Allison Keown is the Executive Director of TESL Ontario
TESL Ontario introduced certification for Ontario English language educators in March 2000. The introduction of this provincial certification helped advance the TESL profession and the TESL Ontario certification swiftly became the sector standard for the hiring of English language educators in Ontario.
2004 – Expanding Access to Language Instructor Certification through PLAR
At a time when language teaching was gaining traction as a valued profession worldwide, internationally trained individuals (ITIs) with significant experience were struggling to obtain certification in Ontario, because their education did not meet the certification standards that had been established. As a result, these qualified professionals were often having to repeat education that they already possessed, in order to become employable in Ontario.
Wanting to ensure that all qualified language educators had access to TESL Ontario certification, TESL Ontario began offering certification through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). In 2004, TESL Ontario entered into an agreement with the University of Saskatchewan (USASK) to provide PLAR assessment to potential applicants. USASK provided this service to TESL Ontario applicants from 2004 to 2010.
2010 – TESL Ontario PLAR Assessment Services
In 2010, TESL Ontario developed a credential-based PLAR service that would be offered directly to applicants, eliminating the need for the third-party PLAR service through USASK. This provided applicants with a more streamlined, cost-effective pathway to TESL Ontario certification and allowed TESL Ontario to develop transparent, TESL specific standards for PLAR applicants.
2018 – Funding for improvements
In 2018, TESL Ontario was granted funding from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) for a 4-year project to modify the current credential-based PLAR service to include competency-and-credit-based assessment tools.
2022 – Fair and Equitable Access to Language Training Employment Opportunities in Ontario
The new Competency-and-Credit Based PLAR (CCPLAR) service launched in February 2022, and is now available to applicants seeking TESL Ontario certification and professional designations.
The CCPLAR service provides a more inclusive means to evaluate the suitability of internationally trained individuals (ITIs), improving access to TESL Ontario certification for applicants who have not completed a TESL Ontario accredited training program. The enhanced CCPLAR process now takes into account an applicant’s competencies in addition to their TESL credentials and teaching experience.
The CCPLAR application service ensures that ITIs have equitable opportunity to seek employment in their chosen field. It ensures that individuals who have studied TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) in an international setting and gained experience working in the classroom, are offered a way to demonstrate their capacity to enter the English language training profession in Ontario.
For detailed information about the TESL Ontario CCPLAR application process and requirements, please review the Competency-and-Credit Based PLAR Candidate Handbook.
Questions? Contact the TESL Ontario Accreditation Services Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 416.593.4243 x 205.