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Teaching English as a Second Language (Cert)

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Certificate (Cert)
1 year
Primary campus
Sir George Williams (SGW)
Experiential learning
Start term

This undergraduate program is offered to expert speakers of English who have a completed undergraduate degree and an interest in teaching ESL. The program does not lead to provincial certification but it provides an excellent training in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

Who should apply?

The TESL Certificate is designed primarily for those who wish to teach overseas or in private language schools. It is also appropriate for certified teachers who would like to know more about the teaching of English as a second language and perhaps teach ESL in addition to another subject such as history or math.

Program structure

The TESL certificate is 30 credits. The certificate can be completed within one academic year of full-time study, starting in the fall term. All courses are offered in the evenings so students may pursue their studies on a part-time basis while working during the day.

Program option

  • Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (30 credits)


United States students: A U.S. Federal Student Aid-eligible version of this program is offered. This version meets all U.S. regulations (such as no co-operative education or e-courses) for eligible programs.

Admission criteria

Additional requirements for admission

  • Students must have a first university degree with a good academic record.
  • Program-specific application
  • Completion of 45-minute English Composition Placement Test (ECPT) with satisfactory grade
  • Reference/Assessment forms

Application deadlines

Fall term


March 1 is the deadline to apply for fall term entry. International students are encouraged to apply by February 1 to allow sufficient time for CAQ and study permit application processing.

Winter term


Admission to this program is available for the Fall Term only.

We reserve the right to close admission to a program at any time after the official deadline without prior notice.

Application procedure

  1. Apply for Admissions online. You can also submit your application by logging in to the Student Hub and going to My CU Account.
    • External applicants: Fill out the Undergraduate Application online. There is a $100 fee. Then continue with the steps below.
    • Internal applicants: Read and follow the instructions for a degree transfer. There is a $46 fee. Then continue with the steps below.
  2. English Composition Placement Test
    • All candidates need to take an English Composition Placement Test. This test does not replace the language proficiency requirements for admission to the university. The results will be used for assessing the candidate and the possible imposition of specified make-up courses upon admission.
    • This test is free and is offered online.
    • Candidates can take the test after the March 1st deadline; however, it is strongly advised to take the test as early as possible as this will delay a decision to be made on your application.
  3. Fill out the Additional Information application form / Renseignements Complémentaires and upload this document online using the document type ‘Teaching English as a Second Language Application’. You can also upload your documents by logging in to the Student Hub and going to My CU Account.
  4. Obtain 2 referees (1 academic, 1 work-related) send their letter of recommendation and reference form.

    *Please ensure you allow sufficient time for your referees to send their letter of recommendation and reference form.

Additional Information for Applicants

  • Student ID #
  • If you were a student at Concordia, you will have a Student ID number.
  • If you haven't submitted or finalized the application, please indicate the application number on the Reference Form instead
  • For new students, the Concordia Student ID is ONLY generated when an admission application is "submitted and finalized". After finalizing the application the Student ID number will be on the email the University sends to you.

After your degree

Graduates are prepared to take on challenging positions as teachers, researchers and administrators in the public and private sector.

Other programs of interest

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) (BEd)

When you study TESL, your mastery in teaching the English language gives your students the skills needed to compete in the global marketplace.



Early Childhood and Elementary Education (BA)

Shape the future. Experience the magic and mystery of the world through the eyes of a child. As an educator, you’ll nurture children and inspire them to explore their surroundings. A BA in ECEE gives you an educational foundation for teaching children up to age 12.



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