The Certificate in the Teaching of English as a Second Language (CTESL), like other TESL/TEFL certificate programs, prepares teachers of English as a second language (TESL) and English as a foreign language (TEFL) for adult learners.

The Certificate is a 5.0 credit program for students who already have a degree in Linguistics or another subject, or who are currently enrolled in an Honours degree program at Carleton University. Others with a strong academic background or extensive experience in the teaching of English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL) may also be admitted to the program with the permission of the School of Linguistics and Language Studies.

Students may earn a concurrent CTESL as part of an Honours BA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies, or as part of a Combined Honours BA in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics & Discourse Studies and another discipline, or as part of an Honours degree in another discipline.  For further information, contact the CTESL Coordinator, Dr. Brian Strong.

Admission Requirements

Consult the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar for details and please note that students concurrently registered in an Honours degree may apply to the CTESL after completing two years of study, and should have already taken ALDS 1001 and LING 1001.

Courses *

The five credits of the program (4.0 required credits plus 1.0 optional credits) must be completed at Carleton.  The program also includes a mandatory teaching practicum. Detailed course information is available on the Undergraduate Calendar.


The program can be completed in one year of full-time study, or students may take courses part-time until they have the necessary five course credits. Interested persons should consult the Carleton University Class Schedule for details on scheduling.

How to Apply

To apply you must submit:

  1. Application form for either the Post-Degree or Concurrent CTESL:
  1. Statement of Application
  2. Transcripts if your degree is not from Carleton
  3. Evidence of the fulfillment of the English as a Second Language Requirement (see below)
  4. Send your application form, statement of application, and other supporting documents as required to by April 30 for consideration for the upcoming Fall term.

The CTESL Admissions Committee review applications in early May and recommend to the Office of Admissions applicants for the academic year.  If you have further questions, please contact Dr. Brian Strong by email.

English Language Requirement

If you are an international applicant or a Canadian citizen and resident whose first language is not English please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for the current English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). CTESL applicants must satisfy the ESLR prior to admission in the program.

Certificate & Employment

The Carleton CTESL program is for ESL teachers and for professionals dealing with adult learners. It is not an education program for teaching in the school system. Most Canadian Ministries of Education require that teacher qualifications come from university faculties of education. Nonetheless a number of Carleton CTESL graduates do work at that level, using their CTESL as an additional qualification.

The CTESL program is recognized by TESL Ontario, the professional organization for TESL practitioners, as a qualification to teach ESL to adults in government funded programs in the province, and the qualification is transferable to most other provinces in Canada. Please see the TESL Canada website for streamline certification for TESOL Ontario certified instructors. CTESL candidates who wish to obtain TESL Ontario qualifications are advised to consult the TESL Ontario website for details of the requirements for certification, particularly as regards the teaching practicum component.  Note also that the TESL Ontario certification requirements for English Language Proficiency exceed those of Carleton University.

Carleton CTESL graduates have been very successful in getting employment in Canada and abroad, teaching in colleges, universities, private language schools, community-based programs, and as consultants.

* Please note, not all courses listed are offered in a given year.

The CTESL promotional video was created by Jumanah Al Asadi and Lena Vakulenko, students in Carleton University’s Interactive Multimedia & Design program.