, I present three strategies that have helped me cope as I have climbed the TESL professional ladder.

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Reflections on a Year as TESL ON Board Member – from Mitra Rabie

Guest Contributor: Mitra Rabie

As a devoted English instructor, I have always thrived to be a rich source of inspiration and support to my students and their academic success. To my understanding so far, the overall composition of the elected Directors reflects a balance of perspectives from different sectors and regional diversity, and I am sure that as part of this Board and its Committees, I will learn a lot that I can then share with the community members.

I think one of the key reasons that motivated me to run for a position on the TESL Ontario Board of Directors has been the Board’s mission and vision as a leading authority to provide support and direction to professionals, government bodies, and industry stakeholders involved in the English language education field. It has been a great professional success for me to be appointed as a Board member and to serve on three of its Committees: Nomination, Research Advisory, and Strategic Planning.

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Considering a Role on the TESL Ontario Board? New Member Jenny Kirk Shares Her Experience

Guest Contributor: Jenny Kirk

Have you considered taking the next step in your involvement with the TESL community?  

I’ve recently taken on a new role with TESL Ontario. I’d like to tell you about my experience and why I think you too should consider taking on a new challenge.

Serving on the TESL Ontario board can be an amazing opportunity to develop your leadership skills, gain board experience and receive positive professional mentorship. Plus, the board needs your perspective. 

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Boosting your Career with the OCELT Designation – Growth. Recognition. Community.

Image source: TESL Ontario

Written by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager, TESL Ontario

Hi there. My name is Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy. I am the TESL Ontario Accreditation Services Manager. I am also an OCELT. Do you know what OCELT stands for? We see OCELT in email signatures, resumes, title slides of presentation decks, and presenter biographies quite often these days, which is excellent for our profession! The OCELT professional designation acknowledges the professional status of certified practitioners and enhances their professional prestige as members of a dynamic ESL community. If you are an OCELT but haven’t started using your professional designation yet, or if you are not an OCELT but are planning to start the application process soon, this blog post may encourage you to start today!

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A Look Back: History and Impact of TESL Certifications

Image source: TESL Ontario

Written by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager – TESL Ontario

Hard to believe, but TESL Ontario is turning 50 this year! Throughout the years, the association has made great strides in the area of setting professional standards for certification of English language educators.  We invite you to join us for a look back on the history of certification at TESL Ontario.

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Web Accessibility for Language Teachers

Educational digital accessibility is often viewed as a set of practices  dedicated that assist disabled individuals with challenges to participate in online and blended courses.  In fact, accessibility practices endeavor to more than eliminate barriers to education; they ensure that digital content is enhanced for everyone. Digital accessibility practices are something we all should practice because: 

  • they remove barriers to education and training
  • legislation requires accessibility across Canada 
  • many Canadians live with at least 1 disability 
  • they improve all digital resources for all users 
  • it is the right thing to do 

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Introducing the Colleges and Universities Committee

Image source: TESL Ontario

Guest Contributor: Jim Papple

Well, hello there!  I don’t think we’ve been formally introduced, but we’ve probably bumped into each other before…maybe at a conference, or a webinar.  Allow me to introduce TESL Ontario’s College and University Committee! 

Over the last 3 years, a small but dedicated group of people have been toiling to put together the infrastructure to have a new committee and a voice for College and University educators.  For a committee to work effectively, a lot of things need to be in place including terms of reference, a strategic plan, a call for volunteers.  We accomplished these tasks and many more within our first year and have looked to grow and expand.   Our mission is to develop leadership for professional development and practice among English language and TESOL educators working in both the college and university sectors.

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Moving Forward with Extensive Reading in the LINC Context

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In 2014, I posted on the TESL Ontario blog “Encourage Extensive Reading with MReader.” Since then, I have been integrating extensive reading with language learners in different contexts. I have learned a great deal using extensive reading in face-to-face situations. However, as COVID has forced us all online, the new challenge is facilitating extensive reading in a fully online mode.

In late 2021, Sepideh Alavi, a member of the Extensive Reading Foundation Board of Directors and Avenue mentor, and I started an extensive reading research project on the Avenue system. A critical part of this study is a pilot test of extensive reading with literacy-level classes. 

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