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.

In addition to the certification application, ongoing requirements include: 10 hours of PD per year, which may include participation in webinars, conferences, online courses offered by CCLB, TESL-related courses, TESL-related research, or in-service training.

Detailed information on certification eligibility and steps can be found on: https://teslontario.org/certification/teacher-certification/

Key Takeaways from CCLB Resources (Kirsta Walsh-Murrayn)

The Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) is the standard used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to describe, measure, and recognize the English language ability of immigrants and prospective immigrants who plan to live and work in Canada. As educators, the CLB provides a standardized framework for assessing, planning, and teaching English language skills that ultimately support the integration of learners into Canadian society.

The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks (CCLB) is a non-profit organization that provides expertise on the CLB, providing tools and resources for educators to support language assessment, teaching and learning, promoting their use in various education and workplace settings. Krista’s presentation delved into the variety of CLB resources accessible through the Centre:

  • Framework documents with support kits, which includes templars and sample tools for CLB reference classrooms.
  • Can Do Statements: benchmarks for all four skills in a way that is more accessible for learners.
  • CLB-based online courses, including topics on ‘CLB Bootcamp,’ ‘Maximizing the CLB Support Kit,’ ‘CLB: ESL for Adult Language Learners,’ and ‘Introduction to PBLA for New Instructors.’
  • PBLA and CLB classroom resources: modules, guidelines, Avenue, Tutela.
  • French resources available in both French and English.
  • Coming in 2024: Essential skills resources.
  • Community job posts.

Key Takeaways from Job Search Strategies (Reza Mazloom-Farzaghy)

In a field where 95% of jobs are not advertised, Reza emphasized the importance of self-initiation in the job search process and taking the time to present your skills and abilities effectively for potential employers.

Knowing the ELT industry:

  • Institutions: Discover the different employers and institutions in the field of ETL, including: school boards, community settlement organizations, community colleges, and international institutions.
  • Occupations: Discover various roles available within the field of ELT including: LINC instructor, test preparation instructor, CELPIP rater, IELTS examiners, curriculum developers, and program administrators.
  • Job Boards: Navigate job boards efficiently to find opportunities including TESL Ontario job board, Languages Canada, 211 Ontario, and Settlement at Work

Job Search Steps:

  1. Research employers and organizations of interest
  2. Focus on the few courses/subjects you would like to teach.
  3. Review the program curriculum, course outlines, and descriptions.
  4. Tailor your application material accordingly, making sure to use keywords used in the industry and by the employer in the job posting.
  5. Update and proofread your application material.
  6. Submit as instructed.
  7. Seek ongoing networking resources.


Continuous learning and professional development is essential to stay current in any industry, but particularly in the field of English Language Training (ELT). ELT professionals are constantly adapting to changing and diverse student needs, technological integrations, and up-and-coming language research that shape the dynamics of the ELT landscape. As the field continues to evolve, events like the Career Connections webinar and the TESL Ontario Annual Conference, as well as the development of forthcoming educator resources serve spaces for continuous educator connection, community, and learning.

Visit the TESL Career Centre for a recording of the Career Connections webinar and other essential resources designed to help you navigate the English language education employment landscape. 

Kiara Kim is the Resource Development Assistant at TESL Ontario for summer 2023. She is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, Mississauga, with an HBSc in Anthropology. Throughout her undergrad, she worked actively within university programming and various community research projects in fields of anthropology of health, historical archeology and English language education. She is looking forward to furthering her intersecting interests in research and education.


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