Category Archives: Professional Development

Maximize Your Potential: Why OCELT Certification Maintenance Matters

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

Did you know that in order to maintain your certified status, OCELT (Ontario Certified English Language Teacher) certification must be renewed annually? This annual renewal process isn’t merely administrative; it’s serves as a gateway to a host of advantages that benefit teachers, employers, learners, and all stakeholders involved in language education.  These benefits enable employers and funders to ensure the high quality of their language instruction services, motivating teachers to regularly upgrade their knowledge and skills, while also staying abreast of the latest developments in the field of TESL.  OCELT is awarded to qualified English language teachers of adult learners by TESL Ontario, and is valid for twelve months.  Like many professional certifications, OCELT requires renewal at the end of each certification cycle to ensure the association can verify the continued professional development of OCELT holders.

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TESL Ontario – Conference Blog: Career Booster

By Kiara Y.R. Kim, Resource Development Assistant

The Career Booster Forum held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, attracted participants eager to gain insights into employer expectations, resume-building, and effective interview practices. The event featured seasoned professionals sharing employment opportunities as well as their hiring expertise to empower new adult ESL teachers.

Employability at St. Charles

The St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centre offers programs in a number of categories which include English language instruction: ESL/LINC classes, citizenship, IELTS, English for Everyday Living, Care for Newcomer Children (CNC), and VISITORs. Holly Bartoszek (Supervisor) and Melita Vrakela (Lead Instructor), both from the ESL/LINC program at the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB), provided a detailed presentation of employment opportunities and hiring expectations at St. Charles. Successful candidates would begin on the supply list, then apply for permanent positions that become available. Some of the qualifications outlined included:

  • TESL Ontario Certified (OCELT)
  • Ability to instruct ESL according to CLB
  • Familiarity with PBLA
  • Evaluate student learning outcomes on an ongoing basis
  • Engage in accurate St. Charles reporting process
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TESL Ontario – Conference Blog: Career Connections

By Kiara Y.R. Kim, Resource Development Assistant

The TESL Ontario Annual Conference held on Thursday, November 9, 2023, featured a Career Connections webinar from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. This session, led by Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy, Accreditation Services Manager at TESL Ontario, and Krista Walsh-Murrayn, Project Manager at Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB), provided a detailed overview of the TESL certification application process, efficient job searching strategies, and resources provided by the CCLB.

Key Takeaways from the TESL Ontario Certification Application Process (Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy)

OCELT and ICTEAL are officially registered professional designations and certificate trademarks. OCELT certification recognizes that a certificate holder has the knowledge and skills required for teaching English to adult learners in all publicly funded and private programs in Ontario, other Canadian provinces and territories, and abroad. ICTEAL certification recognizes that a certificate holder has the knowledge and skills required for teaching English as an Additional Language in international settings. TESL Ontario offers three application pathways to gain certification:

  • Application pathway 1 is for graduates of TESL Ontario accredited training programs.
  • Application pathway 2 – CCPLAR Stream A is a credit-based evaluation pathway for those who hold prior education from non-TESL Ontario accredited training programs.
  • Application pathway 2 – CCPLAR Stream B is a competency-based evaluation pathway for those who only hold prior ESL/EFL teaching experience.
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Metrics that Matter: Indicators of Success in ELT Admin Roles

By Kiara Y.R. Kim, Resource Development Assistant

Administrative roles are important in the overall management, functioning, and strategic direction of educational institutions. These roles can encompass a wide range of responsibilities that may involve overseeing operations, implementing policies, or managing resources to ensure the overall success of the educational programs and institutions.

Whether you are an educator seeking to broaden your impact on a larger scale, drawn to leadership and mentorship for educators, or motivated for professional growth, embarking on the path from educator to administrator is a journey that demands both ambition and strategic navigation.

In this unique blog series, we explore the pursuit of administrative roles in the field of English Language Training (ELT). TESL Ontario collaborated with six (6) hiring managers representing various sectors of the Ontario ELT landscape, who stand ready to share their experience, advice, and wisdom along this transitional journey. This fifth and final installment of the series is designed to shed light on key performance measures that contribute to excellence in the field.

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Coping with the AI Challenge

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

September is here! The past eight months of warnings of artificial intelligence- or AI- generative chat calamities were heeded by some and ignored by others. Hopefully, you are one of the fortunate ones who work in an institution where AI policies, guidelines, just-in-time support and plagiarism teaching-learning plan statements are ready and accessible to supervisors, instructors and learners. If this is not your situation, this post is for you. Read on to quickly pick up some tips to cope with AI generative chat technologies while your institution works towards comprehensive strategies.  

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Showcase Your Lifelong Learning Commitment: Include Certificates on your LinkedIn Profile 

If you’ve been a TESL Ontario member for a while, you probably have more than one PD Certificate sitting in your inbox as a result of attending one of our webinars, conferences or TESL Dialogue sessions. While these certificates are essential in accruing the PD hours required to maintain your OCELT each year, they also make a great addition to your professional LinkedIn profile!
  Read on for instructions for how to upload certificates…
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The Role of your Professional Association 

English language education has a long history and has evolved from volunteers supporting newcomers in small community spaces to the recognized profession that is today. TESL Ontario is committed to improving outcomes for learners by contributing to the certification, professional development and career growth of the educators who work with them.  Continue reading


ChatGPT Extensions: Make it Your Personal Assistant

Generated by DALL-E 2 with the prompting of John Allan

Whether you’re aware of it or not, the recent release of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots is transforming the way we interact with technology. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, allows anyone to engage with it in a human-like manner to achieve a response. Over the past few months, scores of GPT-powered web apps and browser extensions have appeared due to AI-powered chatbots resulting from the release of the OpenAI’s GPT API (applications programming interface). The API allows apps to work with ChatGPT. This allows software developers to create more powerful applications. The browser extensions described below will help language instructors use ChatGPT more effectively to enhance their lessons and daily digital tasks. 

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TESL Teacher To TESL Ontario Intern

As I finished my TESL program at Conestoga College this academic year and was in the process of applying for my OCELT Certification at TESL Ontario, an email popped up from our program head about a summer opportunity with TESL Ontario. Fast-forward nine weeks and here I am, feeling deeply connected and grateful for this opportunity, not to mention highly impacted by this team of individuals. 

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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