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Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)

Credential: Ontario Graduate Certificate Program Code: 09841 Length: 2 semesters

Programs Starting Between:

To be eligible for admission, you must possess the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Non-native speakers of English applying to TESL should have a IELTS score of an overall minimum of 6.5 with no single test score below 6.0; a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 88 or above with a minimum of 22 in Reading and Listening, Speaking and Writing; and strong communication skills (see TESL Ontario teacher accreditation at for their specific requirements)

All applicants whose first language is not English must meet Humber's English Language Proficiency Policy.

Mature Applicants

An applicant is considered a mature applicant if they have not completed secondary school or other postsecondary school, and will be 19 or older (21 or older for degree programs) as of the first day of classes. Humber will invite you for testing to demonstrate that you meet program eligibility. Mature applicants for degree programs will be required to meet course requirements at the U level or equivalent.

College Transfer Applicants

An applicant is considered a college transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a college-level credential. Humber will use your college courses and grades to determine program eligibility. You may also be eligible for transfer credit if you are admitted to a Humber program.

University Transfer Applicants

An applicant is considered a university transfer applicant if they have completed some or all of a university-level credential. Humber will use your university courses and grades to determine program eligibility. You may also be eligible for transfer credit if you are admitted to a Humber program.

Admission selection is based on the academic criteria indicated. Meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission.

Post-Admission Requirements:

Students in the program are required to undergo a Police Record Check if they are involved in program or occupations involving direct contact with vulnerable persons. Successful completion of the work placement is a requirement for graduation. Agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Record Check. Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency. If you register in the program without a clear Police Record Check and, as a result, are unable to participate in the placement, you will not be able to graduate. The Police Record Check may have to be renewed every three to six months thereafter.

Date Location Availability International Student Availability
September 2018LakeshoreOpenOpen

The 2017-2018 fee for 2 semesters was:

  • domestic: $6,072.62
  • international: $15,585.00

Fees are subject to change.

Fees by Semester 


Humber offers a variety of scholarships each year.

Learn more >

Future Study Options

Humber has a number of transfer agreements with other postsecondary institutions (within Canada and around the world) that enables students and graduates to use their Humber credential to gain advanced standing in another program.

Master of Science in Education 

Credential Opportunity: Grad Cert to Masters
Location: Lewiston, New York
Institution(s): Niagara University

Graduates from Humber's Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)  certificate program will be eligible for admission to Niagara University's Master of Science in Education degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages with full block transfer credit (15 credits or 5 courses), provided all other entrance criteria are met. 

This Masters program requires a total of 37 graduate credit hours, 22 credits of which must be completed in Niagara including a supervised practicum and a culminating portfolio assessment.  Students who have graduated from Humber with a TESL Certificate and with an overall average of B (or GPA of 75%) will be eligible to apply for admission. 

Degree students enrolled in Humber's TESL program may apply for the program at Niagara University during their second semester of study.  At the start of Semester 2 at Humber, provided qualifications for admission are met, students would be allowed admission into the program.

For further information, contact:

Tammy Bruno
Assistant Dean, Graduate Education

Admission to the academic programs listed is at the sole discretion of the partner post-secondary institution. Please contact the institution for detailed admission requirements.

Transferring from Another College or University

Details on transferring credits or credentials from another college or university or how to apply for credit based on prior work or life experience.

Learn more >

Program Contact(s)

Catherine Dunn, program co-ordinator
416.675.6622 ext. 73085



International Students

Phone 1-416-675-5067

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Apply to Humber

Applications to Humber are made through Be sure to submit your application by the equal consideration deadline of February 1. You may apply after February 1, however, post-February 1 applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the availability of the space in the program. To check program availability refer to the Campus/Availability listing on Humber's program pages or

Admission Road Map >

Apply through Ontario Colleges >

International Students

If you’re an international student, you can apply directly to Humber via our International Centre.

Apply through the International Centre >

Fees by Semester

Semester 1Domestic FeeInternational Fee*
Mandatory Non-Tuition$450.45$450.45


Semester 2Domestic FeeInternational Fee*
Mandatory Non-Tuition$450.45$450.45

*Plus Mandatory Health Insurance fee once per academic year: Fall start - $420 Winter start - $280 Summer start - $140

teaching english as a second language

Our Program

Humber’s Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) graduate certificate program builds confident and knowledgeable teachers who have a full understanding of best practices in teaching English as a second language (ESL). Our innovative curriculum is based on the latest ESL teaching approaches, methods and assessment systems including the Canadian Language Benchmarks and the Common European Framework Reference (CEFR). You will be exposed to a wide range of theoretical issues including adult second language acquisition, learning theory, linguistics, the emerging field of teaching with technology, and portfolio-based assessment. More importantly, you will have the opportunity to immediately apply this learning through classroom observations, practice teaching and tutoring opportunities in Humber’s Writing Centre.

Faculty members are highly respected, dedicated professionals with graduate credentials in the field and extensive ESL teaching and teacher training experience.

Courses Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, a graduate will:

  • Develop curriculum and select delivery techniques and materials appropriate to the needs, expectations, motivations and learning styles of diverse cultural adult groups.

  • Facilitate the adult ESL learner’s integration or adaptation to Canadian society.

  • Develop an introductory, functional philosophy of language utilizing a foundation in general linguistics, socio-linguistics and psycho-linguistics.

  • Identify and solve language related problems as they arise in ESL teaching through the application of participant’s own philosophy of language.

  • Develop a thorough knowledge of the English language grammar and the knowledge of how to teach grammar, i.e. be able to appropriately select, sequence, plan and deliver instruction to ESL learners.

  • Analyze and critique existing ESL methods and resources and their application to the adult ESL classroom.

  • Plan adult ESL instructional lessons including the identification of teaching objectives, the selection of techniques and resources and the identification of approaches/methods.

  • Apply appropriate ESL techniques to specific classroom situations.

  • Diagnose ESL student literacy levels and design and implement the corresponding training plan.

  • Analyze and evaluate ESL curricula which address student needs.

  • Select and utilize language tests to determine language proficiency and functioning levels.

  • Implement and deliver curriculum to adult ESL classes which reflects the analysis and synthesis of theory and practice and which addresses the aims, goals and objectives which impact upon course and program decisions.

  • Respond to the need for continuing professional development by participating in a variety of educational and professional activities.


Work Placement

Students will complete a 50-hour graduated teaching practicum. Unlike many other institutions, our practicum is fully arranged and supervised, giving student teachers the time to focus on their learning and preparation. Students fulfill their practicum requirements in a variety of settings which may include:

  • Humber’s English Language Centre in the English for Academic Purposes program
  • Humber’s Continuing Education department, enhanced language training (ELT)-related programs
  • Adult ESL and Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board and community agencies.

The Humber Advantage

Alumni Testimonial - Elisa Costantiello (2014)

"The TESL program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After graduating from University, I wasn’t sure what career path to take, so I searched for a program that was both interesting and skill developing. The experienced and incredible faculty, as well as the useful content, was exactly what I needed to become a successful ESL instructor and I continue to use the skills and practices that were taught to me.

After I graduated from the TESL program, I was given the opportunity to teach in the Summer Language Program at Humber. This program opened the door, allowing me to continue working at Humber in the English for Academic Purposes program, as well as other post-secondary institutions.

I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with motivated English-learning students, and for my experience in the TESL program at Humber College."

Alumni Testimonial - Tracy Crewson (2015)

"I am deeply grateful to Humber for the well-rounded and thorough preparation I received for my new career path. The training I received in Humber’s TESL program was well worth the investment. I feel that I have entered this discipline well-rounded and knowledgeable in both theory and practice.  In fact, I have had colleagues tell me they are ‘jealous’ of the training I received, as many TESL programs do not include the practical elements that Humber does.

Only 2 months after graduation, I was hired to teach English to adult learners for the Hamilton-Wentworth School board. At the end of those 2 months, I was hired for a year-long position, and have been teaching full time ever since. Our program coordinator is impressed with the knowledge and ability of graduates from Humber, which speaks to the quality of Humber’s TESL program.

Not a week goes by that I am not reminded of what I learned at Humber and thankful for the skills I learned that allow me to teach ESL so capably. Humber’s TESL program and professors are of the highest quality and are highly recommended!"

Your Career

Today, approximately one billion people worldwide are learning English and by 2030, half of the world’s population is expected to speak English. Work in teaching ESL in adult ESL programs in school boards, colleges and universities, and government-sponsored agencies across Ontario, as well as in private schools and academic institutions around the world teaching English as a foreign language. Career opportunities also include workplace ESL, academic ESL and ESL program administration in the public and private sectors.

In addition, each summer, select graduates are hired as ESL teaching interns in Humber’s highly regarded and dynamic international summer language program under the guidance of a mentor faculty member. Work placements may also be available in the Humber English Language Centre’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, in ESL courses in the Continuing Education department and in Humber’s Writing Centre.

Professional Accreditations & Recognition

This program is recognized by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and is approved and accredited by TESL Canada (Standard II) and TESL Ontario. Upon completion of the TESL program, graduates who meet TESL Canada and TESL Ontario criteria can apply for professional teacher accreditation from these regulatory bodies.

This information is accurate as of December 2016. 

Additional requirements and/or costs may apply.

Note: The requirements for the additional credential(s) are determined by the granting body, which is independent from the College. Students are encouraged to obtain the specific requirements directly from the granting body before enrolling.

Every attempt is made to ensure that information contained in this website is current and accurate. Humber reserves the right to correct any error or omission, modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable or campus location at any time without prior notice or liability to users or any other Person.