There are two main variants to choose from for those who want to receive full training as an EFL teacher in Canada:
1. Obtaining MA TESOL degree from a university (usually appropriate for people who already have experience of TEFL and/or want to teach mainly in Canada and the USA;
2. Getting a TEFL certificate (for people not having any TEFL experience/qualifications and who want to teach overseas).
Below is given the comparison of advantages and disadvantages of various programs available in Canada.
MA TESOL Programs
These programs are offered by universities and include lectures, seminars, ESL observations (sometimes supervised practice teaching), which aim at forming fundamental theoretical knowledge about teaching EFL. Usually for those who want to connect their entire life with TEFL and make a career out of it, MA degree is necessary.
• The course gives basic theoretical aspects of TEFL.
• Some courses include supervised teaching.
• To work in the educational institution or for some respectable employer, one should possess an MA degree.
• The program is quite long and expensive.
• It focuses mostly on TEFL to immigrants and not to foreign speakers abroad.
• There is usually no or very little supervised training of foreign students on spot.
North American University Certificate Programs
A lot of universities offer courses at then end of which you won’t get an MA degree but rather a world-wide recognized certificate.
• Some theoretical fundamentals are given during the course.
• The certificates are recognized by many world famous employers.
• In case you want to obtain MA, you may be given credit.
• Courses are easy to find, since many colleges offer them.
• The program is usually several months in length.
• The focus is on TEFL to immigrants, not to foreigners.
• There is no or little practice of teaching foreign students on spot.